4 Important Lessons You Learn Through Difficult Times, by MAURA HUGHES

While difficult times can feel like a deep dark hole that we can’t escape and we often wonder “Why is this happening to me?”, there is a silver lining to tough times. It’s through the difficult times in our life, that we are able to grow. It’s when we are tested that we are able to rise, push through and come out the other side stronger, braver and bet

No one wants to struggle. No one wants to even admit their struggling. We all want to have Photoshopped versions of our own lives that fit perfectly into an Instagram square. But life does not work like that. Every one of us will be faced with a variety of tough times in their life. It is one of the few things we can really count on.

The truth is, there are some important lessons in life that we are only taught through difficult times and they can become the silver lining to the darkness.

1. Who your real friends are.

It’s an unfortunate and often time brutal truth to learn that someone we once thought would be there no matter can’t be counted on. Difficult times have a unique way of trimming off the fat in our lives. If someone does not truly care, they will not make the effort to be there. End of story. The realization that someone you love doesn’t make you a priority can knock you off your feet but it will save you time and energy that would have been spent trying to be there for them in the future. Eventually, you will learn who really matters, you will be grateful for them and you will have cleared out some emotional space for someone who will be there for you, through thick and thin.

2. The depth of your strength.

“It builds character,” was my mom’s favorite response to any complaint I had growing up. As annoying as that line was, it is true. Nothing builds our strength like surviving difficulty. Nothing forces us to leverage what we have, dig deep and come up with every ounce of integrity, patience and strength like a hard time. When you survive something, your internal scoreboard registers it. Imagine as if your internal synapses are pushing an extra win into your win/loss column and the next time you go into battle, your will take an inventory of what your winning record is and bulk up your confidence that you can survive and thrive, no matter what you are facing.

3. What really matters in life. 

Difficult times tend to turn our worlds upside down and anything that is nailed down to the floor will go flying. Sometimes it’s comforting to know what actually does stick, what is still hanging in there after the world goes awry. Because when we’re right side up again, we’ll be able to look a little more closely at those things, take a bit better care of them and love them even more for being unmovable. Most of us spend most of our days worrying about everything but what we should be worrying about. But after a difficult time, we’re less likely to worry as much about the little things and focusing on those unmovable pieces in our life that really matter.

4. How to be grateful. 

Difficult times leave us with a lasting impression. They alter us and change the way we view our lives. We have learned who and what matters in our life and undoubtedly we have a greater appreciation for them. Surviving hardship gives us a broader perspective on what hardship really is. You will look back on the things you use to complain about and be thankful they are your only worries. After we have survived a difficult time, we are given a deep gratitude for our life.

Difficult times will happen. To find the light, we have to go through the darkness and while you’re in the midst of it, try to take a deep breath and remember that the lessons you are learning will shift your view of life. You will learn what matters, who matters, how strong you are and how lucky you are to exist. That’s what difficult times teach us and they are some of the most important lessons we can ever learn.

Original Post; http://www.purposefairy.com/80874/4-important-lessons-you-learn-through-difficult-times/

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Catharsis: Steps To Finding Emotional Healing In Trying Times

I sit here, and I start to write about friendships, and quality, and frustrations, and toxic people, and closure and walking way and I find myself frustrated and saddened because that is not what I really want to be writing about.  I want to talk positive things, and get this miserable mess of a feeling off of my chest because it feels like it weighs about 50 lb., and it’s a very heavy load to be carrying around, and there’s another part of me that want’s to say … “nah, not you again.  Could you please stay away today?”

