There are times in life when it can all feel like too much. We’ve all experienced it at some point. These things are, unfortunately, part and parcel of the human experience. But what these moments can teach us, if we let them, is the feat of emotional strength.
I’ve written about positive psychology and our ability to develop emotional resilience. It’s a skill we can develop over the course of our lives. When traumatic incidents occur, we can dip into the well of resilience and muster up the strength to continue.
When we hit the rough moments, how can we take solace from these occurrences to keep us going?
All Things Must Pass…
It is so difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when they have experienced a loss. I recently read the story of someone whose friend lost their four-month-old baby the week before Christmas.
That’s the sort of pain that not only devastates a parent, but all those who hear of such a tragic event. The author, naturally, thought of losing their own son, who was just a few months older than the baby who passed. Many of the grieving parents’ friends and family had not even had a chance to meet the baby before he was taken away.
The worst thing about it for the parents was there was no easily-discernible reason for his passing, such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The postmortem came up inconclusive. No rhyme or reason.
The baby’s uncle took it upon himself to console the parents. He was wise enough to know that time can lessen the rawness of emotional wounds, but also wise because he knew better than to say that to the parents.
Even though “life goes on,” you must allow people to grieve at their own pace. Reassure them that you will be there for them as a source of support. Then follow through with that promise.
At some point, those in pain indeed begin to surface from the depths of grief. When they do, be sure to be there as promised, to reinforce the fact that there is a path forward.
You’ve Got A Friend…
Friendship is an overstated expression in the age of Facebook. We have “friends,” but we question whether we can rely on them in times of need.
The bottom line is, be sure to invest time in true friendships. If you do the work to be a friend to others and cultivate relationships, you will have that support system. Then, regardless of how alone you may feel, there is some kind of support ready for you.
Beyond our interpersonal relationships, there are relative strangers we can rely on in times of crisis. Sometimes we have to be reminded in this age of media-induced mistrust that there are many whose job it is to help. These can be grief counselors, suicide hotline workers, or even the people who provide missing child help.
When in doubt, remember there is always help. You just need to reach out for it. A friend, whether old or new, is always closer than you think.
Understanding the measure of support you have, from others and from within yourself, is something we don’t always acknowledge. But it’s a strength that is there, nonetheless. Unfortunately, it often takes a bad experience in life to make us realize it.
The things we experience in life are what make us grow and heal. The more we actually let ourselves live life, the more we gain valuable perspective. So get out there and live!
A version of this post was previously published on livethehero.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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