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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Emotional Intelligence: Identifying The Toxic

When I say the word, “toxic” .. what do you think of?  Do you think of chemical explosives, or death causing substances? Fumes that could cause a person to pass out?  Sounds pretty dramatic, right?  The thing with the word “toxic” is this – it is, indeed, as extreme as it sounds.

When we identify with the word “toxic” we think of horrible people, cruel people.  We think of individuals such as evil villains, very obvious dark clouds, or black sheep.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Toxic, in my life, has been the opposite.  Toxic in my world has been ex boyfriends, people whom I once loved and cherished.  Long time and very close friends, people whom I confided my darkest secrets in.  And, ultimately, myself … someone whom I thought I could trust.

Toxic comes in many shapes, and forms in this world and unfortunately we quite often identify whom or what is toxic at a much later stage – usually much too late for our feelings not to have been hurt, tears to have not been shed, or hearts to have not been broken.  Hey, we are all human, let’s not be too hard on ourselves okay 😉

The confusion for me came when I tried to define the meaning of  “what is a good friend”.  When I tried to figure out if I, myself, was a good friend or not.  I used to think that tolerating all situations, and being supportive of individuals – for the good, and the bad – made me a good friend.  Basically ignoring any ill feelings that I may have had, burying any negative feelings deep down inside and keeping that smile on my face.  Years later, when all of the negative caught up with me, I realized that what I was doing all along was being passive, and I had finally came to conclusion that I was doing no favors to myself!  I became bitter, and full of resentment.  These individuals that were toxic did this to me, and I was becoming toxic myself!

What I learned is that I needed to know my values, my morals, my “right” and become confident in the reasons I believed in them.  At that point I was able to stand up and say what I felt was right, or wrong.  My opinion.  I wasn’t being a bad friend by speaking up, I was being a better friend by explaining to them why I felt a certain way.  I was being honest to myself.  I was creating a better me!

There are certain people who are just plain “toxic” … To me, these people are the ones that cannot see past themselves.  They live in a very self-centred world and only see what works for them.  They are usually not empathetic, and if they are it is usually for some ulterior motive.  Toxic people are programmed to live in a very negative world and unfortunately their world IS contagious which is why it is so important to identify who or what it is as soon as you can.

When you think about the life you want to live, the positives and the joys you want to experience on a daily basis you need to remember that there is no room for toxic in this equation.  Loving yourself enough to know that you do not need toxic people in your life is the first step.  Removing yourself from toxic situations is the most amazing thing you can do.  It can be hard as you do not want to always place blame, or point the fingers.  “Telling” someone they are toxic may not be the best way to approach the situation either.  My experience has been that distancing myself from questionable individuals allows me to find the time to focus on the qualities of the friendships/ relationships that I see.  How do they fit into my world. Am I being honest to myself?

What Toxic People Do

  1. They drain you
  2. They are unsupportive
  3. They are up to no good
  4. Their values and interests are opposite to your own
  5. They are unreliable
  6. They only contact you when they need something
  7. They aren’t meeting you halfway
  8. They are jealous of you
  9. They have zero ambition
  10. They constantly drive you to moments of insanity

When you remove toxic people from your life, or yourself from a toxic situation, you are allowing room for other more positive energies to welcome you into their world.  Never feel bad for re-evaluating your friendships/ relationships.  Always find what works for you.

They say that you are a reflection of the five closest people in your life …. when you look at them do you see what you want to be?  Are you proud to say that they are wonderful, positive human beings or do you feel ashamed, resentment, or any negative energies from them?  When you answer those questions with complete honesty you will then be able to file your surroundings into two categories … positive, or “toxic”.  You just need to be truthful with yourself, and the rest will fall into place!

Taking a Stand Against the Toxic

  1. Stop responding to fake crisis calls
  2. Take positive control of negative conversations
  3. Demonstrate that you won’t be insulted or belittled
  4. Be brutally honest

Removal of the Toxic

  1. Stop taking their calls completely.
  2. Firmly tell them you’ve had enough.
  3. Make new friends worth having.