The Lights that Create Happiness

Updated: Jul 6



Happiness Comes Through Self- Awareness: Resiliency and Perseverance

Everyone knows that life is always full of ups and downs. Without these ups and downs we would not grow or become better people, better partners, better parents, better friends, better colleagues, or better at anything we do, in fact better at anything in life. These times of the “new normal” during this Pandemic have made this positive mindset even more important for everyone to embrace. Many of us are experiencing life in ways that still scare us. These feelings are OK and normal currently, all the more reason to embrace resilience and perseverance and come to the true place of self-awareness.

When we combine the attention that we have to give to the present circumstances with our regular pivoting that goes on daily in everyone’s lives, it may seem difficult to continue to try to be self-aware of what we are feeling. As always with life, we are faced with things that happen such as the loss of a loved one, a divorce, or perhaps a loss of job. Sadly, the latter; the loss of a job, is even more prevalent this year during the Pandemic. The unemployment percentage is higher than we have seen in quite some time. People losing jobs, even with though being in an organization for many years, is commonplace now. Sadly, in some organizations, the human resources’ personnel are being asked to deliver “elimination of position” notices quickly, without any notice, and actually having to let the employee know that they will be eliminated in as short a time as 48 hours, with little compassion or care. Incredibly sad, that this is happening everywhere now. Thus, the importance of becoming resilient and persevere through anything.

If you are the employee on the receiving end of the this information and this type of job elimination, especially if it means that within 48 hours, you will receive your last paycheck, in 48 hours your health and dental insurance will end when you are responsible for the covering your family, and that you only option for this coverage will be the extremely expensive, such as COBRA, makes the process of staying self-aware and positive is very difficult and sometimes daunting and seemingly something that we cannot get over. Navigating self-awareness during this type of situation may prompt us to retreat to moments of “why me”, “why now”?, what did I do wrong?. Fear not…the practice of self-awareness and acknowledging that these feelings are real and even may ebb and flow back into your life, may happen throughout our lives is something that we must face head-on.

If we circle back to our true selves; always looking for that shimmer of light, practicing the “art” of being happy and loving ourselves – no matter what the current circumstances may be, always being good to ourselves, always being compassionate to ourselves and others are practices that will re-ground us. This is where the powers of resiliency and perseverance come in. We must always concentrate on the powers we all have within us to stay resilient and persevere. And now, if you are experiencing anything discussed thus far, you know all too well that this practice is easier said than practiced. No worries: the retreat to self-doubt and questioning one’s resiliency and perseverance is a natural part of the cyclical process needed to always get back to these positive pieces on the outlook on life. Please remember in uncertain and sometimes painful times, we can allow ourselves these feelings. It is important at this critical point to recognize our true selves, say it is OK and always move forward.

Within everyone, our true selves lie the positive powers that can be brought to the fore and through exercises of self-awareness, we can bring these powers to the surface during the times when they seem to be pushed so far away we do not recognize. They may be abilities that we all possess and we, individually, need to find processes to resurrect them within due time. That said, with some of the above scenarios, there may be time needed for self-doubt, self-questioning, defeat, and feeling de-valued. However, these parts of the cyclical process of are necessary. But they should not overtake us wholly at any point in life. As with the grief and anger processes, they must also be processed and moved through. This is where self-awareness and the practices of resiliency and perseverance come in.

Self-talk is critical for us to move through all stages and to get back to and remain in a positive space. This is much easier said than done. Losing a loved one may take quite a bit of time to process through. The pain and hurt pain may never go away; however it will soften. The process of not blaming ourselves for what we “could of or should have done” may take time to go away. But staying the course and knowing how positivity works in our lives makes this process doable. The terms “resilient” and “perseverance” may seem hard to reach…but the practice of getting to true self-awareness may come through various modes and differ from one person to the next, but will assist in getting to this resiliency and perseverance. For some it may be through self-talk, journaling, mediation, exercise, such as running, or yoga to get to what makes all us good people and good at what we do, surrounding ourselves with positive people, while acknowledging our humanness, with the goal to keep to positivity as a necessity in our lives.

Remember when you were that good daughter who helped your parents whenever needed. Remember your students, who still to this day contact you just to say hello. Remember how many people became better at what they did because you believed in them, helped them in their jobs, gave them space to grow, and gave them wings to fly. Remember the children and grandchildren who bring you daily happiness when thinking about past perhaps failed relationships. These types of practices keep us positive and remind us of the “real” and whole” person that truly makes us who we are. These are examples of how we stay resilient and persevere through all of life’s challenges.

Awareness of all of our emotions, especially the positive ones assist with perseverance and resiliency, and ultimately to the happiness we want always want to embrace for our lives. At this point, it would be foolish to expect that this happiness will be ever-present. We must always know, and welcome the fact that we will have obstacles in our way throughout our lives. This is true in our personal and professional lives and will always be part of this cycle to always get us back to “positive”. An important part of this is for us to identify what does not make us happy so we can process the steps to say “yes, this hurts, it has made me feel upset or badly about myself” and to consciously move away from this space. However, these are the things about us that I have done well and have kept us happy.

