Life challenges present us with anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt and anxiety. They also present us with opportunity, learnings and health and happiness. It’s during the first part of challenges we are more inclined towards ‘giving up’.
These challenges are anything in life and we’re not talking new year resolutions here. Bereavement for example is a challenge we all face at some time in our life. The impact on us, leaves an individual journey of healing. At first we live for the people still living, then when we start to understand that physical life is not forever; it can be like a pillar within us collapses. The bereavement takes us on a journey of rebuilding this pillar, making us emotionally stronger.
Bereavement is also not just about physical end of life, it can also be the end of life as we are used to it. We can become bereaved through moving home or location, divorce; through all stages of parenting; redundancy or retirement, from illness and ageing; anything where we are left grieving the loss of what was.
These life events create change. I’m not sure we ever get used to change, however as we allow ourselves to accept change, we become better each time. Just go back to the pillar and imagine each time a life event has challenged you, a chip in the pillar appears. Each chip a different size, creating different depths of weakness in the pillar. As the pillar weakens over time, we physically, mentally and emotionally start to feel this.
This is the time when we have the opportunity to repair deep within the pillar and regain our inner strength. Some of you, like me, might wait until a life challenge happens and the pillar crumbles, and all that is left is to rebuild it. As I’ve been there, I highly recommend taking action and reaching out for support, as soon as the cracks start to appear to you. The more strength you have, the more tools you will have to support you with future challenges.
Rebuilding or deep restoration work of your pillar can come in many ways. Let’s go back to; “at first we live for the people still living.”
What about living for YOU?
What if the strength of that pillar only comes from within you?
What would you do first to start the rebuild and restoration work?
I ask these questions above, because only you have the answers. It’s not comfortable for many of us to say we are living life for ourselves. What if this was living for ourselves which meant everyone and everything we loved being with and doing? Often when we are bereaved by the loss of someone or something it is because it leaves a space in our life that we don’t know what to do with. We’ve just been living for people and things around us. We’ve stopped living for life within us.
New Life Challenges
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The size of the step or challenge is completely down to what you can realistically with your time, experience and resources achieve. Why push yourself so hard to not achieve. Take small steps first. Your confidence will grow with each step. Then you’ll take a bigger step. Remembering your next step will be another’s leap. Life challenges are about what you require to help you grow and develop, becoming stronger so you can help others too. Taking the time to rebuild or restore is not stopping loving or caring about anyone else; it’s about loving and caring for them even more, because You are You and stronger than before.
As you embrace this New Year, think about:
What you like doing and whether you have been doing these things or spending time with people you want to?
What would you like to do more of?
What life challenge(s) or intention(s) could you set for this year to help you focus on being more of you?
Everyone has their own pillar and their life challenges will be different. They might be bigger leaps to you or perhaps learnings you already have. What you can do is offer support as someone will help inspire and support you. Who knows you might meet some new friends too.
Emma Lannigan is the author and founder of belifehappy: give, play, love, learn a philosophy for finding happiness for a lifetime. Emma hosts workshops and talks and offers private 1-1 coaching sessions from her home in Market Deeping, Lincolnshire and via Skype. After the sudden death of her father 10 years ago, Emma retrained and focused her work to holistically support others reconnect, recharge and empower their life and their business through marketing mentoring and empowering coaching, reiki and holistic massage. Contact Emma here.