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  • In the background, many of us are terrified of so muchdisgrace, illness, sacking,

  • our mortality, the suffering and death of loved onesWhen these fears come up, we

  • are often encouraged, out of kindness, to think of the best-case scenarios. It's a

  • well-meaning move, but it alsounintentionallyleaves our fears to fester; they fill

  • us with unnamed dread and sometimes loom far larger than they should. So an opposite move

  • displayed hereinvolves looking our anxieties directly in the eye, refusing to

  • be cowed by them and examining them in exhaustive detail so as to drain them of their debilitating

  • power. Doing so is liable to bring us to an important realisation: we could copeeven

  • if the worst came to the worstWhat follows are some invitations to meditate on scary

  • things, not in order to depress us, but to lend us a buoyant, optimistic sense of our

  • resilience and adaptability. If the worst came to the worst

  • …I would learn I had far fewer friendsbut the ones that remained would be the true ones;

  • the ones who could see past my (ruined) social status to the genuine me beneath. If the worst

  • came to the worstit would no longer be an option to follow

  • the safe, respectable, prestigious path. With far less left to lose, I would at last be

  • granted the opportunity to explore the riskier, yet more fulfilling occupations I had always

  • somewhere hankered for but been too socially-anxious to try. If the worst came to the worst

  • …I would learn to measure my self-worth

  • by my own standards rather than the whims and applause of the crowd. I would grow a

  • sense of self independent of the verdicts of others. If the worst came to the worst

  • …I would look with new admiration and humility

  • at the unhurried calm, natural stoicism and resilience of animals. If the worst came to

  • the worst…I would learn to contemplate my sorrows

  • from the vantage point of a distant nebula and would recognise my life as the petty and

  • insignificant thing it truly is and always was. If the worst came to the worst

  • …I would develop appropriate gratitude for every apparently minor thingand every

  • day that unfolded without further catastrophe would be recognised as the blessing it truly

  • is. If the worst came to the worst …I would understand that life was

  • not something that could ever be moulded into a wholly flawless and error-free entitybut

  • is an always imperfect, necessarily wonky cobbled-together construction, full of marks

  • and blemisheswhich nevertheless possess their own beauty and dignity. If the worst

  • came to the worst …I would learn to distinguish between what

  • is really serious and worth lamenting and what is only ever a passing nuisance. I would,

  • in so many situations, be infinitely calmer. If the worst came to the worst

  • my failure would embolden others to share stories of their own sadness, confusion and

  • humilliation and we would, together, face up to the suffering we so often, currently, unfairly, endure alone.

  • If the worst came to the worst… I would see that the struggle for fame,

  • money and success was only ever a doomed attempt to compensate for an unconditional love that

  • was longed for but denied in childhood. Worldly craving would give way to melancholy and mourning.

  • to the worst … I'd cease to be so scared of looking withinand

  • might, perhaps, one day give psychotherapy a go.

  • If the worst came to the worst …I would play the saddest songs that have

  • been waiting, in the wings, for me all this time.

  • If the worst came to the worst

  • truly the worst, then all the rage, grief, anxiety and fear would be at an endand

  • we would, at last, as the prayers so beautifully put it, be at peace. Our cheerful despair

  • badge serves as an elegant reminder of the art of cheerful despair during hard times.

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In the background, many of us are terrified of so muchdisgrace, illness, sacking,

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B1 US worst resilience cheerful cope despair suffering

How to Cope If the Worst Came to the Worst..

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    Evangeline posted on 2018/06/05
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