Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is Your Life A Battleground?

Do you feel like a warrior sometimes? Challenge after challenge confronts you. You feel misunderstood or even feared because of your life circumstances. Each day feels like an uphill battle where you fight to regain a solid footing against the slings and arrows of life.

This is not a unique situation to the widowed, for they are universal feelings. Life can be a battleground, but we also have a choice on how we respond (rather than react) to our circumstances. We can fall victim to them or be victorious over them. It is all in your perception and attitude.

We need to let go of those Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) that can eat us alive – those messages, perhaps, given to us by others that rumble around in our brain and cloud how we look at ourselves.

Clearing your mind and focusing on what you know to be fundamentally true about yourself (and disregarding messages that box you in) gives you the freedom to be your authentic self.

What are some first steps to accomplish this feat?

1. Examine the most prevalent emotion you feel; your biggest problems, and how you present yourself to the world because of these.

2. What effect are the answers to question #1 having on your life?

3. Why do you feel this way? The simple answer might be because my partner died or left me, but try not to make it all about your sudden singleness. Of course, you are sad, lonely, frustrated, etc, but moving forward through loss requires you to take responsibility for your emotions and, if you don’t like the way you feel, to make positive changes.

4. Determine whether you are willing to take the aforementioned responsibility for your feelings or if you have gotten too comfortable having a victim mentality.

5. Figure out concrete ways/options/alternatives to feel better and move forward.

Taking these steps requires the courage to look deep inside and admit your weaknesses and fears. Facing both of these is the first step to overcoming them, for how can we begin to “feel better” if we are not aware of what is truly causing us to feel that way.

Rumi states, "when you eventually see through the veils to how things really are, you will keep saying again and again, this is certainly not like we thought it was!" Tear away those veils you may have erected as a self-protective mechanism so you can face your greatest fears and move through them. Once you allow yourself to take this step, Rumi goes on to say "though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the Truth of who we are."

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