So how can we assure this process of self-awareness will lead to resiliency and perseverance most of the time is a perpetual part of our lives? As stated above some simple exercises help this process. At this point, it is important to emphasize the real importance of being sure that when we participate in these exercises that we are really “present” and that these exercises. When journaling, be sure that you open your heart and mind – what are you always grateful for? (this part will ground you in the positive), what about you that is GREAT, do I make people laugh, am I a compassionate and loving person; this type of self-talk helps us know we will be okay, no matter what. Always write down, that no matter what, everything will eventually be OK. Starting with all the good things about you and in your life will provide a solid foundation to get to “good”. As you work through the latter part of the journaling, work through everything else. Of course, in order to completely persevere, we must state clearly (for the purposes of journaling), write down exactly what has gotten in the way of all the positivity about yourself as well as what may still be keeping you down. Quickly, when we see all our positive attributes side-by-side with what may be seem insurmountable issues, we may be facing at any current time, our GOOD will far out way the parts that may temporarily be bringing us down, stopping us from being our best selves, and questioning what we may be capable of. This type of visual cue (or any other type or visual we are comfortable with producing) will help us immediately recognize our emotions and continue to acknowledge silently that this is not really the best situation; but we when looking at ALL our GOOD, we can assure ourselves that we are happy and this seemingly, but realistically small setback has prepared us for something even greater than we may ever know. This will all come because we choose the positive path, the ways to be that who we are directly aligned with our ultimate happiness. This example is resiliency and perseverance at their best – the true happiness that shows us internally, deep inside how good we are, all the great characteristics and great skills we possess, what we can contribute to the world, and how much of an impact we can make at any time, in any space. These activities assure us in some way that we are ‘good’, we are still the beautiful people that we always have been and we are surrounding ourselves with joy no matter what form it may take and no matter what may temporarily get in our way.

Make no mistake, this is not a one shot deal. One journaling exercise, one meditation session, one run, one yoga session will not make us whole when we are feeling defeated, deflated, de-valued, sad, or over-come with grief or anger from anything that we may be or have gone through. No, it is truly a learning process – this thing we call self-awareness, which allows us to become and maintain a healthy life and a healthy level of resiliency and perseverance. There is no “quick” fix for this to become a way of life. As with anything worthwhile, this process takes much practice and a true commitment to the end goal. During “life” we must consistently be conscious of the fact that there will always be ups and downs What happens to us could be something that could have happened at any time, in any space, to anyone; no matter what is happening in the world. And many of these things are happening more

often now in the “new normal” – loss of employment, sickness, and possibly death of loved ones or friends. It could be something like news from the past that changes our reality and is magnified because of the ‘new normal’. This news hurts us to our core being. We must process our emotions in one or many of the ways suggested here. As we get stronger and can be more resilient and persevere without a conscious way, this process may become easier with each new obstacle. However, it can never be bypassed. What is for sure is that it is any setback we may experience may come when we are in our comfort zone and in a state true happiness and experiencing true positivity in all aspects of our lives. When something else in life confronts us, we may even be angry. This is because we are often in a happy and in a safe place that we worked so hard to get to when the last bump in the road of life hit; from the place where we could feel and regulate our emotions and feel we are “forever resilient and can persevere” through anything life may bring. What we soon come to realize is that as we go through life, issues arise from the most unlikely places, such as the places that seem most stable – our job, our health, our friends’ faithfulness, our family bonds. These areas all connect to what makes us who we are and when an issue arises from a safe place we often question all the work we have done in the past to become whole. Therefore, the when we are thrown off our positive path and there is pain, this may cause us to be afraid this tree in our way may be the ONE this that throws up off for good. However, when something like this knocks us off the balance of being our resilient selves, the real message is the fact that we are equipped with many skills that we taught ourselves with past hurts, past pains, past disappointments and that with steps in life we are always persevering more, using our skills to bounce back more quickly, and that we always eventually will naturally gravitate to the positive.

So how do we concentrate on this process of becoming the best resilient self we can so that with each setback life we do not start from the very beginning each time? The love of the people around us, the gratification we have experienced personally and professionally, and the steps we have already taken to show ourselves very clearly that we are GOOD, we are WHOLE, and we have MUCH to give to this thing we call life. Reviewing our journals, thinking back to the words we go to during a meditation, and sometimes even from the place where the hurt and pain came from came and make a very steadfast choice to NOT have to start all over again. Take what we have learned from whatever processes we have endured thus far in life and apply them to every new situation that may come our way. This is self-awareness at its best: not having to start over, to build on that foundations we start a very long time ago and recognize exactly what our emotions are and channel them back to where we were when got ourselves to every new reality of being able to navigate our emotions and regulate ourselves to try to always be in positive places. It may be quite easy to say after everything we have been through we want to give up…but remember how strong and resilient and how much we persevered, not only during such things as this Pandemic, but through all not so positive times in our lives. What exactly did we take from all those times to make us positive, strong, and able to navigate anything with poise and peace. We got ourselves to this point with love, hope, and the assurance that out of this, we are certain that many different new happy experiences would arise because of the good people we are and the hard work we have always done to always rise. Welcoming whatever life may give us allows the best of our true selves to emerge – we become strong, happy, resilient people who can embrace all of life’s challenges and come away from them happier, more at peace with exactly who we are and what we can offer. We acknowledge that there is always a higher plan for us that will bring forth the best in all of us and what we can contribute. An because of this we are mapping a life that will always include smiles, joy, and knowing that no matter what happens, we have the strength and resilience to always find true happiness from within. Be the best you and always embrace life with anything that may come your way.

this becoming

will ask for your breath, patience

and for your fight, perseverance

transformation is made of both

surrender and strength

-butterflies rising

Emma Leitel