How to overcome hardships with curiosity, compassion, and challenges

“Sometimes the worst things that happen in our lives put us on the path to the best that will ever happen to us.” ~ Unknown

Until I was 37, I thought I was living a pretty attractive life. I had a supportive family and good friends, I was doing well academically, I always got the job I applied for, met the perfect person, and got married. Man for me.

In 2013, when I was 35 weeks pregnant with my second child, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. My baby was induced at 37 weeks and my chemotherapy started 10 days later. The funny thing is, I was relieved. Well, I’ve been seriously lucky that no one has ever been ill, so if I can get through this, this is the worst.

And that year was Bad — Going home, caring for toddlers and newborns, and getting aggressive cancer treatment was horrifying, but I crouched, tried not to think too much about it, and survived.

In December 2014, my husband received a devastating call from his New Zealand mother while literally clinking a glass of champagne to celebrate all my clear results. She had just been diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Earlier the following year, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer and my mother-in-law died that spring.

At this point, I started to feel heavy and heavy. This wasn’t a deal … I got a gun hit for the team, everyone else was supposed to be fine. I have begun to lose trust in the world.

My urge to control everything around me and everyone I realized I had since I was a kid was overkill. I became afraid of change, predicted everything that might go wrong, and listed a list to organize and reorganize my life until I was ready to deal with it.

My brave father endured a variety of invasive and aggressive treatments, but his health continued to decline. I couldn’t control what was happening, the feeling of loss and sadness that sometimes felt overwhelming to me.

I had to change something: I started journaling, yoga, and meditation. Slowly anxious and panicked, my grip on my life began to weaken. On the inside, I began to notice familiar emotions and patterns, reacting to roles and labels that I no longer felt true.

There was a shift. It’s a very small shift, but even a small shift made a difference in my coping ability because I have two small children, a husband who works long hours, and a father who is rapidly deteriorating in health.

By mid-2015, my husband had severe headaches, nausea and dizziness. He had a very stressful job, so he decided to quit his job in early 2016 to regain his health and decide what he really wanted to do in his life. However, in the spring of 2016 he was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. At that stage my children were 3 and 5 years old.

The next few years were spent on medical promises for my father and my husband, along with the busyness closely associated with raising young children, but I continued my inner work I did. I examined my feelings. Was it really the way I felt? Have I ever felt that way? What helped and what would it help now? Is the story I’m telling myself about this true? What do you need now?

The father died in the spring of 2018, the husband died in the spring of 2019, and the UK entered the first blockade by Covid-19 in the spring of 2020.

Every year since 2014, I told myself, surely the worst happened this year Have Still, every year something else monumental and life-changing happened to be better. The last seven years have been relentless and can be overwhelming with the responsibility of caring for the world’s most loved ones.

People listened to me openly and asked, “How do you deal with it?” I said, “Well, you just deal with what life throws at you,” in a way designed to wipe them out, disfocus their attention, and minimize my pain. to answer. I knew this wasn’t true, but a careless reply was easier than true. But after years of continuous internal work, this is my honest reply.

To enhance your resilience, heal, and ultimately prosperity, you flip the perfect patchwork quilt as you present to the world in the picture of your outer life, underneath. You have to be prepared to take a closer look at the messy stitches.

You need to look at the most annoying of those stitches and be prepared to carefully remove them so that you can find knots, tangles, and imperfections. In times of crisis you can learn what you need to do to meet your unique needs and develop your own resilience when you connect with your true self only.

The way this is done varies from person to person, but if I could summarize it in one concise statement, I would always be aware of the three Cs: curiosity, compassion, and challenge.

Here are some ways I’ve applied this in the last 7 years to help me, and maybe these ideas may help you too.

Please forgive your feelings.

Others are allowed to feel uncomfortable about this, but that is not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to be able to process and process your emotions, rather than suppressing them, denying them, or paralyzing them with substances or distractions.

In my life, this idea of ​​paralysis and distraction has taken shape in many ways. One is that I’m forced to check my phone instead of sitting down feeling restless, bored, or uncertain. You may open the fridge or cupboard not because you are hungry, but because of anxiety or upset.

Recently, I had to sit down with the feeling of saying “no” to someone and worry that if I didn’t make others happy, it would have a painful effect.

These are all very unpleasant perceptions, but they do provide an opportunity to find patterns. Do you always reach for food after a particular event, or do you always reach for a phone call when you feel a particular way in your body?

If you are curious about your choice, you can understand why, be considerate, and challenge yourself to do something else. Can I do several breathing exercises instead of food? Can I practice simple yoga poses instead of a phone call? Have you ever had no negative impact when you paused before saying “yes” to what you knew was useless and said “no”?

The important questions here are: What I really need, what I’m afraid of, and how can I calm the threat system at that moment before reacting?

Give top priority to your needs.

I learned how much others needed (and with a dying dad, a dying husband, and two little kids I needed many), I had to start the day knowing that at some point I would make time to prioritize my needs.

Sometimes I got up early and enjoyed hot chocolate with peace of mind, and sometimes I spent a quiet time in nature. I attended a gym with a pool because swimming is very useful for mental health. I also joined an online yoga site because I didn’t have the long time needed to attend classes directly.

Accept rituals and routines.

Decision fatigue greatly contributes to how overwhelming I am. Routines provide a secure framework for my family to feel supported and give me more energy for the unexpected things that life inevitably throws at me.

My routine is:

  • Plan for a week ahead on Sunday — a brief document with appointments, reminders, to-do lists, and columns for happiness
  • Take off your school clothes the night before and make a lunch box
  • Book grocery delivery at the same date and time each week
  • Plan your evening menu and prepare a quick meal that you know will be busy or work late

Put together a toolkit of happiness.

Explore ideas and suggestions that you might support, but don’t feel overlooked. You don’t have to use all the tools all the time. Learning to listen to what you need at the moment (and giving yourself permission to act on it!) Really empowers you.

In my happiness toolkit …

  • Breathing method
  • Journaling
  • yoga
  • read
  • running
  • Meet friends for tea
  • Try a new recipe
  • Sit still-meditate, focus on breathing, or just wander

Build a collaborative team around you and know their individual strengths.

No one can deliver everything you need. Manage your expectations of what each loved one can bring to your life and learn who should go for what.

Challenge your life story, expectations, and labels (my three Cs).

Are they still serving you or are they feeling the truth?Where did they come from; what do you need to let go of some of them

The labels I recognized myself and others gave me had a way to deal only with the way I present myself outwards. Turning the kilt over and looking at the stitches that make up these labels with curiosity and compassion, I was able to challenge them.

For example, am I really a “standoff” or just my defense against compromising social unrest? Am I really “classy” or am I just afraid of how dangerous the world would be if I lost control? Am I really “capable” or am I just afraid to be rejected for help?

I never suggest that this is a simple process, and reaching even a little self-awareness is a daily and endless challenge for me. There is no black and white answer, so it’s important to be willing to live in the gray area.

Ultimately, we believe that approaching every reaction, every emotion with curiosity, every day, leads to compassion and understanding, and helps to challenge and deal with the underlying anxiety and outdated stories. increase.

Supporting ourselves to look beyond the labels, roles and responsibilities that are layered throughout our lives enables the possibility of a genuine self emergence.

This is an ongoing work, Me It’s work in progress and will always be.

One day I am overwhelmed by sadness, a heavy heart, and a feeling of loss. One day I woke up with a sense of gratitude and joy. But every day, I am curious and interested, compassionate in all interactions with myself and others, and prepared to do what I can to challenge ideas and beliefs that I do not want to bring into my future. And wake up. I know next year will be a better year.

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