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Riding out a storm



Photographs: Pexels

Text: Ophelia Wu


There's always a storm here and there that we can get caught in without any preparation. Some people easily ride it, and some struggle a bit more - either way, we don't have an option but to ride it out. But how?


If you're spiritual, you will believe it when people say, "We will be able to overcome and are ready for everything that happens to us in life." Truthfully, I struggled to believe that for many years because when a storm hits, it hits. It doesn't matter how hard it hits and in which area in life - you are just being swept up, and things get disrupted, and you feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness with that initial shockwave. But in hindsight, everything worked out for the better despite it not seeming so then. Sometimes, we just need to hang onto that faith that things WILL work out in the end - if it doesn't, it's not the end. There are so many things in life that are heartbreaking and irreparable. Some losses are permanent loss and change you forever. I guess the key in whatever situation is our perspective. You can choose to dwell on it and focus on the negative sides, pity and victimise yourselves, or use it as an opportunity to grow and progress in life. It's easier said than done, but sadly, that's all we can control and decide.


Trust ourselves

We need to trust that we can overcome any upheavals. Initially, it might seem very heavy and big, but it gets lighter and clearer daily. Our minds are very powerful, and it does wonders. I'm not saying we must push down and put aside our emotions and feelings - we should allow and feel all of it, regardless of how long it takes to process and subside. We let it sink in and try to see the lesson in every situation. Usually, they are a chance to show us something for healing or growth, or both, and it might not show up right away, but with time, it will become clear why. Before that happens, we can only try to remain calm and grounded, so we deeply anchor ourselves, our hopes, our faith, and our beliefs to ride it out. The eye of the storm is usually calmest while the surroundings are going crazy - that's how we want to try to maintain while waiting for the wave to pass.


"Sometimes, we just need to hang onto that faith that things WILL work out in the end - if it doesn't, it's not the end. "


Practical things we can do

In all that frantic moment of being caught in a storm, sometimes we don't seem to see the end of it or any way out, and it's so normal how we feel this unwanted situation has suffocated us. Remember, it is a situation, and it is temporary, although it might feel forever. While we go through this temporary overcast, we can find practical ways to lighten the feelings. If it's a scenario with practical solutions (e.g. financial, a change of job, taking some time off from burning out, etc.), then look into what actions can be taken to detach ourselves from those negative thoughts for a while. Be open to asking for and receiving help if it's an option that can elevate the situation. Look for alternatives that might not be ideal but a stepping-stone for the time being while retreating and recovering a little. If it's a scenario without a practical solution (e.g. death of a dear one, breakup, etc.), sadly, there are no quick-fix band-aids to heal or resolve it. It takes time and effort to heal from it. Talk to friends, exercise, have a routine, eat healthily, and look after ourselves first. Be open to talking to a professional or going to therapy.


There is really no short-cut to riding any storms in life - as painful as it gets to let it pass, it is essential to be kind and compassionate to yourself, be patient, and take it a day at a time because, after all, everything is temporary and if we do the work and process our emotions and traumas properly, we will be on a good journey to healing and become stronger. You are not alone on any journey - there will always be more solutions than problems. Believe it or not, life works in mysterious ways - resources and help will be available to help us get through it. I love to think that if you find humour in every situation in life, you win.

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