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Dealing with Dilemmas

Have you ever struggled with a dilemma? Have you ever felt in doubt between two important choices and you couldn’t decide which one to follow? Have you ever said to yourself: I wish someone else could tell me what to do? According to the Cambridge dictionary, a dilemma is : a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones. Dilemmas are usually hard to solve. We feel stuck, thinking and rethinking what to do, paralyzed by our emotions. Typically when we are emotionally involved in a situation our judgment gets clouded or our objectivity flies away. It is easy for us to get caught up in a loop of various hypothetical scenarios. How can we help ourselves in those situations? I find that some of these tips can be helpful: 1- If you are feeling agitated, breathe and ground yourself before trying to solve your dilemma. Don't judge yourself for how you feel, simply accept it and observe it. Some ways to ground yourself: walk in nature and focus on your experience of walking (you can even do it barefoot so you can feel the grass underneath your feet, if you want), jump up and down so you can let the energy get our of your body, concentrate on your breath, listen to some calming music, light a candle and observe its flame. 2- Look at all choices in your dilemma and write down all the pros and cons of following each one of them. 3- Read them and observe how you feel with each of them. How does your body react? How does your heart feel? Which choice gives you less or more anxiety and why? What fears come up for you when you think of each choice? 4 - Write down a list of your top 3 core values in life and rate how they align with the dilemma choices. Which choice aligns closer to your core values? Some examples of core values: honesty, integrity, loyalty, freedom, joy, etc. I find the more aligned we live to our core values the more peaceful and happier we feel. 5- Decide what choice you will make. Write down some of the consequences for your choice and how you can deal with them. The idea is to be prepared. Think of the reasons why you are making your choice, the values your choice stand for, people you can reach out for support, things you can do to help you while you go through it. Remember that if at any time throughout the exercise, you feel unsettled you can always take a deep breath and ground yourself again. Many times our fears create scenarios that are worse than reality. Writing down possible consequences and how to deal with them will give you strength and confidence in your choice. We tend to want to avoid difficult situations in fear of suffering, judgment, making mistakes, being blamed, etc. That is a normal human reaction. If we start to train our brains to see these situations as opportunities for growth they become less negatively charged and dreadful and become one more lesson in the school of life. With Soul Free Love, Monica

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