I want to be positive, and write positive, but lately I feel like I have just been smacked back and forth, and back and forth by the karma gods.  I really am not sure what I have done to deserve this, but then I also remembered reading this quote a while ago which did help to change my perspective.  I try to think of it frequently.
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And so how absolutely fabulous it is, just by changing your perspective, for that one moment, to think that instead of being drowned under water, held underneath life, and struggling in a world that we just cannot manage to keep afloat in, we are being cleansed – refreshed from all of the toxic, negative, chaos that we are just so over whelmed with in our lives.  This is how I choose to think of it today;
ca·thar·tic
adjective
providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.  crying is a cathartic release
I love this word.  Who doesn’t love a word so strong that just by saying it could make you feel as though you have been picked up by the strongest of person, given the greatest of hugs, and made to be felt like you are on top of the world again – exactly where you were longing to be – safe, and taken care of.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is not as simple as just saying a word, though – but here are a few steps that I hope to remind myself to following when I do become overwhelmed next time – as I know I will.  I am human, and I do notice that I do follow a pattern when it comes to emotional hurdles.
Steps To Finding Emotional Healing:
Take Time Alone:
Take some time alone and figure out the emotions that are making you feel negative. Was it a person, situation, feeling.
Let It Go:  
Write, Cry, Scream, Let the emotions out.  Find a way that works for YOU – everyone is different and we all have a different way of dealing with things.  The trick is not to let things internalizing.  Internalizing things is what makes us hurt, and most likely why we are reading this right now.
Let Time Pass:
Sometimes it may take a day, or two, even weeks or months for things to digest.  Some of the things that may be causing you pain can be really heavy situations that you may not even know how to deal with.  Sometimes they are simply easier to deal with than others.  Sometimes we are at different points in our emotional journey which makes dealing with external negatives  at different times in our paths easier on different days than others.
Repeat:
Don’t be too quick to make these things go away.   You have your own rate at how your body digests emotional hurdles, and your time when you are ready to move on to the next chapter in your lives.  Do not put a timeline on things.  Expectations will only frustrate you and bring more stress to an already stressful situation.  Appreciate yourself enough to give yourself the time you need to heal.
Talk to someone you trust, someone with positive energy about things that have hurt you.  Perhaps their perspective, and guidance can bring great insight to the situation.  Sometimes just speaking out loud about the situation will help to ease the pain.

10 Reasons Why Losing Your Sh*t Will Make Your Life Come Together

Being optimistic in life is a beautiful thing, but just like your weekend Fireball shots, it works best in moderation.

Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, we play the roles of happy, positive, outgoing people, who don’t get fazed by life’s occasional sh*ttiness.

We pretend every challenge is a non-existent ploy to throw us off of our games, and we continue keeping our heads well above the water. Well, sometimes, the best thing to do is let ourselves sink.

10. Your breaking point is your solo journey. No outside feedback allowed.

What happens to you when you break down is your own journey, and if part of that journey is hung up on what other people think and advise, you need to walk away immediately and shut the door.

Our entire lives are based on outside feedback and contributions that were never truly welcome in the first place. Why let someone else’s opinions dictate your life, especially now?

When you feel like you’ve reached a breaking point, something beautiful happens: You begin to listen to yourself, your own truth and your own suffering — that’s where healing begins.


9. Giving yourself time first is never a selfish act.

Losing your sh*t forces you to detach from things and people who no longer serve you. Disconnecting becomes that much easier because you’re finally thinking about yourself, and you don’t feel one bit selfish.

Hold on to that feeling. Taking care of yourself, for the first time in a long time, is the best thing you can give yourself. Don’t apologize for it.


8. Don’t cover up your sadness with an even sadder version of happiness.

Throw optimism out. If you feel like sh*t, admit it. Don’t walk around on eggshells. What are you protecting yourself from?

Yes, sometimes everything sucks. To try and justify that with a lame excuse or cover it up and remain positive is to push that restless feeling even further down. Sit with it. Let it sink in, and understand it’s all happening for a reason.


7. Don’t apologize.

You’re not broken; you’re simply out of order. Don’t apologize for that.

We’re not machines that keep going no matter what. We have feelings, emotions, problems and thoughts that sometimes spiral out of control. We need time to reevaluate, rethink and regroup. We need time to heal.

There will always be people in your life who expect you to keep moving forward, even when the thought of doing so depresses the hell out of you.

Don’t apologize to them for not living up to their expectations. Take the time you need to figure out if those expectations have any room in your life (they most likely won’t).


6. Remain where you are. There is no due date.

You can go through the motions, but if you’ve reached the point where all you want to do is snuggle up with your dog and cry, then do that! Don’t feel like you have to rush back to this super-important life and live. You are living!

Losing your sh*t is living, and while it might not be fun, it’s damn important. We think if we’re not working, studying, driving or vacationing, we’re not living. Doing nothing is a part of life.

