Iyanla Vanzant offers smart ways to stay strong.
By Iyanla Vanzant
The hardest thing about hard times is this: You know you're not in control anymore. (But ask yourself something: Were you ever?) You have to make big changes before you're ready or suddenly question what you thought you knew. But it's possible to turn even the most upsetting situations into opportunities for growth if you can muster enough willingness, trust, faith, patience and surrender.
Here's why these qualities are so essential if we are to transcend our troubles:
This is the all-important ingredient for making it through tough times. You must be willing to do what you believe you cannot, and acknowledge what you've avoided. Yes, this can be painful, but when you are unwilling to see things -- and people -- as they are, you can't deal with the problem, and I can guarantee your situation will be prolonged.
Trust and Faith
Very often people confuse these two principles, but they're very different. Trust is the belief that you can get through anything, and faith is the energy that grows from that trust, helping you carry on until things get better. You can't have the latter without the former.
This is the capacity to accept and tolerate difficulty without anger or sorrow -- and it's your lifeline when you find yourself in the midst of a hard time. In the same way that we are unable to rush the sunrise or the unfolding of the seasons, we can't force ourselves through a challenging experience in less time than we need to learn, heal or grow. Patience makes our difficulties pass as gently as possible.
It's not about giving up or bowing down. It's about holding on to the knowledge that something bigger and more powerful than you is at work beneath the surface of your experience, and that it will take you exactly where you need to be. Now, in hard times, surrender is probably the greatest challenge you will encounter because it's so hard to accept uncertainty. But that, my beloved, is the point. You don't know what's to come, but you must know that whatever happens, you will be OK.