9 Opportunities for Growth Following Tragedy

9 Opportunities for Growth Following Tragedy
woman stressed
Tamara Lechner

A seed must crack wide open and break apart before the flower can grow. A caterpillar must feel like its world is over before it becomes a butterfly. Before times of growth, change, and evolution, there seems to be fear, pain, and angst. Why is it that chaos precedes growth so much of the time? Why must you break before you learn to bend?

Author Marianne Williamson wrote in her book, The Shadow Effect, Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self, “Human consciousness is like a pilot light that never goes off. The problem is it is used to create either a life-producing heat or a life-destroying conflagration. Where there is no love, there is fear. And fear, once it has gripped the mind, is like a vice that threatens to crush the soul. So that’s what it is, this thing we call the shadow.”

Williamson notes that this “shadow” can be within us all and it does not wish us well. It is present when you hurt someone with a biting remark, pick up a bottle of alcohol although you know you’re an alcoholic, or sabotage your career with an avoidable mistake. In the end, your shadow can only be eliminated by shining light on it.

So instead of asking why there is shadow, try one of these suggestions to find your inner light.

Don’t Be Afraid to Catch Feels

It’s not just a catchy song of summer, it’s a reminder to lean into your feelings. Feel them. Name them. Notice the sensations they give you. The key is not to get stuck there. Notice, observe, and then move forward.

Turn Your Face to the Sun

If you have found yourself in a shadow, there must be sunshine somewhere. Instead of lamenting over the shade, find the sun and move toward it. You can do this by putting yourself outside the situation, like a witness, and by creating a series of options that could potentially help you. Try each one on for size and see if there is a particularly sunny option. Then move toward it.

Distract Yourself

Winston Churchill said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Don’t ever throw stones at dogs, but also don’t worry about the destination. Give yourself permission to do something entirely distracting where you need to focus on what you are doing so you cannot get stuck in your head. Choose an activity like surfing, dancing, or playing tennis, where your focus needs to stay in the present.

When the Time is Right, Make Lemonade from Lemons

Many people who have a cancer diagnosis will eventually say that cancer was the best thing that ever happened to them. I have an autistic daughter who I see as the greatest teacher in my life. When first diagnosed though, the thought that autism or cancer would lead to growth is more …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra

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