Most of the time, we do not have lifejackets for each sinking or parachute for each jump in the void. However, we can always get by. Sometimes it will be with a smile; at other times it will be by slamming the door and not looking behind you. For even though we do not have an ointment to heal every mistake or compass to tell us the best way,sooner or later, we succeed: we move forward proudly and head high.
This reasoning may sound like a positive psychology slogan, it's true.A slogan that would defend the idea of "when we want, we can," accompanied by a smiling smiley face. Now, it must be admitted that this psychological point of view is much more than just a slogan that is sorely lacking in meaning. In fact, we can see an evolution since Martin Seligman established his theoretical and scientific bases in the 90s.
The current positive psychology lives a second wave. One that evaluates a key aspect: our ability to change. To achieve this,we must understand how complex emotional experiences are. Of course, separating the positive from the negative is not always easy.To survive, to overcome any adversity, one must know how to live with all this range of feelings. These are often synonymous with challenge, yes. But they are also complementary and part of a balance that must be self-regulating effectively.
"Face, always face … Here's the only way to overcome problems!"
But where is the exit?
Your problem may be solved with an airplane. By taking a distance, changing air, continent, skin, habits.Or maybe not. You may need to say out loud what you have been doing for a long time. Express yourself clearly and close this stage of your life with a smile or slamming the door. You may already have what you need: you just need to realize it.
Whatever your personal situation, whatever your black hole, you need only know one thing. One can always escape by fixing one's gaze on the "exit" and not on the labyrinth of the problem. Because, whether we believe it or not, that's what we do most of the time. Thus, when adversity visits us and traps us in its web of unforeseen events and injustices, we often focus on what hurts us, what is unworthy, what threatens us …We always look fear in the eyes but never see what is beyond.
Any problem has a border. Going beyond this border will allow us to breathe, to remove this feeling of suffocation. And to think of a plan to escape us. But are we doing it? In truth, no. And it is an error that we pay often.Adversity paralyzes us and we are not used (and unprepared) to deal with negative emotions.We do not tolerate them. Positive psychology, in this second wave, focuses on the importance of our resources: we must not imprison them.If we can accept our negative emotions instead of fighting with them, we will move forward.
We can overcome everything, but … Where is the exit? She's right there, over the horizon of fear.Share
Lessons on adversity
In recent years, positive psychology has progressed incredibly. We have more and more works and articles at our disposal, texts that focus on what we know as the psychology of post-traumatic growth. This current affirms that even if we can overcome everything, we will not leave this tunnel being the same.Any process involves a change. Any change involves losses and gains. In the end: transformations.
The lessons on adversity tell us that we may be losing a fragment of our innocence.From our ability to trust, from our spontaneity of yesteryear … During this process of release, we miss certain things. And we will keep injuries, there is no doubt. However, as noted by the poet and architect Joan Margarit,an injury is also a place where we can live.It is because an infinite creative force emerges from us. Because we find personal resources that we do not know. And because we put in place a more satisfying vision of ourselves.
We can always overcome everything if we draw an exit plan. If we realize that we will never be the same again. We will be stronger. Understanding and assimilating these principles will undoubtedly help us in this vital journey that allows us to understand that no one is safe from adversity.We all have the potential to start post-traumatic growth.
Martin Seligman himself reminds us of this in his work on 9/11.He was able to see, in a good part of the people who had survived the terrorist attack, a formidable ability of resilience.Often, the hardest events can act as catalysts for the most positive changes. They give us a more humble look, a greater temperance, a psychological resistance, an acceptance of our own vulnerability and a philosophy of life more honest and precious.
To conclude, a person's strength does not lie in the strength they possess to resist certain things.Our strength lies in our indomitable will to transform and rebuild ourselves again and again.