What is your default when dealing with the hard side of life?
What do you go to when you are sad or disappointed? Who do you call first when you have had a hard day? What is that instinctive thing you do to get out of hard situations? Does it really work? Sometimes that is a tough question, but I have found it is important to tackle it head on.
We all have something that soothes the heart, calms the emotions, lifts our spirits and just helps us get through tough days and seasons. It could be food, TV, books, sex, cuddles, silence, journaling, hangouts, meditation, prayer…oh boy…the list is long. But the reality is…we have that thing we sink into and get comfortable so we don’t deal with the real issue.
I have been thinking about the things I gravitate to in challenging times.
I would want to say I am always balanced and go straight into prayer, meditation and journaling, it would be a lie. There are times my default is other things like a piece of 72% dark chocolate, mindless TV among others. Recently after a personal disappointment threw me sideways, my coach listened to me gripe then said,
“I can also see why that would be the route to take but allow me to challenge you by suggesting prayer and connection with the Lord. It is obvious that your efforts didn’t hit the spot and offer the level of comfort you needed. (I rolled my eyes) A connection with God and venting would’ve helped relieve the angst and have your heart heard vs suppress and let the evil one lock you in on that state. I’m far from perfect but I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that.” I must admit that I had already come to the same conclusion.
I knew from the start that the coping mechanism I had picked would not work.
I knew I was taking the easy way out and it would leave me frazzled, but frustration and pain blocked out my ability to deal and I just didn’t want to make the hard choice. So I wallowed and placated and hoped to come out fine but alas. The only thing that happened was a temporary fix. It was like falling down and scrapping my knee and instead of washing and disinfecting the would, I simply put a plaster over it and tried to go on with life.
The pain would increase in time and infection set in demanding proper medical attention likely in hospital. The doctor would take off the plaster, assess the wound, clean it thoroughly and if it is too bad, I would need surgery to deal with it. Even without surgery, ignoring the wound had just aggravated it, making it more difficult to care for and lengthened the healing period.
What are the things we are not dealing with that are causing great harm?
Many of us know that we need to find resolution but are unwilling to do the work because it is a lot and painful or because we may not know where to start. The thing that stood out for me is that on an ordinary day, I knew what to do and where to start but I was in so much pain, it blinded me to the real solutions and led me to the easy options.
I also realised that I had taken the easy way out for so long that it was my default setting and I needed to put in the work to change. Why? It was not working anymore and it left me full of with guilt for doing something I would rather not do that did not change the situation. I can no longer take the easy way out because even though it is easy, it is bondage and I must train my mind to deal with every situation.
To become the fullness of the goal set before me, I must learn to deal with life decisively.
The easy way out got me this round, but I am back up on my feet and walking back to the challenge to deal with it the right way around. No more cop outs, diversions, escape routes or anything. This is the season of dealing and going straight through to make every situation count, every time.
What do you need to look back at and set new terms of engagement? Which response do you need to edit, alter and undo so that you grow every time? Look at your life, identify and deal. Remember, we are only as strong as our weakest habit…press in to deal and on towards the mark set out for you.