Welcome to Format Free Fridays at AskDrDarcy.com, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense that which we rarely welcome in life: Unsolicited advice.
I grew up with 2 older brothers: One was a body builder and the other was a power lifter. Both were obsessed with mastering muscular development. By the time I was 8 years old, I could do more than 60 sit-ups in a minute. My brothers were my heroes and I was as obsessed with impressing them as they were with building muscle. And in my relationship with each of them, I learned more than I’ll ever need to know to about how to build muscles. Essentially, muscle is built when we challenge our muscles through exercise, and in doing so, we cause microscopic tears in the muscle. The exercise basically tears down our existing muscle and then after a certain number of hours, the muscle rebuilds. Stronger. This, my loyal blog follower, is the same way that emotional muscles are built.
Life is your gym. Hardship is your exercise. There’s absolutely no way in life to avoid it. Sadly, we in the western world are never taught how to cope with it and are taught to reach for the nearest antidote the moment we feel discomfort. Every time you resist a negative experience, you play into this paradigm. You delay learning. If you want to be an emotional pussy, have a drink, take a pill, lose yourself in a stupid movie, or fuck around on Facebook to avoid feeling pain or discomfort. If, however, you’re interested in developing a philosophy that will help strengthen your emotional core for the rest of your life, stay with me.
Emotional adaptation is the ability to employ new ways of viewing a situation so that you can experience the situation from a place of strength as opposed to resistance. It’s called being flexible. It means that instead of viewing your recent breakup as the worst thing that’s ever happened to you, you view it as a gift. The pain you experienced from that guy was a microscopic tear in your emotional muscles. Rest. Let the muscles heal. They will rebuild stronger.
Refuse to let that experience influence you in a negative way and instead confirm your determination to have it mold you for the better. Decide that life will not jade you, but that it will make you more grounded and wiser. I challenge you to survive negative experiences as opposed to becoming victimized by them.