Last week I posted this quote on FB and asked for people to share how they have handled life and the strength it took to overcome a challenge.  I was so inspired to hear all the ways we have shown our strength!

It takes strength to be a single mom working and going to night school; to be a survivor of cancer; to divorce differently and co-parent greatly; to let go of grief; to listen and believe our voice of truth; to look beyond ourselves to help others; to live and not just survive; to let go and rely full on the grace of God, to mourn – no matter how long it takes; to start over; to try and fail, and try again; to take risks; to not settle in our work, family life, health and well being or in life itself; to be vulnerable; and to love unconditionally and most of all, to let the love back in.  We have all lived life with untold amounts of challenges, and we have embraced strength we didn’t know we had!  Below are a few ways to handle life’s challenges and move through the fear and heartache with grace and ease.

Usually, when life becomes challenging, we begin to think victim-thoughts.  “Why me?  What did I do to deserve this? How did I get here?”  But when we step back, and allow our emotional responses to settle down, we can see that most challenges can be blessings in disguise and an answer to our soul’s calling.  By experiencing that challenge, our soul can grow, we can deepen our faith, and we can discover our untapped strength and power!   I’m amazed at how resilient the human spirit is.

If you feel stuck, seek out help.  Find a therapist or a coach or a trusted friend and process why you think you’re stuck and why you feel like a situation is hopeless.  It is never hopeless, and you are strong enough to handle whatever life offers you.   Here are a few tips for those times when life throws the curveball:

  1. When you are asking “Why me?” answer… “Because I’m strong enough to handle it.”   By acknowledging that truth, it allows you to move forward as empowered, rather than as a victim.  You are strong enough to handle it.  Say it three times, or as many times as it takes to convince yourself that it’s true!
  2. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this situation?”  There is always a lesson embedded in every obstacle… every challenge… every emotional upheaval. Find the lesson and you will no longer be victimized by the circumstances.  Use it as an opportunity to grow stronger and wiser.
  3. Ask, “How can I use this situation to help someone else?”  Sometimes, life just happens. Sometimes we have to face overwhelming grief and heartache and there’s no real rhyme or reason to it.  If you can eventually shift your mindset and look for a way to use that experience to help someone else, you will gain your footing again.

I find that when I am challenged by life and I am resisting the gravity of any situation I’m in, sometimes it’s much better to simply fall into the circumstances and surrender.  The more I resist, the more painful it becomes.  Surrender doesn’t mean giving up… it means accepting what is so, and then choosing how to respond, rather than resist and react.

We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, or around us, but do have a choice in how we respond to it.  Therein lies our power.   Choose wisely.  Stay strong!