A Positive Outlook, when uncertainty sometimes we cope well and at other times stable coping strategies illude us, at these times would welcome a steadying hand or something to dispel the often debilitating thoughts that race throughout minds causing discomfort and distress. Sometimes something else (anything else) to focus on or a goal on the horizon is sought to help us find our way through or at least distract us from the thick fog that prevents us from having a positive outlook. If we are lucky enough we manage to avoid the pitfalls of simply turning to wasteful distractions, harmful substances or other destructive conditioned tendencies of habit. The fortitude and endurance to deal with what often seems like an endless night of woe, trials I mean, (I was being dramatic), seem to desert at times.
Many of us realize our habit of distraction and coping is not the healthiest and do try to find more constructive or less destructive coping mechanisms. If we are lucky, we can turn to others (family, friends) who despite their own problems (even if they seem to have none) try to help us to deal with ours, but we do not always wish to. We may feel less than resilient especially if we are facing something we have never faced before, and even if we are usually resilient the trial may seem to go on so long that sustaining our sense of wellbeing becomes more and more difficult, or trials are accompanied by other challenges which can lead us to feel overwhelmed.
We may struggle to change the habits of thought of a lifetime to meet the change and challenge. The changes we face may cause us to re-evaluate our self-concept so coping becomes uncomfortable and even undesirable. The humility to required to simply ask for help or accept help it may be overwhelming. The risk feeling rejected if help does not come may daunt, disorientate and disarm us further, (but let’s not dig a whole just yet). It’s not unusual to linger in doubt and despondency for some time often needlessly and sometimes even necessarily as this can be helpful (did I really say that?), that may seem a strange thing to say. In any case, finding ourselves feeling off balance in a crisis can diminish our sense of self-worth.
This is the time to begin to grow and to tap into our inner strength and resources (although it may not feel like it when in the thick of it). This is precisely the time to develop faith (especially if we have nothing else to do but worry and fret). Often our inner core strength has been long forgotten if we have a life of relative ease and have not needed to draw on it. For many of us, when we have reached the brink of what we feel we can cope with and with seemingly nowhere left to turn, begin to SOUL SEARCH and to scratch the surface of that hidden gem, a wealth of strength, courage, and hope and resilience. This is the beginning of the discovery of true soul identity. It is easy to see why many feel faith is a crutch for the desperate, however, this is deceptive. We can see from this that thinking that faith is far from the easy option or a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Whenever trouble hits it certainly is not an easy option, far from it. No, the work is clear and the reward of faith is only there once this work has been done (whether in the heart in warfare or peace) by anyone who has developed great faith. Of course, it is best developed in calm times.
If you have ever heard and understood the Chinese saying ‘sweat more in training, bleed less in war’ you will know what I mean. Better to have faith ready and well developed for troubled times than look for it in the dark. There is a lot to be said for personal preparedness, (knowing where the torch is when its daylight), but most neglect it in times when the light is, finding no need for it in times of plenty plentiful and in the absence of a trial, and see no reason to seek it until its often too dark to find where it might be sought.
Faith is not by any means the easy option or most people would be queuing to get some. No its work. The scriptures talk about Exercising faith. Exercise and stretching for strength and flexibility is needed. Since people often look for the easiest answers by nature exploring the largely unseen is difficult at first, and patience is needed while waiting for the muscles develop. We often don’t feel like we possess a God-like ability and may have even have talked ourselves into believing we are ordinary, but that makes no sense when we consider our very existence and our uniqueness as individuals, on a planet unique among many, functioning brilliantly and intelligently in its sphere. We simply struggle to remember our origin and our creator. It’s like we can’t find the key to the door which unlocks the making sense of everything.
A famous science fiction movie film scene sums up the state of play regarding change and most people. When reasoning for survival threatened by a superior being the being is reminded that …’ it was only when your world was threatened with destruction that you became what you are now!’…..’well that’s where we are now’… ‘it’s only on the brink that people find the will to change’. This is so true for most of us we change when we are forced to, under duress and when we are forced to change we grow or diminish. Those who face and even embrace the challenge of change are the ones that make it. In short, all trials have something that holds a means of growth in some aspect (like it or not) so we evolve a little more in line with our divine potential. We may, however, need help, and sometimes need time and perspective to decipher the message the trial holds amidst the mess, which is why people talk about hindsight.
Q, What valuable insights and lessons have you learned from a crisis or trial that in some strange way made you give thanks. Gratitude is a coping tool for keeping a positive outlook
Coaching for Positive Outlook: Available on request