Dealing Through Our Difficulties

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The famous cowboy and entertainer, Will Rogers, is known for saying “the best way out of a difficulty is through It.” But why is moving through something difficult in our lives the best way? Isn’t going around it or under it better? Or better yet, isn’t just ignoring it the best way to go? Unfortunately, these ways of “dealing” with difficult things in our lives is far too often the easier and much more traveled route. We’re often too tired or we’re feeling too ill-equipped to deal through our problems. “What does that even mean”, we might ask.”

Before we answer the question “why” that is still hanging there, let’s first clarify what difficulties can consist of. Difficulties can be anything unwanted or negative in our life. It can be something happening around us, to us, and even in us. We may be completely innocent of wrong-doing (or at least think we are) or may have really screwed up BIG time. The difficulty may be a challenging relationship, or unbearable work stress and pressure. Maybe your emotions are all over the place, from feeling angry and irritable one moment to feeling withdrawn and unmotivated the next. And maybe you have no idea what could be causing it!

“The best way out of a difficulty is through It.”

Whatever difficulties you (or someone you love) may be dealing with, there are a number of opinions and strategies out there, many of which can be helpful, or at least seem to be helpful, depending on our situation. Some of these can include various coping strategies to take our minds off the situation. We may go for walks, focus more on our work, take up a new hobby, or spend more time with friends, all of which are good practices and can be quite helpful to us…ESPECIALLY if these coping strategies are to help you have the margin and ability to try to deal through your difficulty. Finding ways to help decrease our stress levels or anxiety is a good thing but becomes a great thing when it leads to increased capacity to look for and deal with the root of the issue you’re experiencing (this finally answers the question from above).

Avoiding the pain and discomfort that comes from difficulties robs us of the opportunity to experience how accepting aspects of our pain and discomfort is both counter-intuitive and exactly what we need!

Acceptance is something I’ve spoken of before and will speak of again. When we choose to try to accept the unwanted and negative difficulties in and around our lives, we build our capacity and become more resilient and powerful! And this is what can truly decrease our levels of stress, anxiety, and feelings associated with depression.

Acceptance is the key to dealing through our difficulties.

Acceptance has a lot to do with our expectations. Do things have to be going relatively well for you to feel contentment and peace? Acceptance allows us to grow in our ability to feel, think, and act in ways that are honest, open, and kind to ourselves, and to those around us too. Acceptance helps us to be able to say, “this is hard, but no matter what, I will be ok, and I will continue to grow.” If this is a new concept to you, ask your counselor to help you become more accepting in how to deal through your difficulties.

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