In the past whenever I faced a difficult situation, tough task or serious challenge I would go into overdrive mentally and physically. My brain would be about to burst because I needed to find the solution and fast. More often times than not, the problem got solved and the tension eased, but not without major stress on my psyche.
Being a type A personality disguised as an easy-going gal, most people would never know how worked up I can get. I’ve often been described as “smooth” “cool” and “calm.” On many occasions I am, but mostly passion fire burns brightly inside of me.
Thankfully, I have learned to breathe and go quiet when I’m in need of answers to life’s biggest questions. Meditation, reading, writing and watching inspirational programs have helped me tremendously.
One of my favorite biblical verses I read when I need to calm down and gather strength through silence is from The Old Testament, Isaiah 41:10:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Upon first reading this passage, I got teary because it is truly powerful. Then I felt somewhat ashamed. I asked myself why I was so afraid and worried when God is my protector. As humans we often get so caught up in the world that we lose sight of who holds our future. We think WE do, and we definitely have to be in charge of our lives, but on a grander scale, The Almighty is always in charge. Reflecting on this verse has been very comforting to me and immediately brings me back to my center.
Another thing I like to do is to watch inspirational documentaries. One of my favorites right now is (and don’t laugh) the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics NBA Champions DVD. Seeing some of my favorite players win their first championship in 2008 was a great thrill. So looking back on how they did it was just as exciting. When someone is rich and successful all we see is the glory, but even millionaire athletes go through trauma, pain, loss and rejection before they reach their goals. I can watch this DVD a thousand times and never tire of it because it shows the belief, passion and hard work it takes to get to the top. Imagine working 10 years at something and never reaching the pinnacle? Some would just give up, but Paul Pierce never did. He kept working and was finally rewarded with other teammates who helped him reach his championship goal. Great stuff!
At times when we don’t reach our goals or are at an impasse in our lives all we can think about is the failure. I’ve learned to think about my successes and focus on my future goals as a way to build strength and endurance to go on. Sometimes I will take 30 minutes and think non-stop about the things I want to achieve leaving no room for other thought. The result? My breathing is more steady, my mind is filled with positive images and I feel the power of possibilities rather than the weight of failure.
The tool that helps me the most during challenging times is writing. It’s my gift, sweet sanctuary and bridge to building success. Recently, I had a difficult conversation with a relative that ended badly. Neither of us was willing to truly listen to the other. I knew that writing down my feelings would be a better way to get my point across so I penned a letter and mailed it. All of the issues were not resolved, but calming down and writing served it’s purpose and now me and my family member are on better terms.
We are not robots or machines built for monotonous duty. We are human, we fall, we break, we need rest and sometimes we need to rejuvenate. In taking quiet time to reflect and rebuild our minds and bodies we learn that our “failures” are really opportunities for our growth and advancement.
What are some ways you handle life’s challenges? Please share.
Blessings to you!
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