“No one got ahead standing in line”
– Pal Waaktaar, Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket
The word solace in the dictionary means “comfort during a time of distress”. It’s an amazingly powerful word because it defines what we sometimes need most when we’re under a lot of overwhelming feelings. In some ways, it’s a mean to an end or a solution to a problem…here’s how…
Often times when we are experiencing problems in our lives, finding answers can be extremely challenging and endless. What we don’t realize is that finding comfort or solace can help us to reach that goal. When we find solace in healthy and like-minded people or activities, we can empower ourselves to make the necessary changes in our lives. It is in that change that helps us to find the answers to our problems. Whether you’re in an unhealthy relationship where you’re being abused, or if you’re stuck at a job that isn’t making you happy or maybe you lost a loved one to cancer – at some point there needs to be a shift inside of you to help you move forward.
Solace enables us with the strength to change.
Change is a necessary part in our lives because it allows for growth and learning. Imagine if we never learned to brush our teeth, make a piece of toast for breakfast or change a flat tire. In order to be able to do all these things we needed to experience a change in ourselves that allowed us to learn something new.
The more challenging and daunting changes come internally where we need to look at ourselves and not externally as to what’s bothering us. For example, in my past relationship I was terribly unhappy with my ex-girlfriend and blamed her countless times for my unhappiness and the lack of “fun” in our lives. What I demanded was for her to change. The truth is that the change I actually needed to see was in myself…my self-love, self-worth and how accepting I was of myself.
Furthermore, I needed to be brave enough to have a long hard look at my behaviors, triggers, past history and process through instead of around them. That perhaps has been the most difficult but most rewarding change because I feel more liberated and accepting today of my true self.
And finally, the change that I need to accept is that I must plow through my challenges for the rest of my life. Switching to ‘auto-pilot’ isn’t an option for me but operating on ‘manual’ will be, which means that I must keep monitoring regularly my thoughts, bodily sensations, triggers and inner health. In many ways, I’m much happier because I am taking control of my decisions in life these days rather than what I was tuned and programmed to do before based on my past.
So if things are feeling complicated or messy inside, take some time to find solace whether it’s in a friend, counsellor, your pets or during your yoga class and it will help you to gather a bit of strength to look at yourself instead of outside. It makes you accountable and empowers you to make change happen even if it’s one small thing. Just remember that it takes time, patience and work to facilitate true change. My former CEO (and one of my mentors) used to say to me when I got frustrated with a project, “..small steps, Jason…”
I find a lot more optimism these days and no longer need external acceptance as often. When I take time to reflect, I’m very happy and proud of where I am in life compared to years ago and find much more internal peace with the shifts that have already happened. And when there’s days that aren’t working out so well for me, I find solace in many great places in my life:
- Through mindfulness and meditation.
- Exercising regularly.
- Awesome friends I have!
- Spending time with my son.
- A great friend in my ex-wife.
- My lovely pets.
- Breakfast and coffee in the morning.
- Being out in nature and seeing a world of beauty.
- My home.
So look around you and find Solace and take care of your inner health, one moment at a time.