Tough times don’t last; tough people do
I came to understand the following sentiment more fully over the last six weeks. We were expecting our first child – and at the same time became inundated with every parents story about the ‘right’ way to do things. How they perceived the birth, their views on breastfeeding vs formula, the ongoing debate about having your child vaccinated or not. In short, it became a challenge to have our own thoughts and feelings.
Most of this direction of perception was still manageable – but the thing that really annoyed me was the consistent positive stance regarding our unborn child’s health. I could see, feel, and intuit that something was not right with our already late baby. Yes, I get that people want to see the positive side to all things and seek to wish you the best, but the fact remains that by avoiding or denying the possible risks associated with birth and the accompanying developmental process, is dangerous.
When our birth plan and child’s health was compromised, it required vast resourcefulness to adapt to our circumstances. And the only way we managed was by remaining in the Now, to stay present and in touch with the reality of what was transpiring. In short, we had to work hard to continually see things as they are, not better, not worse.
Here is where our NLP training really came into play. By constantly focusing our language on the things we could control, we could better manage our emotions. Moreover, we could fight the pull of the story. Because trust me, it is easy to get carried away with “why did this happen, who is to blame, how is the future going to play out?” Regardless of all of this, the most powerful and painful task was to remind ourselves that we must respect the other person’s model of the world.
Now I know this may not sit well with many folks: Regardless, each person who graces this planet is responsible for their decisions and actions, however young or old they are. Yes, I know this is hard to apply to a young child and a newborn in this case. The reality is that regardless of age, race or creed, the guiding principles of resourcefulness, abundance, gratitude, love and courage remain consistent despite emotions no matter how overwhelming they may feel.
The most valuable part of remaining steadfast and stoic during this process is the avoidance of continued re-traumatisation. By avoiding perverted perceptions, we could see things as they are/were and deal with them right there and then. Process the pain with consciousness and respect for our child no matter what journey he selected.
The long and short of it all is that I am grateful to my source and the resources I had gathered from my years of NLP training, mind management and my psychology experience. I have been able to reframe (strong neurological reframing, not positive thinking or ‘resilience’) these events as learning or simply experiences.
After enduring harrowing ordeals, so many survivors have highlighted, stay present, maintain your authentic truth, and trust that all seasons pass. Tough times don’t last; tough people do. What helped was to list resources, presuppositions or experiences that have helped you in the past to endure tough times. You may never know when you may need to draw on them again.
I’m happy to report that our son is making a slow but steady recovery. My partner (who is also NLP trained) and I are so grateful that he has stayed with us a little longer. In closing, thank you to all that have assisted us during this time. We have no words to express our gratitude fully.
Tough times don’t last; tough people do.
Wesley Kew, Clinical Psychologist and Master Practitioner of NLP