Why you need to understand that personal growth and success can come from the most challenging times in your life and success is not always measured materially.

Lessons from the cliff edge of living to help you really see what matters. How do you feel about cliff edges? Are you happy to walk closely at the edge and take in all the wondrous views or are you more cautious and like to leave a safer margin? Both those questions posed offer a dichotomy of choices….be safe or take risks ~ but what about the people who are forced away from those choices? What about the people who don’t have the luxury of choice?

This week I sent out an email newsletter with a blog attached about dealing with difficult people. I had a phone call and several emails thanking me for it. Sometimes the blogs that I write are from the most painful parts of my life, have the most resonance. When I am bold enough to share the lessons from the cliff edge, it seems to help people in ways I could not have imagined. Therefore, I try to look at each cliff edge experience with the knowledge that I can grow through it and then that might help others.

Those lessons give the struggle some purpose. Having purpose, as my Soul Purpose Jackie Webster keeps telling me, is vital in life. Sometimes purpose is not pleasant and certainly feels a long way from any kind of pleasure. But life is not always about those delightful experiences. It is about enduring the cliff edge and scrabbing from the edge with as much dignity as possible.

When I am totally open and honest, it seems to connect to my people at the deepest level. Here is some depth of honesty: I detest cliff edge living and seem to have had a huge amount of it in my life. We’ve just had months of it and just when we think we are dragged back, another storm has hit. Sometimes we are not the ones at the edge, it is those we love most and seeing them suffer is, for me, much worse than being unwell myself.

Countless times in conversations with clients I have said that it is worse to watch the suffering than bear it. They nod with a strong relief that someone else knows how they feel.

How to endure cliff edges:

  1. Sometimes you just have to get through the next hour. Give yourself that grace and take the pressure off.
  2. Get wise and reliable help.
  3. Stay calm. Pray. Think. Plan. Work. Review.
  4. Get good sleep, water, food and daylight. Move if you can.
  5. Assess how real the edge is ~ you might have more space than you think.
  6. Remember that you’ve survived and coped this far, you can again.
  7. Learn the lessons as fast as you can.
  8. Realise that sometimes cliff shuffle are built on rock so you’re not going to dissolve into the sea as quickly as you think.
  9. Even if you only edge back from the edge a bit, that is progress. Small incremental improvements are valuable beyond measure.
  10. Understand that some people will never really understand because they have few experiences of difficulties in life. You don’t need to convince them or need their validation. Know you are brave and stronger from the struggle. Find support from those who understand deeply about adversity. Then offer that support onwards.

When you return from the cliff edge there are many blessings to find. The relief that you’re back from the brink is a powerful gift; the realisation that bits of normal life can return and be savoured like never before and that you’re able to endure more than you ever thought possible, is a mighty fact.

If you’re on a cliff edge at this very moment, we send you our love, prayers and hope this helps. If you’re nicely away from any cliffs then please rejoice. Normal life with enough health, resources and precious people is just about the best thing on earth.

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