The Counselor Is In
Learn from Your Challenges – Maybe
By Greggus Yahr, PhD, DCMHS Midcoast Counseling & Senior Services, LLC
Enough already, do I have to keep learning?
No, you do not. It is a choice, Sometimes enough is enough and sometimes it is not.
If it is not a blessing it is a curse and If it’s not a curse it is a blessing. Sounds good, maybe, and how do I know when to learn from my challenges and when not?
It depends. It depends on whether you’re breathing and since you’re reading this you’re probably breathing and that means you are living. Breathing is good, sorta important, living is better, and learning and living the best of all, even with the challenges.
Ok, so how do I actually learn from my challenges without railing against them or just giving up? First, remember it is your choice and there is always a choice. You can, to paraphrase the poet Dylan Thomas, Rage Against the Dimming Light of our Aging.
Fighting against the unfairness or the cruelty of the challenge, keeps you stuck. Ignoring is great for anxiety and profit margins of the pharmaceutical companies.
And doing nothing is a choice. It is active passivity and that means you tend to get stuck in the unfairness and harrumphing about. Sounds like not a blessing, and perhaps the curse.
To learn from your challenges means active engagement and that starts with something mentioned previously in this, acceptance.
Acceptance is active acknowledgment that whatever the challenge, it is just that, a challenge and that is the learning. You meet it head on, eyes wide open, and you are just there, dealing with it the best you can.
None of this means embracing it, loving it, or being thankful for the experience, just acceptance. Acceptance that you are where you are, this whatever it is, is a challenge, and that is how you actually learn.
Acceptance is your learning, your openness to it is a challenge and you darn well may not like it and you do not have to.
Being present is what allows you to change and because now that you are able to see, to feel, you can be your own teacher.
Ask yourself: What is it I can do for me that can make this better for me right now?
Notice the question, make this better for me right now, in the present.
Your answer is your learning and the beginning of you surmounting whatever the challenge is.
Acceptance, yes, and the change is being your own teacher.
Dr. Yahr has had a long career in behavioral health; consulting with organizations, teaching, creating psychological and educational programs, and doing therapy with adolescents, adults, families, as well as conducting psychological assessments across the life span. He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, earned his PhD in psychology with an emphasis on neuropsychology, and is intensively trained in several treatment modalities. Dr. Yahr created Midcoast Counseling & Senior Services to help adults and those in their “second half ” of life adjust to transitions, continue thriving and most importantly acquire and maintain a life worth living! (http://www.midcoastcss.com)