Every tough situation you find yourself in is an opportunity for you to nurture your personal and spiritual development. A lot of people miss out on this opportunity because they focus too much of their energy on being strong. Strength is the perceived ability to remain unchanged in the face of hardship. But the problem with that mentality is that tough times are supposed to change you. There is a lesson in every tribulation.
Explain to me how you do your best to “stay strong” when things get hard yet you keep finding yourself in the same situations over and over and each time they get more and more difficult to handle. Exactly how well is staying strong working out for you?
Consider, that it is time for you to make a different choice.
What a lot of people desire when they attempt to stay strong is grounding. Being grounded is having a deep sense of knowing who you are, what you are capable of and what you need to accomplish. When you are grounded, you are able to be fluid and stay true to yourself while being fully aware of what is happening. Similar to a palm tree in a storm, grounding allows you to be open to changing for the better while still being resistant to anything that is harmful to your well-being.
Feeling is Healing
The differentiation of where your strength is allocated matters because a lot of healthy feelings and coping methods get mislabeled as weakness. Strength pushes you to bury or mask what grounding allows you to heal and grow from.
The idea of perceived strength is often conflated with a lack of easily identified emoting when feelings although emotions are healthy when used properly. Allowing yourself to feel in a manner that is healthy means evaluating the source and acknowledging how your mind and body react to it. This process is essential to healing because just like a physical injury, you will only heal if you acknowledge the injury, cleanse and tend to your wound. If you stop the feeling process you in turn prevent a proper healing from occurring.
Being grounded will allow you the opportunity to examine your experiences while knowing that they do not define you. When you are grounded, you understand that each difficult experience is simply a moment that serves a specific purpose on your journey. And you allow the experience to do its job and then pass on. If the situation is something completely out of your control, grounding allows you to be comfortable with the moment that occurred and however it makes you feel without getting lost or allowing your emotions to overtake you.
Learning to Cope
Accessing the proper coping methods will facilitate your healing and enable you to learn and grow from the experience.Understanding how you feel is the key to knowing what coping methods you need to utilize. But when you perceive healthy emotional reactions as weak, you seek to prevent or lessen them thus decreasing your awareness of the best way to cope with the circumstance.
**Enter unhealthy coping**
Repression, self-medicating, prolonged escapism; these are all unhealthy, egoic methods of avoiding reality and hindering the healing and growing processes. Therefore, the experience repeats itself. The lesson comes to grow you, so when you refuse to extract the lesson* from the experience you are harming yourself and subjecting yourself to more pain and suffering.
Staying grounded enables you to seek out and practice healthy coping methods such as introspection, counseling, self-expression, and being honest with yourself and comfortable letting loved ones know about where you are and what you need. Society tends to label these things weak, but again, you must allow the full process to run its course in order to realize the full lesson in the experience.* When you avoid the growth phase you just hover around the same space, carrying the same weight, just pretending like it isn't there while it festers inside of you. Grounding allows you to engage these resources as necessary without feeling as though your worth and dignity are degraded.
When you face adversity, have the courage to deny the urge to “stay strong” and dig deep into yourself. Stay ten toes down and welcome the opportunity to become a new and better version of yourself.
*For a practical guide to finding the lesson in your experiences, check out our Recognizing The Lesson exercise.