I may have been known to include in the right discussions, how we have become a death-denying and grief-phobic society. It is probably the result of doing whatever we can, from as early as possible, to minimise discomfort and eliminate pain.
Please understand the context. I am not about prolonging pain but there is a lot to be learned by getting a little more comfortable with some of life’s uncomfortableness.
When bad things happen, and with the best of intentions, we want people to feel better.
Check out this excellent 3 min video by Brene Brown on empathy.
We use phrases like ‘be strong’, ‘don’t cry’ or ‘try not to think about it’. We start sentences with ‘at least…’. In the grief space, I think this is more about making us feel less awkward than actually helping the one who is grieving. But let’s be honest, no one enjoys sitting next to a person who is bawling.
So, our child falls off their bike and we run to their rescue. With the best of intentions, helicopter parents micro-manage their children’s every move and we don’t do them any favours by attaching training wheels to almost every area of their life.
So why should we embrace adversity?
Because there is a direct correlation between how we learn to navigate challenges in our early years and the levels of entitlement and pain experienced as we get older.
In essence by avoiding discomfort, we risk creating entire generations of fragile, unempowered adults with low self-esteem.
The best way to build resilience, self-confidence, and inner strength is by facing and navigating life’s adversities. Learning how to manage obstacles is the foundation for how we cope in tough times. With each challenge, we can better equip ourselves to manage the next one. It’s all about learning how to bounce when it feels like we might easily break.
What if adversity, fair competition, and loss, along with all its discomfort were championed, especially in the early years of life?
Coming 1st and coming 18th are not the same so why are they treated as such?
How do we encourage improvement, personal development, self-awareness, and higher achievement without learning how to move through difficult circumstances through personal experience?
There is so much to be learned from what we perceive as failures, missed opportunities, and losses if we just take the time to sit with them for a bit and reflect.
For those who grew up in the ‘80’s, you might remember being told if you didn’t succeed in life, (whatever that meant), you would end up being the next garbage collector. Shout out to all the garbage collectors out there!
In the grief space, nothing teaches us more about the value of life and time, and the power of love than death does. Yet, there are not too many out there who haven’t entered the hole of blame and what ifs at one point or another.
There’s nothing wrong with being angry, sometimes the situation calls for strong emotions – but who or what are you angry about?
Are you drinking the poison and expecting someone else to die?
Run to the roar. Face your challenges and go through the process of reflecting, accepting, and finding a way through. Take heart in knowing that in 99% of cases, there is someone else who has walked the path before you.
How will you know if you can make it or not until you’re on the other side?
Don’t you want to find out how awesome you really are?
Life never throws at you more than you can handle and trust me when I say,
You are stronger than you think!
Dalya xx 💙