Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. It’s not always easy to be mindful that we actually do have a choice, especially when the downward track of the coaster causes us to feel pain inside. But the reality is that we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our destiny.
The following are few of the heart-stirring insights of the Integrity classes:
Pain is inevitable for growth
A lot of us tend to see pain as a negative experience and it is our desire to avoid pain as much as possible, and understandably so. But unfortunately, pain is an inevitable consequence of life and we have to deal with whether we like it or not. When it eventually befalls us, we should try as much as possible to turn it into a positive experience. ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Understanding the positive aspects of experiencing pain can help us do this better.
“Feel the pain till it hurts no more.” – William Shakespeare
Well for one, there is strength that we gain from pain once it has subsided. Once the initial shock of the pain has passed we are able to see what we have learned from it and how it has made us a more resilient individual. For example, when we have fallen sick don’t our eyes suddenly open up to all the blessings we have before us? Don’t we suddenly realize what all the important things in life are?
That was just but an example of how pain can have a positive result. Physical pain, however, can always go away, unlike emotional/mental pain, which may linger for a lifetime if not handled correctly.
Every time we encounter pain, we carry with us a memory of the experience. These memories in turn act as lessons that enable us to better handle any similar occurrences in the future. We are able to apply what we have learned in the future.
“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.” ~Unknown
Cherish the present moment
Living in the present moment is crucial to success, by being aware of the here and now we will live a better life. Many people allow their mind to dwell in the past or worry about the future and they forget to live now, enjoy the moment, be present, be appreciative and grateful for life. We should have faith that everything will turn out to be the best. Indeed, we have to make an informed choice to live in the present always.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
A success doesn’t mean the accomplishment of any task; it is about working hard, overcoming the external forces and making sacrifices. Overcoming the power of our own mind is another vital factor.
A negative mindset or attitude that makes us believe that something is impossible would work only against us in the long run. It does nothing than to pull us back while we are trying to move ahead. If we have faith in our abilities, we will try again and again until we achieve it. The belief won’t let us slow down and rest until we taste the success.
Follow a no-lose model when making decisions
A big barrier to being able to feel fear and do it anyway, is people’s difficulty in making decisions. Our need to be perfect and to control the outcome of events, keep us petrified when considering making a change in our lives.
The trick is to follow a no-lose model when making decisions. Typically, when faced with a decision, we are trained to follow a no-win model. We think about the decisions that need to be made and obsess about the “what if’s” and even after the decision has been made, we obsess over the possibility that we’ve made a mistake.
A no-lose model, on the other hand, is based on the understanding that whatever path we choose will have benefits. Whether it’s opportunities to experience life in a new way; or to understand something new about ourself; or to learn and grow, there will always be things to gain no matter what choice we make. Whatever happens as a result of our decision, we’ll handle it!
Accept things gracefully
One of the most valuable lessons in learning how to diminish fear is to say ‘YES’ to the universe. It means to accept the things that happen in our lives; letting go of our resistance when things don’t work out the way we wanted them to; and calmly surveying situations from a place of relaxation as opposed to upset and anxiety.
We can’t control the world, but we can control our reactions to it. Saying yes means getting up and acting on our belief that we can create meaning and purpose in whatever life hands us.
Challenge our perspective
One way to handle pain is to change our perspective of it. Life isn’t always going to be on a downward spiral. When it is, we can find ways to focus on the positive instead of the negative. Perspective plays a key role in acceptance.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ― Albert Einstein
When we consider that mistakes are an integral part of living. We are not going to succeed in everything we attempt in life. In fact, the more things we do in life, the more chances are there to be unsuccessful in some things. Look at how rich our life can be, however, from our experiences. No one is immune to making mistakes – we are human, after all!
Learning to manage our emotions in the proper way allows us to embrace reality, give us strength that will define us, a new, empowered being in the future. When life keeps giving us its toughest blows, it will help to fully experience our emotions. The largest mistake people make is masking their emotions. This is counterproductive and will lead to health problems in the future. When each emotion comes, feel it. Our body will tell us when it’s enough. Let it out and submit to the beginning of a process that will take time to complete. We should never bottle up our emotions and confide them to the people to whom we can lean on. To feel is to be human, embrace it!
Be a lifelong learner
Life is a continuous learning experience. We are lifelong learners. Throughout our lives we keep rising and falling, picking up important lessons along the way. Each experience is a valuable lesson to be learned. If we choose Path A, we will learn one set of lessons. If we choose Path B, we will learn a different set of lessons.
In essence, fear of making mistakes cannot stop us from making decisions. In life don’t worry about making a wrong decision; it’s learning when to correct! Ultimately, if we knew we could handle anything that comes our way then we would have nothing to fear about.
“We have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius