Rising strong in difficult times

I really enjoyed “Rising Strong” even though the insights are not new to me, they serve more as a reminder of my own resilience skills so very overused nowadays. I am facing challenges almost in every area of my life: country (residency application awaiting a response), family (son finishing primary school – not a happy place, cannot wait to be done with it!), work (really challenging decisions amongst a lot of good learnings), studies (sudden changes really affecting the status quo – not something I would welcome with a light heart, to be honest). In this really strange state of waiting – waiting for a lot of things to finish – I really cannot plan and look forward to much yet so I am struggling a bit. According to the new insights from positive psychology researchers, it is exactly that planning and waiting forward to things that make us happy and excited. Without that sense of anticipation, people find it really hard to remain uplifted. All we can do is wait, tap into our resilience, lean on on friends and support each other over a cuppa, I guess.

I am really grateful for those few wonderful people in my close network who support me on this journey day by day and for the books that remind me about the benefits of such phases in life. So here are a few reminders to myself from Brene Brown:

“There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery.”

“The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.”

“…sometimes when we are beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, “Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.”  ”

The last one is really useful for my future work. If I was to assume that we are all simply doing our best, my approach to people would be so much different – more open, more understanding, more empathic. I think that’s what Carl Rogers meant in his teachings about person-centered therapy and I aim to build it into my work but also life asap! Difficult times like now are a perfect time to start.

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