Hitting rock bottom is that cruel part of life that teaches you that all of the working and driving and “living” is nothing compared to what you need to do with your life in this present moment. Just be.


5. Let it out.

Cuss, yell, cry, journal, talk to yourself. When you break down, your heart is full of emotion. Your mind, on the other hand, is full of words. Those words are like anchors that weigh you down to the bottomless pits of crap.

There is no reason in the world why you should hold on to them. When you verbally speak your problems, your body releases tension like you’ve never felt before. It can be incredibly difficult to speak your truth.

There are thoughts in your head you’ve hidden from yourself for years. Confronting them won’t be easy, but speaking them out loud will release you from the prison you think you’re in. It turns out, you’ve had the key to that prison all along.


4. Stop thinking in future time.

There is no better way to make yourself feel even sh*ttier than to try and figure out your future steps. Don’t crowd your mind. What will happen in the future will happen, no matter how hard you try to control it.

When you push yourself to the next step, next goal and next future event, you take yourself out of the present moment. After all, at the end of the day, all you have left is the present.


3. Feel what it feels like to be vulnerable.

From personal experience, feeling vulnerable can be extremely scary. That’s the point. When you’ve hit your low, the layers of pretending start to fall away.

You’re no longer the strong, independent, logical person you once were. You’re now an emotionally-overwhelmed puddle of tears who has no strength or desire to please anyone else but yourself.

Being vulnerable means being open, honest and exposed. It means not holding on to any preconceived notion of what you think you should be and, most importantly, not giving a flying f*ck about what anyone else thinks of you.


2. Believe that even this happens for a beautiful reason.

Nothing is accidental. When you think you’ve lost everything you’ve known, you somehow gain something you never knew you needed.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in concerns and worries, but to have faith in the bigger picture means you’re willing to surrender your sorrows because you’ve done the best you can.


1. Find beauty in the breakdown.

It’s there. It always is. It’s not about replacing sadness with happiness. It’s about acknowledging and welcoming the sadness because you’re human and it’s f*cking okay to not be okay sometimes.

Losing control and falling apart can be a true blessing when you realize we’re not meant to control or stay intact forever. Sometimes, falling apart helps you put the pieces back together in a different order and find peace you didn’t see before.

Original Source;  http://elitedaily.com/life/10-reasons-losing-sht-will-make-life-come-together/923981/

Eight Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation; A wonderful read by Paula Lenda

feature_image_template28-620x400By Paul Lenda

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

We as human beings have a very strong self-centered aspect (even if it may not be truly ‘real’) of our beings called the ego, and many problems arise when this aspect of the human experience goes uncontrolled. Manipulation has always been a favored tool of the ego in order to get what it wants.

This manipulation can come in either a physical form or it can be seen to work on the emotional level in order to break the psyche into meeting the manipulator’s desires. Properly identifying the ways in which people emotionally manipulate others can save us much suffering in the future when identified early enough.

By protecting ourselves from being manipulated on the emotional level, we are able to free ourselves once and for all from the violation of our universal right of free will. Just as we can shift our consciousness from the state of fear which is often imposed on us by emotional manipulators, we can shift away from any debilitating mind state. The following will be a detailed list of signs to look for in people that are trying to emotionally manipulate others and how to defend against these sinister tactics.

Identifying Emotional Manipulation

You make a statement that is turned around to be used against you in a negative way.
The person will speak with an air of honesty that is in fact a cover for their true intentions. An example would be that you would tell this person something like, “I am really angry that you forgot my birthday.” Their response would be that “it makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday, I should have told you of the great personal stress I am facing at the moment, but you see I didn’t want to trouble you. You are right I should have put all this pain (by this point, persuasive tears may begin to appear in order to give more credence to this manipulation tactic being used) aside and focused on your birthday. Sorry.”

Your intuition may sense that this elaborate apology is not genuine. However, since they said the magic words, you are essentially left with nothing more to say or you will find yourself trying to control their fake anger. When this scenario plays out, do not accept an apology that is as real as their true intentions. If you do accept the apology, you have just been emotionally manipulated! If it does not feel genuine, it probably is not. Do not allow yourself to me emotionally blackmailed because if you do that one time, the emotional manipulator will see that it can be used as a successful method of getting what he or she desires.

