Ta da transcending…
Ta da… with a swoosh of a magic wand — situations changed. We have this magic in our capacity to transcend moments by connecting to the larger universe and finding meaning. Appreciation, gratitude, hope, humour and spirituality are the character strengths that help us to transcend.
Appreciation is the Wow! OHH present moment awareness of the qualities of people or objects. It can be for the simple blessing of being able to breath independently in the morning to see the sunrise, feel the breeze, smell the salty air and be. One Easter I was stranded with my dog standing in a bikini on a beach as my keys, car, phone, dress and wallet were stolen. The next morning at work I gained appreciation for all I had and lost when caring for a mother with a critically ill baby.
Gratitude is the base from which appreciation grows. Melody Beatty describes how:
” Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more”.
Mick Jagger sang “You can’t always get what you want” these lyrics highlight the subtle difference between gratitude and appreciation. Gratitude is felt after you get what you want. Appreciation comes when you appreciate what you are given – even when it is not what you want.
Hope is :
“expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about”. Peterson and Seligman (2004 p. 570)
It is observed in: optimism, future mindness, future goal orientation – a cognitive, emotional and motivational stance towards the future. There is a link with hope and imagination for it is the ability to see what is not in the here and now. Living in hope is not holding to illusions but allowing for possibilities which takes courage and conviction. When swimming in the ocean my hope is not to be my nickname ” shark biscuit” so I swim with other more tasty morsels.
Humour our capacity to take life lightly, laugh at ourselves seeing the funny side of dire circumstances. The benefits of laughing include:
- Physical health reducing blood pressure, increasing circulation and reducing pain;
- Coping mechanism as we release emotional tension;
- Psychological wellbeing as in laughing we create bonds with others, combat stress, alleviate tension, improve communication and boost morale.
Spirituality, religiousness, faith describe the acceptance of the existence of a greater power that provides a larger scheme for the universe. It is expressed in a myriad of ways in which one surrenders to a belief system. Spirituality can provide a community where there is social support and a sense of belonging. Spiritual practices that honor the interconnectedness of life help buffer pain and promote self compassion as researched by Neff, K. (2011). Steve Southwick (2012) wrote:
“spiritual people find ways to meet the challenges and continue with purposeful lives….. they bounce back and carry on.”
The rainbow is my reminder that I am not alone and that getting through the storm is rewarded with this colourful arch.
Transcending the circumstances challenging me is not always magical as I may complain, lament, do tragic and meltdown. Appreciation, gratitude, faith, humour and hope shift me beyond limitations to transcend. These are the strengths within us our magic.
Special thanks to Laraine and Grant Rayner of Loose Goose Chalets, Nannup W.A. for rehabilitating injured wild life like the Wallaby: Rosie seen above.
Beatty, M in http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/yourdailyspirit
Neff, K (2011) Self Compassion, New York, Harper Collins
Peterson, C & Segilman, MEP (2004) Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Washington, D.C American Psychology Association
Selvam, S. (2010) Faith, Hope and Love as expressions of human transcendence: Insights from Positive Psychology: A paper presentation at the postgraduate interdisciplinary conference on Faith, Hope and Love, London: Heuthrop College
Southwick, S (2012) The science of meeting life’s greatest challenges, New York, Cambridge University press.ng injured