when adversity strikes part 2
I never expected to see such beautiful blooms at the beach! There are lots of new things for me here in Florida, and you won't see me with a gator, but I will show you what I find beautiful. I asked a friend, and she said they were morning glory. I looked it up and sure enough, this kind grows on dunes . Dunes are really inhospitable places for most plants. Strong winds, dry sand, salty air, blistering heat and scarce nutrients. And yet, the morning glory does more than survive and persist, it stabilizes the dune environment. Remember the 3 choices from last time? Dig your heels in with resistance, put your head in the sand with denial, or grow. Or in this case, put your roots in the sand and grow. Of course my focus is growth.
You need lots of courage to overcome adversity. We know there'll be adversity. It's part of growth.
Let's say you chose option 3 , which is to grow through adversity. You then make a commitment to yourself to show up. Whatever obstacle, anticipated or not, can be seen as school. I can learn from it and trust that I will get through it.
Sometimes adversity comes in form of rejection. Rejection by an employer, a friend, a spouse. We need resilience to get through rejection. How important is it to cope? It's a life skill. It is definitely not taught per curriculum in school. Often we learn by doing and observing. But maybe your parents weren't the best examples in showing you how to deal with adversity. So you probably learned in the school of hard knocks. Or you sought out a mentor who taught you. I needed one who didn't just say:" Pray. Look to Jesus." Now , don't get me wrong. I love Jesus and believe in prayer , but I needed more. I needed a "how to get through" course. In my marriage and as a mother of six children, I needed a neutral, calm and encouraging outside voice. This voice came in form of a mentor who kept saying: "It's not about you." The problems were draining me emotionally. If you are a mom, you know what I mean. I am happy to say that with lots of repetition, I learned that the problems were not about me and that I could see it as an opportunity to grow. I learned that my children and my spouse can be my teachers, and now I can greet the day with: "Bring it on. I can handle this."
May I just emphasize again , that the healthiest thing to do is to detach yourself from it. As if you are the observer. You can't possibly look at it objectively if your emotions are entangled. De-tangle, detach. Step outside and look in. For those of us who are faith based, you know God has your back. He is on your side. Your sure foundation. If you are not faith based, you might believe in source, or spirit or the universe. You know you are supported by a greater power. The more you go through adversity and you choose to grow through it, learn from it and make healthy choices for your mind, body and soul, the more you can have your own back.
Life is full of contrasts.
There is no joy without sadness.
No resilience without obstacles.
No peace without turbulence.
No victory without a fight.
Adversity is part of life. We know that, but should also expect it and be OK with it. We plan for everything else, don't we? We have plans for weight loss. Plans for education. Plans for buying a house. Plans for a celebration or a vacation. Do we think to have a plan on how we will deal with life's obstacles?
The default way is to get angry or to pity ourselves. We actually have to put work into it if we want to respond in a healthy way. Plan ahead of time how you want to respond .
How do I want to respond when my mother in law criticizes the way I raise my children? Or my own mother?
How do I want to respond when my child has a temper tantrum?
When my spouse gives me the silent treatment?
When my car is in an accident?
When my child is involved with the wrong crowd?
When my brother talks in a demeaning way to my spouse? To me?
When my child yells at me ? Doesn't talk to me? Is in their room a lot?
For me personally , the healthiest way, was to learn to step back and observe. And to do whatever I can to not react in the moment. This doesn't mean we loose our voices and don't speak up when needed. It means to speak up when you are calm and " in your right mind". It means to give space and grace and then some more grace. Even if the people in your life don't act in a respectful way, in an honorable way, don't forget whose you are and who you are. I am a child of God and I am chosen, complete, approved, set apart, made holy, secure, blessed , redeemed ,loved.
Other people's opinion of me does not determine my value. My God does.
For more I am's , go to my free download https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6ea0c8_06cfc00d89c84c38ae714ac248521b01.pdf.
Let me wrap up.
Before adversity strikes, have a plan. When it strikes, don't be afraid to feel the pain. Feel it to heal it. Then choose to grow through it. Your future resilient self will thank you.
Until next time,
You are loved. Deeply loved. Loved without measure.
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