When Faced with Great Challenges

Woman swaying treeLife is an incredible symphony of experience and regardless of how happy, content and optimistic you are, there will be dark days to confront and endure. It’s natural. It’s normal. It’s part of being human.

For many, the natural inclination in these dark moments is to focus on being “strong”. To fight; withstand; push through; conquer. But the natural fact is that you are already strong enough to endure anything and your body, your mind and your soul are resilient enough to make it through even the toughest, darkest situations. You will breathe, you will awake, you will continue and you will overcome.

It’s not strength you need — you are already strong.

So, it is not strength you need to summon on those dark, dark days; that is a quality inherent within you. Instead, there are five pillars of light that can help you find your way through any darkness; five flickers of grace that can ease the burden of any situation. These assets are also in your emotional tool-box and I believe it is these qualities that you are wise to search for within yourself, when the road seems most unbearable:

Honesty

The first step in healing a situation — really healing it — is to allow yourself the opportunity to be honest. Firstly, be honest about how you feel. That means all of your emotions, not just the ones on the surface or the ones that are socially acceptable. By acknowledging and confronting everything you feel, you take the power away from your emotions. They can no longer control you.

Secondly, be honest about your own actions, choices and intentions that may have contributed to the current situation. This can be hard to do, as we are often taught that that there is a “right” and a “wrong” and we have been encouraged to judge ourselves and others if the “right” path is not followed. However, if you can be honest with yourself about your past choices, you open yourself up to a new level of understanding.

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Forgiveness

If you can find the grace to forgive others for their actions, you can truly set yourself free from pain. Deepak Chopra teaches us to “forgive others, not because they deserve it, but because you deserve it.” Forgiveness does not mean you condone someone’s actions or intent; it does not excuse someone for their behavior or pardon them from all consequence. Instead, forgiveness is the intimate act of accepting what was, and what is. It is a powerful surrender to the fact that what has happened cannot be changed.

Forgiveness for others is often encouraged but remember, it is just as important to forgive yourself — for the emotions you feel, the actions you take, the words you say and the choices you make. You deserve your own mercy. Please offer if freely.

Faith

If you have a religion that inspires you, turn to it. If you have spiritual belief that resonates with you, embrace it. If you have an intimate connection to magick, or nature, or energy, or a more practical belief in the intelligence and fortitude of humankind, summon it. As Plato said, “We are twice armed if we fight with faith”.

There can be a purpose, a reason, for any dark experience. Drawing upon faith can either reveal that purpose to you, or help you design one that will carry you forward.

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Gratitude

Gratitude is immensely powerful. If you can find one thing to be grateful for, for just a few seconds, then it is a few seconds that you are not living in the darkness. In those moments of gratitude, your body will respond, your emotions will begin to heal and you will open yourself up to wondrous new solutions and opportunities.

In times of great challenge, you are certainly not expected to be grateful for the “big things”. What is important is the ability to find something to give thanks for in a way that resonates through your entire body with truthfulness and conviction. “I am so grateful I had the self-control not to hit that guy!” or “I am grateful for the pain, for it means I have loved” or “I am grateful that the children are being taken care of and aren’t here to witness this.” There is no judgement on what you are thankful for; your sincere gratitude is what counts.

Vulnerability

Too often, we shy away from vulnerability in our darkest moments because, somehow, it has come to be regarded as the opposite of strength. But the truth is that if you can allow your pain, anguish or suffering to be fully revealed in a safe space, then your experience becomes so much more authentic. This in turn makes your personal insights deeper, your connections with others (and yourself) more truthful and your eventual healing more profound.

Most importantly, being comfortable with your own vulnerability allows you to ask for, and accept, help from the healthiest sources — unconditionally loving friends and family, wise mentors or trusted professionals.

 

c/o ThriveGlobal

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Love Thoughts

We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. I think it’s easy when you’re young, you hope that this person or that person will be the right one, the one you are going to love forever, but this is almost NEVER the case, usually because you wish something up so much in your head that you turn it into something it’s not. The first guy I ever loved was someone I knew in the seventh grade. We talked about boating and spending the summers on Lake Erie; he was my first ‘real’ kiss. The last guy I love will be someone I maybe haven’t even met yet.  324444-love-ballons

All of these loves count. Then there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. They are the ones that will tear your heart apart and they are the ones that will put it back together. They are the ones who change you with each of their encounters. I feel like I’m in the middle of one of these loves now. This love is changing my life every day, it’s changing my perspective sometimes for the better. This love is teaching me patience and tolerance. This love is testing every last nerve I have and makes me feel like I’m going insane.

Then there’s one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes the definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but this person is the end all, be all to how you love and view love and accept love. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you want love to be, the person who defines your understanding of love and they are inherently different from anyone else. They’re often the person you happen to meet and in your first encounter you know you really want to love that person. They are the one you will spend the rest of your life, controlled by how you feel about everyone else. The person that you never stop wondering about long after they are gone.

Welcome to the Mess

Welcome to the mess…. Or better yet… MY MESS. This constant whirlwind of chaos and uncertainty.

I’m sure you’re ready to click off this page already, but hopefully you’ll stick around. I promise it’ll get more interesting…  

I am starting this as something therapeutic; an outlet to my mental chaos, but to do that, I should probably tell you a bit about myself. I’m Lo, full time working, mommy to the most AMAZING little boy, (yes, I know I’m bias), I’m a full-time partner, friend, daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, aunt… and a full-time mess. I live in the most beautiful mess anyone could ask for.

Not unlike most people, we have our struggles. Relationships, parenting, working full-time…. That shit is HARD.  I’m not here to sugar coat it or try to convince you otherwise… I just want a place to vent it out and hopefully, you find some solace in the fact that you aren’t alone, even if you feel like you’re the only one out there going through whatever life is throwing at you.

Back in the day, I wrote and maintained a successful blog. This was back when I thought I had a lot to say and in reality, someone should’ve told me to go sit down somewhere and just shut up. To be honest, I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what I was talking about. I’m hoping this turns out differently. While I try my best these days to maintain a positive outlook and “stay on the high road” way of thinking, I’m not perfect by any means. I drop the F-bomb like it’s going out of style, and some days I have no patience and I yell at my kid. Some days my house is a disaster and the laundry is piled up and the only thing on my agenda is sitting on the couch…  and no fucks are given…. AT ALL.

I have a pretty tumultuous relationship with the father of my son. While I feel in my heart of hearts that he is probably the love of my life… The man drives me fucking crazy on a regular basis. He is the MOST AMAZING Father to our son and to his daughter. Are parenting styles are COMPLETELY different, I’m super structured and he’s totally not. I like schedules and he just goes with the flow. I like order and he leaves everything everywhere. I think this is on purpose most times, like a mind game he likes to play with me to see how far he’ll push me before I completely snap, just so he can call me crazy. I’m on to him though.

Let’s all just be honest with ourselves for a moment, we’re all just trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can, and none of us really has any clue what the fuck we’re doing and that is OKAY!!!! Take this journey with me while I try to navigate motherhood, working, being healthier and just LIFE. Let’s face it, aren’t we all just a little bit of a hot mess, we all need a strong cocktail once in a while and someone to vent all our mommy-hood BS to. Xo – LoPresentation1