Paint Your Life with the Colors You Want
Paint your life however you want – it doesn’t have to be the way others paint it. Your own attitude will always be your best paintbrush, giving you different shades when you need them the most. You can choose to paint the day with smiles before you become jaded by bitterness.
Sometimes, life gives us gray days. Moments of absolute darkness. Even though you think you have everything under control and consider yourself to be a fabulous planner in the midst of adversity, something always happens that reminds you of how vulnerable you can be.
I don’t want kisses in black and white, I want a life full of color. I’m tired of gray, of people with storms in their hearts. All I want is to be like a butterfly and be reborn with bright, celebratory colors.
In his books and interviews, French neurologist, psychiatrist, and ethologist Boris Cyrulnik provides a useful and interesting take on vulnerability and happiness – that satisfying feeling you get after experience a full range of light and dark colors.
Nobody is prepared for suffering. Having a happy childhood doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be immune to emotional pain in the future. Nor does a traumatic childhood determine your maturity or your future, as Cyrulnik explains in his book Ugly Ducklings and Resilience.
Life can get pretty dark at any moment, we all know that. We’ve experienced it. However, instead of letting ourselves be overcome by those events, those traumas, we have to stop being victims of our circumstances and work through these personal realities every day. Because we’re all worthy of love and happiness. We should all choose the colors to paint our own horizons with.
The shades of life and how to confront them
We don’t often realize that we all have a particular way of painting our lives. We face adversity and interpret and create reality using our own attitudes and particular psychological characteristics.
But this is where the problem always begins. People often say that our genes push us towards or away from depression, a biased perspective where you only see gray days when in reality, the sun is shining sincerely and immensely.
But remember, genes predispose, but do not predetermine. What matters is your willpower and attitude. In fact, Dr. Rafaela Santos, author of Get Up and Fight, tells us that resilience is a combination of genetic, social, and psychological factors. However, there’s nothing more powerful than consciously and constantly training yourself to be able to face adversity in a positive way.
This all encourages us to reflect on the fact that children can inherit a predisposition towards anxiety and depression from their parents. This happens because they share a physiological characteristic: an overactive brain circuit.
Our characteristics aren’t determined by structures in themselves, but by metabolic functions that can be modified. With the right attitude, psychological strategies, and conscious training that we mentioned above, we can paint our lives the way we want to.
It’s time for resilience, time to overcome
Resilience is like a spring that pushes life into action. It’s the art that gives us a sense of control over our problems. Likewise, instead of remaining eternally helpless due to an unfair childhood, traumatic loss, or unforgettable failure, we have the opportunity to choose new colors and shape our horizons.
Experts in personal growth say that in order to achieve your potential, you have to develop your self-control. We know, for example, that the world “resilience” comes from physics, and that it defines the kind of materials that can recover their original form after having been deformed. However, it doesn’t work the same way in the field of psychology.
When something “deforms” us, we never recover our original shape. We’ll never be the same again. But being a different person doesn’t mean being a weaker, darker, more wounded person. The strategy of self-control should be applied here.
Resilience isn’t the ability to come out unscathed, it’s the art of dominating your thoughts and turning them into new emotions. It’s the challenge of maintaining your self-esteem, independence, and the courage to choose the colors you want to use to paint your future.
Three affirmations to say each day
Dr. Edith Grotberg, known for creating a test for resilience, focuses the capacity for self-healing on three verbalizations that you can say to yourself each day:
- I have the ability to face difficult challenges. I have values, guidelines, self-esteem, and people who love me.
- I am someone who believes in hope and who has faith in myself.
- I can solve problems, communicate, defend myself, have good relationships, and fight for my happiness.
It’s worth putting these simple strategies of thought into practice. It takes little effort, but you can achieve a lot.