Monday, 17 May 2010

...Talks About Overcoming Adversity, Obstacles And Baking Meringues!

I always wanted to learn how to make meringues but was put off due to the misconception that they had to be left overnight in a warm oven to set. I mean really! Who can be bothered? So when I said wistfully that I'd never been keen on making them because of the time-consuming process, my daughter chipped in "You just whisk the egg whites with sugar till it's firm then bake for 40 minutes and they're done Mum!"

Suddenly it all seemed so simple. And it made me reflect how that brief conversation was a mirror of what happens to us all at some point or another in our lives. It boils down to this - life's so simple when you know how. 

Overcoming obstacles is easy when you know how. 

But consider this. How many times have you been put off from doing something because you're frightened of the potential outcome (which *in our heads* is usually a negative one)? Speaking for myself, even though I've displayed copious quantities of Boadicean bravery, there have been a few times in my life when the paralysis fear of failure brings has set in and it's resulted in my just walking away without even trying. Or I've tolerated a bad situation because I was afraid of the consequences of upsetting the status quo. Granted, this has only happened on those occasions when I didn't know how to do something and there was nobody in my life who was willing or available to help, but happen it did.

Now there's the school of thought that says "if at first you don't succeed, try try again", but I'm rather inclined to believe that the phrase wouldn't have been invented if there wasn't a huge number of people opting not to "try try again".

So many of us give up without trying, because the fear of failure and of looking silly in front of our peers is simply mortifying. We'd rather not go there thank you very much. 

But I do firmly believe that overcoming adversity is one of life's key functions. It's what tests our mettle and it gets us out of our oh-so-comfortable comfort zones. But what if the adversity cannot be avoided? What if the very safety of our beloved comfort zones is destroyed?

Adversity comes in many forms and in recent years we have truly been tested globally with an alarming increase in man-made terrors as well as those meted out by divinity - terrorist attacks, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods and hurricanes to mention but a few. My personal approach in tackling challenges in my life has been to firstly assess and then take the best positive steps to overcome any given obstacle, combined with a calm acceptance that no matter what the outcome, at least I have tried.

This two-fold approach of action combined with positive expectation is a very powerful combination and small successes will inevitably lead to a willingness, or even a daring if you will, to attempt to overcome even larger obstacles. 

11 years ago my first marriage ended after a long and weary battle of which I was a reluctant but necessary participant. It left me depleted of my energy, my faith in men and my passion for life. Furthermore, I found myself homeless with a 6 year old and a 4 year old, with no money, no job and very little going for me. But at no time did I stop and lament over what I had lost, instead I set about making a new life for myself and my children, and rebuilding our shattered lives. I did have bad days and there were lots of tears but through it all I kept on moving and I didn't lose my focus. 

I'm very lucky and my immediate family was utterly wonderful, and their loving support was crucial in the creation of the fantastic life I now have with my two beautiful children. However, the key factor was my own sheer determination that I was going to succeed in overcoming my obstacles. It was my personal Everest and I climbed it and planted the flag of Mumtaz Hussain square on the summit. I always knew I had to keep going no matter what, and I always knew it would work out in the end. I didn't always know how, but I put my faith in God and I knew it would work out. Failure wasn't an option and stopping wasn't an option. I kept on going, and throughout my (sometimes extremely arduous and soul-destroying) journey, I surrounded myself with people who loved me and supported me no matter what. For that I am truly grateful and I shall be for all of eternity. Now I have my own law practice, I run an online business and I manage rental property, I drive a gorgeous car and regularly take foreign holidays. 

Materially speaking, my life is amazing. But the really painful obstacles I had to overcome were those created in my heart and in my mind as a result of the initial betrayal and subsequent cruel hardship I and my small children experienced at the hands of someone who I shall only describe as a very lost man. I say that because no matter what, he is and will remain the father of my children. I do not intend to cast him in the role of evil wrongdoer. He was simply playing his part.

Those emotional obstacles are predictably taking a little longer to overcome, but I'm getting there. A broken bone can be healed and its progress can be charted quite neatly, but emotional pain is harder to overcome and healing at that level is far more complex. It requires a huge amount of forgiveness, compassion, certainty and lots of self belief and self encouragement. 

And now that I'm happy with myself and the new life I've fashioned for myself, I'm able to say quite unequivocally that I definitely do want to get married again. It took me a long time to be able to say that out loud!

I'm in no rush though because I also know that when that wonderful person comes into my life, we will both know that we should be together, and I trust that it will happen effortlessly and beautifully. I do want to find myself in that carefree place where I can smile on the inside and trust again. I have been there before, I've experienced it with every fibre of my being and let me tell you, it's spectacular. And what's more, I deserve it.

I'm worth it, to quote a well-known cosmetic brand!

I know it's just a matter of time until I'm there again, I can feel it with just as much certainty as I'd know my broken bones had healed...let's just say I'm a work in progress. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it's not an oncoming train this time!

So armed with the knowledge that I can rebuild a broken life, hey what's a few broken eggs to make a meringue? I'll give it a go and if I get stuck, my daughter's always here to lend a helping hand. Or there's always the supermarket!

If you're having a stressful time overcoming obstacles and you want to learn how to control your anger and stay calm in the most difficult of situations you need this powerful and unique relaxation plan.

Disclaimer: If you're currently experiencing difficulties in your own life then please note that the writer cannot accept liability for any reliance that is placed on the contents of this article. This is a personal account of overcoming adversity. Please consult your health practitioner.

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