What are you resisting right now in your life? Is it the sudden change of circumstances in relation to the Coronavirus? Is it something you’re missing out on, such as being in contact with loved ones, a friend, work colleagues, or others? What negative emotions are you experiencing as a result? Is it anger, frustration, anxiety, fear, or something else? How are you responding to them?
I realize I’m asking a lot of questions but it’s important we understand what is the cause of our emotions. Now, granted, you might say I’m angry and frustrated being isolated from others against my will. And you wouldn’t be wrong to feel this way, however, what is the fundamental reason behind it? You see, the emotions you’re experiencing may not only be attributed to separation. There could be something deeper beneath the surface that warrants your investigation. It is my experience, working with individuals over the years, that those who are most responsive to change always thrive.
These are people who are psychologically flexible and embrace what life throws at them. It doesn’t mean they like what is happening. And I’m not suggesting you like what is taking place either because that would be remiss of me. What I am inviting you to do, is accept your current conditions to the best of your ability and make the most of it. Is this something you’re willing to give your attention to? Could you entertain the idea that you needn’t like your current circumstances but stop resisting it?
Resistance is futile because ultimately reality trumps our struggles and emotions. And who says life ought to meet our expectations of how things should unfold? Life is a self-sustaining system, operating with its own natural laws. We must learn to abide by them because we are a drop in an ocean of a vast cosmic intelligence, working tirelessly to maintain order. But sometimes, what we initially experience is chaos expanding to create order. It makes it easier if we stop fighting what is happening and go with the natural flow of events. This is what is meant by being grateful. It’s the idea of looking for hidden gems contained within unexpected events.
Assuredly, what we give our attention to becomes our focal point. So, if you direct your attention to unpleasant circumstances, you will find evidence of it (confirmation bias) and call it into your experience. But this comes at a cost to your well-being, which is paramount to your mental and physical health. Responding to change affirmatively means that even though circumstances are not as we like them to be, we can turn misfortune into triumph. It means looking for the silver lining in every experience, even if we have to look hard, there will always be a positive lesson.
Listen, life is unfair. When we were protected by our parents or guardians as youngsters, we may have assumed life was fair. But we mature and discover through heartbreak, setbacks, and disappointments, life is anything but fair. This is because life is not personal. Read that again and mark it somewhere on your computer or smartphone. Life is not personal. You are part of life’s ecosystem and when you cooperate and collaborate with this energetic force, circumstances will benefit you.
So, back to my earlier questions about what you’re resisting right now. How can you take that experience and find a hidden treasure amongst it? Could you give yourself the gift of sitting with your negative emotions, to explore what is at the heart of your resistance? I assure you, this practice alone, can change your life more than you realize.
It will empower you to control your emotions and understand their underlying motive. You needn’t struggle with life because doing so means resisting the gifts it brings. Those gifts will seldom come in the form you hope for. They are often disguised as: hardship, pain, struggle, and disappointment and require we face them with optimism instead of resistance. I often asked myself: Why do some people struggle with change while others take it in their stride? Why don’t these people let their experiences get them down? What do they know that others don’t?
I’m not convinced that successful people are any wiser or more intelligent than the rest of us. I’m certain, however, they have experienced heartache, suffering, and misfortunes to know that hardships don’t come to disturb our peace, but to anchor us in our resilience and sharpen the saw of our character. That is why those who are most responsive to change will thrive because they move with their circumstances and make the most of it. So, give that gift to yourself right now. Give yourself the gift of sitting with your emotions for 30 minutes, to explore what is really going on beneath the surface. Give yourself the gift of unlocking your true wisdom. It is only then you will realize that thriving isn’t a state of mind but a way of being in the world.