The person presents his or herself as a willing helper.
A person that acts as an emotional manipulator plays the part of someone who is willing to help out with any given task. If you ask for their help with something, he or she will be more than willing to agree. If you did not ask for their help, he or she will volunteer to help with any given task. Seeing an offer for help looks like a wonderful thing, but in the mind of an emotional manipulator, this is merely a tactical move in order to fulfill a selfish desire he or she has. If you accept their offer to help, he or she will express their unwillingness to help by letting out several sighs that are loud enough for you to notice, or some other non-verbal signs that let you know they actually do not want to help you with whatever it was they offered to help with.

You will notice this and tell them that it does not seem as if they actually want to help, and this is when he or she begin their main manipulation efforts. He or she will show their great will to help you and that you are being unreasonable. In order to bypass this manipulation, ignore the fake sighs and subtle cues that he or she is unwilling to help. You can also confront the individual directly and deliver an ultimatum (albeit in a civil manner).

They say something but later assure you that they did not say it at all.
This is one tactic that you can see being used in many aspects of society, perhaps the political sphere being the greatest user of this. If you constantly feel like there may be something wrong with your memory recall because you remember one thing and the emotional manipulator “remembers” another, then be cautious. Those who have mastered the “art” of emotional manipulation are experts in justifying their actions, turning things around against you, and rationalizing situations.

It is as if they have graduated The University of Lying and are incredibly skilled in passing off even the most ridiculous lie without giving any hints that he or she is being deceitful. They can be expert persuaders to the point that you begin to question your own memories and sanity. To combat this technique by the emotional manipulator, keeping a log of what he or she says is a good start to having definitive proof that he or she is lying right in your face. It does not matter how you go about doing this. It can be in the form of having another person with you when the manipulator is saying whatever it is they are saying, writing it down, recording it, etc.

They put you in a guilt trip.
Emotional manipulators are experts in the craft of guilt-tripping. They have the ability to make you feel guilty either for not speaking up, for speaking up, for not showing enough emotion, for showing too much emotion, for not giving and/or caring enough, and for giving and/or caring too much. There are no lines that the emotional manipulator will not cross in order to put you in a guilt trip. This person will very rarely exhibit any real needs or desires he or she has. Instead, emotional manipulation is the game they play in order to get these needs and desires satisfied. Combined with guilt, sympathy is a very powerful tool to manipulate your emotions.

The emotional manipulator is excellent at playing the victim. They stir up your will to support, care, and nurture them. These individuals very rarely do their own dirty work, so to speak. They are able to make you do it for them and when you do (through indirect means) they will say that they never expected or wanted you to do anything at all. Do not worry, you are not losing your sanity! Make it abundantly clear to them that you are not going to do their dirty work, which can be said by saying “I am fully confident in your ability to work this out on your own.”

They are indirect.
By taking the passive-aggressive route, emotional manipulators are able to deal with things indirectly. Actions in this category include talking behind your back, getting others to say to you what they would not say themselves, and finding subtle ways of letting you know they are unhappy. They will tell you things that you want to hear, but then do something to undermine that. An example of this would be if the manipulator says that “of course I want you to go back to school baby and you know I will always support you.” Fast forward to a night where you are either studying for an exam or perhaps finishing a project for work and your children (if you have some, that is) are throwing temper tantrums, the television’s volume is set really high, and your pets need taking care of – all the while “honey” is sitting on the couch looking at you blankly.

If you were to call them out on this, they will likely say something like “well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam or have to finish a project for work can you dear?” This is a difficult one to deal with, and if an emotional manipulator pulls this one, the choices for response are very limited…even as much that I do not have an adequate method to combat this besides getting this person out of your life.

They always seem to have it worse than you.
This tactic is pretty straight-forward. No matter what problems you may have in your life, the emotional manipulator always has problems worse than you. They shift focus from your problems to their supposed problems (which almost never exist in the way they claim they do).

If you sense that they are not being genuine and are just trying to shift the focus of the conversation on themselves in order to satisfy an egoistic desire, they will display feelings of being deeply hurt and will call you selfish. Yes, they will call you selfish, when in reality it is they who are selfish. Every day is Opposite Day for this emotional manipulator. It is difficult to combat this, because it is difficult to prove that you are not trying to be in the spotlight, so to speak. However, a clear and effective solution is to simply trust your intuition on their genuineness and walk away.

