Each and every one of us goes through challenging times.
The difference between us is how we choose to react to these challenges.
Some of us were taught healthy emotional regulation skills already as a child. Some of us gathered tools along the way and have been able to replace destructive habits and limiting beliefs with better ones. Others are still figuring out what tools they need and how to use them.
And then there are the people living half asleep who prefer to avoid any difficulty that comes their way, living under the misperception that this makes life easier. They block their emotions off, perhaps numbing with tv or alcohol, or masking with over-emphasis on sports or career, or always striving to please others in order to avoid conflict and receive external validation.
Believe it or not, I used to fall into this last camp. Until I was faced with a really challenging period of post partum depression, and I had to decide whether to rise or fall. Whether to keep cruising through life without understanding why it felt like the safety brake was still on, or whether to really take control of the wheel and face what was holding me back.
I chose to wake up. I chose to drive through the obstacles rather than around.
Life isn't meant to be easy. Life is about growth, evolution. Not just physical evolution as a species, but also mental and spiritual evolution. At this point in history where the human race is now its own biggest enemy, mental and spiritual growth aren't new age ideals; they are survival skills.
Growth isn't easy, but it does make life rich, meaningful and fulfilling. It can make the really difficult times more bearable, if we know we will eventually come out the other side with more wisdom and more depth to our life story.
Do you know your patterns? Do you avoid conflict, risk and potential pain to protect the status quo? Or do you tackle obstacles head on to see what incredible surprises might await on the other side?
Michelle Borner, a mom on 23 missions, blogs about her Deep Thoughts on a wide range of topics from parenting to conscious living to lessons from brain cancer.
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