I have written before that in human life crises are inevitable and should be inevitable because crises are the portals and doorways to transformative change. Real change can only happen through a crisis, whether that crisis is soul shattering or passed unnoticed under the guise of stress or just a ‘trough’ along the journey.
I had my own series of good crises in life like most people of course. Every time I came out of a crisis, apart from the obvious sense of rebirth and regeneration, there was always a golden nugget to be had at the end when the stormy clouds have passed away. That golden nugget for me is the lesson we take home that helps us gain better insights about ourselves and add a pinch of wisdom and courage that will guide us from there on. It’s not always easy of course and sometimes it takes more than one crisis to learn the lesson.
I have gathered some thoughts about what in my experience where some simple but crucial lessons I have learnt when in the middle (or at the end) of a crisis. I know for sure that most will resonate with you and some others might serve as a good reminder or confirmation to an already known truth somewhere inside of you. Here they go…
Endurance is the Name of the Game
Endurance is not the same as putting up with hell (although they may be happening at the same time). When things get really hard, endurance is the number one tool in your survival toolkit. It gets you going which is the first thing you should be doing as against stopping, withdrawing or giving up. Also, enduring is not just about putting up a brave face and trying to be OK with whatever life throws at you. It’s about having faith in yourself and that you can see beyond the moment even though very dimly and weakly.
Patience is Key
Patience is one of the most difficult of virtues. When I lost my patience, I lost the game. I lost grace. Yes at time when the challenges are big and pressing you for a quick solution, patience is not something that comes so easy. But together with attitude, patience is one of the keys to magic – real magic. In the face of adversity and calamity, or if under stress and duress, those who keep the patience have always the upper hand.
The Power of Sacrifice
Sacrifice is quite misunderstood at times. Making a sacrifice for some implies losing something or being at loss with something. Sacrifice is more of an act of clarity and exchange – it is an agreement not an act of suffering. Supposedly to sacrifice something means to offer something in return for something else – hence a pact or agreement whether with oneself, another person, a deity, etc. To sacrifice something in the middle of a crisis is like being in a hot air balloon that is diving fast towards the ground and you have to quickly decide which things onboard to throw out in a bid to win back altitude. It means giving away something in exchange to something that will ultimately outweigh it in value. This takes me to the next point.
Letting Go in the Eye of the Storm
Letting go of an attachment, a false identity or a belief can be part of a sacrifice but it could also be, and most of the time it is, a central part of a healing process especially when crises are concerned. Yet, there is always something to let go of, the more self-discovery, healing and self-enquiry you make, the more you uncover new layers of your self that need to be let go of. The opposite of letting go is resistance and it is what creates the storms and the tempests in a crisis. To let go of, is to painfully use your will to move from where you are to the eye of the storm where you will find your centre again and your refuge.
Asking for Help & Giving Help
I was never one to ask for help. Yet one of the most humble and practical lesson I learnt from the most difficult moments is to allow myself to ask for help. Asking for help has an inseparable twin which is giving help. As strange as this may sound, giving help when my strength felt the weakest and my abilities limited was when I felt the miracle of helping most profoundly. That is when you understand that giving help is a healing process for both the giver and the receiver. It is a blessing that gives you back because once you give out, that energy needs to be sourced from somewhere. Those who take and seldom give back are not gaining but depleting from their own source of creative life energy.