They are able to lower the positive energy of others around them.
Given the interconnected nature of human consciousness, everyone affects everyone else. This reality is able to both benefit and hurt us. If an emotional manipulator is in a room with others who are feeling fairly content and positive, the manipulators’ low level of consciousness will negatively impact all the others around his or herself. If they are angry or sad, others will begin to feel these emotions creep up into their consciousness and bring them down.

The instinctual result of this is that others will try to bring the energy level back up by trying to make the emotional manipulator feel better. By staying around such a person for a long period of time, you will find yourself exhausted with always trying to bring them back up to the positive end of the emotional spectrum and become burnt out.

They have no sense of accountability.
Emotional manipulators do not take responsibility for their own actions. They always turn around a situation to see what others have done to them. An easy way to identify an emotional manipulator using this tactic is to see if he or she attempts to establish intimacy via the early sharing of what is considered very personal information that is the kind that makes you feel sorry for them.

You may at first feel that this individual is very sensitive, emotionally open, and perhaps even a little vulnerable. This is precisely how they want you to perceive their actions. Emotional manipulators have emboldened their ego to such great heights that they practically never feel vulnerable. The best way to combat this tactic is to identify it early on and cease giving these individuals an audience.

Free Yourself
Every one of us is bound to come across an emotional manipulator sooner or later. By understanding how they operate and what tactics they use on others, we can be well prepared for their attempts at using us for their own egoistic desires and can prevent much pain, sometimes even a lifetime’s worth. Spread awareness to others by educating them on emotional manipulation and with our collective efforts, we will no longer fall for their tricks.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: When Stress Takes Over

stress

Stress is a natural response to everyday life.  Reactions that come from our body in times of threat, or life challenges.  Our nervous system is triggered and produces the hormone, cortisol, during these times which gives us the sensation of “fight or flight”.

Stress can come in all shapes and forms.  It could be in the form of running late for an appointment, or as horrible as the loss of a loved one … and all of the in between scenario’s that one can think of.  Stress is unavoidable and is a part of our day-to-day life.

What is important to realize is that our bodies need a “release” of these stress factors in order to maintain a healthy, and positive energy.  A release of stress is healthy in order to avoid it from compounding and becoming a hinderance to your healthy.

 

It’s not the stress that’s killing us, it’s what we do with that stress that is killing us ~ unknown

 

 Common Unhealthy Ways We Deal With Stress:

  • Overeat
  • Oversleep
  • Act out in Anger
  • Neglect loved ones
  • Become reckless with money
  • Ignore it
  • Smoke/drink
  • Take Pills
  • Procrastinate

 Effects Of Stress:

  • Irritability
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Easily angered or frustrated
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Problems with memory
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Rapid heartbeat

  Healthy Ways To Face Stress Head On…

1.  Breathe

Simple as it sounds, oxygen actually dissipates the excess cortisol running through our system.

2. Listen to Music

Music triggers an emotional state in us depending on what memory or sensation we attach to it. Try listening to music that is soothing and peaceful for you.

3. Laughter

Spend time with people who bring joy and humor into your life. Laughter is contagious!

4.  Roll it out

Stress gets lodged deep into our fascia which turns into rough scar tissue welcoming pain and disease to the body. Pick up a foam roller at your local sports store, your body will thank you.

5.  Seek Touch

Snuggle up with a loved one, practice gentle massage, or just hold hands. Allow yourself to feel good.

6.  Aromatherapy

Calm your nerves by adding a few drops of lavender or lemon balm to your bath water or pillow case. Essential oils have proven healing qualities to them.

7.  Be Natural

Get in touch with nature; feel the grass between your toes, pick flowers, or breathe fresh air. Nature is very soothing and can defuse tension.

 The reason that these techniques can be useful is because they bring us up to the present moment rather than dwelling on the stressors that caused us to feel anxious and overwhelmed.  If we practice these things on a regular basis, and not when we are simply feeling negative effects, we offset the negative energy with he positive energy we are trying to instill in ourselves.  We create a harmony which allows us to think in a clear fashion.