If you are going through a very intense, tough time in your life, please read on. If life is OK for you at the moment, great, and maybe this insightful tip will come in handy in the future just when you need it – so put it in your back pocket for later.
Maybe ‘tough time’ means that your parent is sick and in the hospital, and you are trying to advocate for him/her by dealing with the healthcare system, or you are going through a health scare yourself, or something awful is going on at work that is driving you crazy, or you are going through a terrible break-up . Whatever the emotional roller coaster you happen to be on, it likely feels the world is handing you a raw deal and you wish it would just stop. Talking with a confidant helps but you still feel like the world is beating you up.
A few years ago, when I was going through a cancer diagnosis at the same time as my father’s major heart attack and him saying good-bye to our family as he believed he wouldn’t make it (which he did, thankfully), and caring for my mom through all of this, a friend said something extremely curious and insightful to me:
“Wendy, what do you want your experience to be through all this?”
At first, this question doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, what did she mean what experience did I want to have? All of these things were happening to me.
After spending time contemplating this question, the light came on and it made sense to me. Here is what the question meant to me:
- being self-aware about my own reaction to what I was going through
- realizing that I had a choice in how I experience these events
- letting myself take a step back, to observe how I will journey through this time
And the experience I chose for my situation was:
- that I wanted to do what I could to help my parents, and accept what I had no control over
- that I would actively take control of my cancer diagnosis, be at peace in the choices I would make, and do what I could to improve my chances
- to stay grounded, which meditation helped me do
This is about putting your attention on your intention; living through tough times with intention rather than feeling out of control and a victim.
Does this make sense to you? If so, perhaps it would be helpful for you to think about your life right now. Taking a moment to pause, and think about What experience you want through this time.
I hope this helps someone out there. It’s a piece of advice I offer to people going through a tough time, and it’s usually met with deep emotion as the light turns on when they ‘get’ what this could mean to them.