Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Discover Your Power

Challenges are a part of life and come in different forms. Whether hardship is inherited, environmental, at the hands of someone else, or a reflection of our own choices, our responsibility is to grow through challenges instead of allowing challenges to stunt our growth.

In any challenge, we choose how to cope. We don't always exercise our choice intentionally, but the choice remains ours. We can either:
  • dismiss the negative impact of adversity,
  • allow our heartbreak to break us, or
  • do the work and discover our power.
Some hurt is so intense that the only feasible reaction is to halt. Losing a loved one, receiving a life-threatening diagnosis, or experiencing any other emotional trauma can send you into a mental freeze. Often, this is a part of the process. However, there is a massive difference between an immobile phase and an immobile life. As long as you dismiss or ignore how you've been affected by your hurt, you will continue to make decisions influenced by a past that you haven't reconciled.

In order to treat a medical diagnosis, the diagnosis has to be acknowledged to determine a course of action. Similarly, issues that have an emotional impact like neglect, betrayal, abuse, or abandonment must be acknowledged. Acknowledgement does not mean you make room for your hurt to sit at the table of your life so that you can feed it. Acknowledgement means that you recognize the source of your pain, not that you surrender to it.

Maybe you have acknowledged your pain, but you can't get out of that stage. Maybe your heartbreak is breaking you. It's possible that you clutch your history and keep your painful narrative in your face and in the faces of everyone who cares for you. If this is the case, your hurt has become the root of every choice you make and the one thing you want, change, is impossible because you make decisions with your hurt instead of working through it.

The key to not remaining stuck in your pain or the acknowledgement stage is to assess. Determining how hurt has impacted your life
  • through the decisions you make,
  • the people you allow into your life, 
  • and the messages you tell yourself 
leads you to the process of correction and progress. As you work through the assessment phase you practice making good choices and exercising wisdom. It is here that you use adversity to build up your strength instead of tear it down. By doing the work you discover your power and it exists in the same situation that has made you feel powerless.

Is it scary? Absolutely! Will it require a process that may not always feel great? Yes. Is that enough to keep you from doing it? Absolutely not. Consider the alternative. Would you rather make decisions through the lens of fear and avoidance or the lens of clarity and purpose? Would you rather live clutching pain or releasing it? You are absolutely worth the work it takes to reconcile your past and intentionally direct your future. If you are willing to do the work you will discover your power.

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