Let’s be honest, everyone knows how to thrive during the good times. But it’s the tough times in life that separates the person who possesses inner strength from the one who merely pretends.
Strength of character is not made of sunshine and roses. Like steel, strength of character is forged in fire. As humans though we are so concerned with what makes us feel good that we forget what makes us great. The truth is that the tough times in life force us to develop strength within we never knew existed.
Knowing how to handle adversity when it comes is a valuable skill. Here are skills to propel you through the journey of your dark night:
1. Detach from your situation
Detach yourself from your misery for just one moment and ask yourself “What is the worst thing that can happen?” If you can successfully detach, you will see with complete clarity the real nature of the situation and the proper course of action will shine forth. Otherwise you will be blinded by your emotions and you will not see the opportunity within to turn the crisis around.
2. Vent out your agony and grief
Express the painful emotions you are feeling – don’t try to suppress them as this will intensify your stress. Do not completely sink into passivity and hopelessness though. If you find it difficult to express your pain, use evocative music to release your repressed feelings. The evocative music will also help promote a state of inner peace and serenity.
3. Get in touch with your Higher Power
Pray or meditate to obtain assistance to deal with the adversity your suffering. The purpose of this process is to develop trust and belief in your Higher Power [what has traditionally been called “faith in God”]. The key to getting in touch with God, is to unburden yourself by relinquishing [giving up] some of your control of the situation and exercise a willingness to trust. As Ghandi said “divine guidance comes when the horizon is the blackest.”
4. Keep your pain private
During the crisis, don’t let outsiders in on your personal miseries. Choose only the most trusted and closest people to support and guide you. Bear in mind that not all friends and relatives have the desire or heart to help you when you’re down. To those who have contributed to and caused your crisis, don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing they have the power to hurt you.
5. Let the dark night pass
After you have done what is humanly possible to overcome your situation and it brings you to no avail – brace yourself with the spirit of endurance - let the dark night pass. Give up struggling and to stop trying to correct the situation. Endure by enduring. Endurance is never an easy task, but it’s essential to overcoming dark times. Constantly affirm to yourself “This too shall pass, remembering that dark moments don’t last forever.