When things are going well, it is easy to remain optimistic. We need only look around to observe the good in our lives. The challenge is remaining positive during difficult times, finding meaning in life’s obstacles. When we are faced with hardships, it is easy to become overwhelmed and question, “Why me?” or “What have I done to deserve this?” But what if there is something valuable to be gained in these challenging times? What if hardships provide us with invaluable lessons that make us stronger, wiser, and enable us to grow emotionally and spiritually? Often, perceived mistakes become our biggest blessings and a difficult situation our greatest opportunity for growth.
The question then becomes, “How do I keep the faith during challenging times?” “How do I trust that perceived mistakes can be blessings in disguise?” An important first step is believing there is a greater order and purpose to life than we see in the present moment, having faith in a higher power, and trusting that the universe or God can help us make peace with difficult times. Believing there is an ebb and flow to life can help us appreciate the “good” and the “bad” and see the value in both. A second step we can take is practicing self-care. When we are feeling down, we often turn to comfort foods and neglect our workout program when this is precisely the time we would benefit the most from looking after ourselves. Make sure you are getting adequate rest and exercise and eating a healthy diet; your body needs the extra care and love. Lastly, adopting a mindset of gratitude can be transformative. It shifts our focus from what has gone wrong to everything that is going right. If we expand our definition of gratitude, we may find ourselves becoming grateful for life’s challenges.
If you are able to keep the faith during difficult times, you will be able to look back on your life and appreciate the lessons, and even the many blessings, that are present in all your experiences. Perhaps losing your job encouraged you to start your own business and pursue what you are passionate about. The loss of a relationship led you to look within and learn more about yourself and what you want from life. The death of a loved one led you to explore your spiritual beliefs and come to an understanding that we are more than our physical bodies.
In order to receive these important life lessons, we must be open-minded, not get so wrapped up in our current situation that we fail to see the possibilities that surround us, challenge our definition of what it means to live a meaningful life, and understand that within every experience there is a life transforming lesson we can choose to receive.