Future Beacon

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." -Khalil Gibran

"For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The word resilient according to Webster’s means “able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens." Webster’s also tells us that a cynic is a person who has negative opinions about other people and about the things people do. We want to be encouraged to be resilient in the face of life’s difficulties and not to turn into cynics. Being cynical increases stress. It ramps up the negative thoughts and feelings that lead to an increase in physical as well as emotional stress. Taking a different look at what is happening or what has happened to us is important for our well-being. Looking at things from a more positive perspective, when we are able, allows us to capture a positive feeling in the moment. How we think makes all the difference. This is a significant factor in being resilient and reducing our stress levels. Overcoming rather than being buried by pain is the mission. Being free from bitterness, anger and pessimism is the mission. The mission is not to rehearse the reasons why we “have the right” to be cynical and negative. When we keep thinking that the negatives in our lives are permanent, we virtually put ourselves in a prison of our own making. Becoming and staying cynical diminishes the quality of our lives and our relationships.

However, being resilient is NOT stuffing our feelings down and keeping “a stiff upper lip.” The psychological result is like putting a tarp over a mess so you don’t see it. What we need is to get to work cleaning it up. It is normal to get angry, disappointed, and grief stricken in reaction to horrible events. To be healthy we need to express and process our feelings. It is necessary.

We need to process our way through the darkness, but not stay in the darkness. We don’t want our reaction of anger, disappointment and grief to be permanent. To heal we want to walk through our difficult times to create happier times. During a particularly challenging time in my life, I repeatedly said to myself: “The only way out is up.”

Our best action is to rise up out of our darkest hours, to overcome our difficulties by reframing, which is to think in ways that spark hope and lead us out of bitterness, grief, sadness, anger or being a victim. To become resilient we need to think in ways that give our life more meaning, more peace and more happiness. Let us nurture gratitude and perseverance so we can catch the light shines through the darkness.

            -Mary Seyuin, M.A. LLP