Four Ways to Build Resilience in Troubling Times
Days 4,5,6 of my #21daymeditationexperience with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey of #gettingunstuck talk about a common theme of getting through the pain by leaving your past behind, controlling your mind (not vice versa) and creating a new version of yourself everyday.
In a commencement speech for the City College of New York by Michelle Obama in June 2016, she highlights two key elements that every personality, every individual, every human being must have in order to evolve and survive adversity of all kinds, and they are RESILIENCE and MATURITY.
We have all been immature or acted immaturely in many points in our lives when making decisions, when dealing with relationships, etc. but it's all part of growing up. Lack of maturity on our part which we measure by the outcomes of our experiences, helps set the framework to build the best values that work for us. The problem with immaturity, it can affect and hurt people around us with negative outcomes; and unfortunately, we lose friends, lovers, partners or family members in the process. But that's what Life is about: learning and growing up.
Just yesterday, I read an article in the Harvard Business Review about the importance of resilience in people and in businesses to stand still during stormy times. It talked about how schools and universities don't and can't even teach it. And then you see this when kids fall apart because of one bad grade, as Michelle rightfully said; and if resilience is not built over time, people can experience serious repercussions such as depression, mental illness, and even suicide.
Building resilience starts taking place when we come across difficult people, when we don't get what we want, when we make mistakes, or when we face sudden illness, loss or betrayal. How we train ourselves to come out of these types of adversities helps exercise our resilience muscle. The more maturity, dignity and surrender we use during such times, the bigger our resilience muscle gets. As a result, we build our values. Only by hanging on to them do we survive. Think of the refugees, the poor and war-driven countries and how they are being resilient on a daily basis.
As for my experience, I must say I was blessed with a great childhood, but it was disrupted by my parents’ divorce and debts. I found myself working my way through university, camping out in the office to avoid the traffic back home, developing an eating disorder, suffering from abusive relationships I didn't know how to end, hurting people stupidly due to lack of maturity and maybe even underdeveloped values, being heartbroken by those who also lacked maturity and solid values. But I'm proud to say I'm still alive, and funny enough, I am happy! I still open my heart to people and to new experiences; I still feel proud of myself and I am still excited about living.
You want to know how I managed to get here? This is what I did:
STAY REALISTICALLY POSITIVE
Always see the positive in everything, but be realistic at the same time by not being too emotional about it. There is always that silver lining, believe in it but also dissect it by seeing the learning in the experience. Ask yourself, where and what is the learning in this? What has this experience taught me that I can take with me for the rest of my life? And if it's difficult to do that too, try laughing, comedy, improv and surrounding yourself with funny people. You have no idea how that has helped me! Thank you The Courtyard Playhouse , Dubai Laughing , Dubomedy - Dubai Comedy and all of its members to name a few.
HAVE ANCHORED FAITH
Always believe there is a reason for everything. You are going through this because you need to! It's for your own sake and for your own learning. It helps open the doors of your heart and mind to realize your next steps and your next new self! I can't stress enough the importance of surrender through prayer and meditation. It really helps "move though the pain"
FORGIVE YOURSELF EFFECTIVELY
Forgive yourself and others. The effects of it are not too quick to notice but effective to last a long time. Forgiveness helps create a protective layer inside of you that bounces off any harm you are allowing in. What's the point in dwelling in mistakes when they cannot be undone? We must remember that we are all human beings built to make mistakes and our Creator Knows it. Strive to be in the image of our Forgiving Creator and trust that the pain you experienced embedded the lessons within. And guess what, heartbreaks won’t be that bad the next time around.
DO THE OPPOSITE
Make a new agreement with yourself about what to do the next time you face adversity. If you were used to responding a certain way that didn’t bring the outcomes you wanted, then do the opposite the next time. Break these old habits, try a new approach and put it to the test until you get the best outcomes.
I want to be the change you want to see in the world. Do you want to be that change too in your own special way? #IamTheChange
Peace First. Pride Last.