Nella Coiro

Author, Forgiveness Coach & Online Instructor

Still, I Rise

This week has been particularly challenging for me. Since I’ve been down this road before I have learned that when a struggle arises, I need to look at the learning opportunities in the situation. Historically, my first reactions were usually anger and frustration, because I hated the idea that I felt powerless over a particular situation.  Over time I have learned that anger and frustration were just defenses that helped me to avoid the underlying feeling of fear. 
Since I’ve learned to acknowledge and accept my fear more quickly, the anger generally subsides, and this helps me to look at the situation with more clarity. Regardless of what happens to us in life, we always have the power to control our reactions. Learning this helps us to see that although we might be carrying a particular the burden,  the way in which we choose to carry that burden (our attitude) will make all the difference.
I think that there is a different mindset between people who are able to overcome life challenges versus people who feel defeated and give up. First off, people who are able to rise above the obstacles can keep their focus on the the learning opportunity that might be available in the situation.  Also, regardless of how dark the road seems, they are able to hang on to a glimmer of hope. 
In twelve step groups, there is a saying: “Don’t give up a minute before the miracle happens.” It’s all about hope. Hope is a very powerful motivator! We can live without food or water for a limited amount of time, but I don’t think that we can survive very long without hope.
Hope is a mindset and it all begins with the thoughts we choose to focus on. The good news is that we all have the ability to train our minds to think differently, be aware of our thoughts and redirect our thinking. It does take a bit of work, but it is within our reach.
I’ve learned that my best thinking can make me miserable if I let it.  It’s usually not the original obstacle that drives me crazy, instead, it’s the thoughts about the future and the fear that the outcome is going to be negative. 
The work is to remove the negative thoughts in our heads by replacing them with uplifting thoughts.  I’m a big fan of the writings of Dr. Maya Angelou, especially her poetry.  When I’m feeling anxious or afraid, I repeat these words from her beautiful poem, “Still, I Rise”, and they always strengthen my heart and lift up my spirits:
“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise.”

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Hi Nella, I love this blogpost. Thanks so much for sharing on this topic. I am struggling with a serious medical problem and when I read this post and especially the beautiful words from the poem, it helped me so much. ❤️






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