From the pandemic to social unrest to political divisiveness, there is a lot to be outraged at in this day and age. How do we build the emotional resilience that keeps us from falling apart? How do we keep life running smoothly when, at every turn, it feels like there is potential for a speedbump?
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ralph De La Rosa, LCSW, psychotherapist, meditation instructor and author and dig into the things that truly keep us awake at night, and how we can face these things, cope with these things, and ultimately find balance in life knowing- if I can be totally honest- that some of these things will never go away.
“No matter how down we are, the human spirit has this natural organic capacity to overcome when in the presence of the right conditions.” -Ralph De La Rosa
In life, as much as we want it for ourselves or our families, there won’t always be a sense of security in the direction things are moving. Man, wouldn’t life be grand if we just knew everything was going to be okay? But part of that unknown is how we become the highest forms of ourselves. These unknowns, that create space for pivots, allow us to build emotional resilience- which just means we can make it through the unknowns and even use them to our own advantage. How wonderful a perspective is that?
This is what I want you to think about when you are facing obstacles and unknowns. I want you to ask yourself, “How can this serve me? And how can I use this to serve others?”
Let’s Talk About Something Difficult
When we talk about divisiveness, people being pitted against one another, an ugly political landscape, and a faulty economy- I think it’s also important to talk about common ground. It might feel like we’re all on a different team… but the truth is this: poor feels like poor, pain feels like pain. These emotions, these pitfalls in life transcend religion and race. This is a human condition and if you add up the number of people who share pain, suffering, poverty, hunger and so many other things in this country, it’s a shockingly large number.
Love Is All We Need
I was talking about being overwhelmed one time, just in a family discussion, and my daughter was talking about school and that kind of overwhelm and I made an offhand joke about supporting a family versus school. What she said to me next had such an impact- I think about this often. She said, “Dad, it still feels the same.” And if that isn’t an aha moment, I don’t know what is. We all share so much common ground, even if our experiences are different- the emotions still feel the same- and I think sometimes the unknowns and the obstacles would be so much easier to get through (together!) if we recognized this and loved each other through it.
Putting Life In Perspective
Do you have people in your family or circle of friends with great wealth and power? If so, I want you to think about whether or not those people were without pain. Were they without hardship? Were they without insecurity? Look at famous people you follow… are their lives without ups-and downs? They are not. Not one of us is immune to real life. But we all do get to choose how we handle that.
“A person with more material items does not have less of the other emotions that can take you into dark, unknown places. We are all still human.” -Ralph De La Rosa
Leaning Into the Good Emotions
Peace, contentment, and unconditional self-love don’t come out of the pursuit for material items. In fact, ironically, a lot of the time, these emotions come from feeling grateful for having “enough” and being generous. There is a point in life where you just have to say, “I have enough. I don’t have to hoard or defend my stuff. I don’t have to live in fear of being without.” This mindset creates an awareness around you that will help you bring that to truth. The daily rituals I talk about all the time are part of my own way of saying I am abundant, my life is abundant, and it will remain that way as long as my heart is full of love.
“Self-actualization is achieved through meeting with difficulty- getting knocked down ten times but getting up eleven- and then learning and growing from that process.” -Ralph De La Rosa
If we’ve learned anything from Rocky, it’s that love will change everything and “the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows… and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits.”
- Adam Markel, author of The I Love My Life Challenge