When everything is not going as planned, and you already feel like your world is smashing into you, hearing someone say that everything happens for a reason may make you cringe and cause you to scream. Or maybe it is just me who screams on the inside mid-conversation. And it’s not that you don’t want to believe them, you may desperately want to. But how can you hold on to their words when deep down you feel that no one can understand what you are truly experiencing and if they did they wouldn’t tell you ‘everything happens for a reason’ and expect you to be able to just snap out of it automatically.
Many people, including myself, have faced obstacles at various times in their lives, where they wonder ‘Why is this happening to me?’ or ‘How did I get here?’. One of my favorite thoughts during these moments is how the heck do I fix this and get myself the heck out of this downward event. This is normally followed by tears under my covers at night while drowning myself in sorrow and ice cream. Needless to say, this method has offered no solution to any of my problems and on occasion, when combined with pizza, has just added a few pounds.
It has taken me a few attempts [again I am only human so the real word I am searching for is years] to realize that I needed to look at things in a different way. It took a lot of soul-searching, some prayers and a few internal slaps to myself to try to look at things in a different way. Now I can be very strong-minded and slightly controlling… no that is a little too strong a word. Hmmm… let’s use the term control connoisseur. And in these moments, I have had to start shaking myself a bit to understand that there had to be some type of logic for the universal sized storms that I had faced in my life. So being me, I started to analyze the cause, effect, and outcome and in the end, they all appeared to show a common thread.
No matter the cause–whether it was an intolerable work environment, a friend who turned out not to be a true friend, a family member who pushed all my buttons the wrong way, or some health, financial, love crisis [take any pick you want… we have all had our moments and seasons] the effect was always the same. I felt out of control and could not determine beforehand what the outcome would be. In each crisis, my emotions took over my logical side and would leave me feeling hurt, betrayed, alone and afraid. And the truth is, I had the right to feel and to dwell in each emotion, wallowing in it.
The length of time that I stayed in that moment was, however, my choice and this aspect was what I still had control over. I could choose to flee under my sheets at night feeling afraid, but that did not make the crisis go away. Now I am not saying that an automatic change in mindset made everything I faced disappear into thin air. I was never one to believe in fairy tales, and I am not about to start creating one now. What I am suggesting is that the universe will bend to your thinking and when you make the decision to not be a slave to your emotions and create mental steps to work through or around your situations they became tolerable. For me it took a lot of reconstruction in the way that I thought about things, it started to move from tolerable, to manageable. At that point, I felt a sense of accomplishment and with all accomplishments, a wind of challenge would blow in, and I would want more.
This led me to start aiming to do more than just being able to manage a crisis but to use positive thinking, prayer and work to overcome. This allowed me to use each crisis; not as a crisis, but to view it as an energy force. So if it meant that you, like me, are unhappy at a job, then we can use that energy to push us to take courses which will open doors to other opportunities. No matter what the situation is, you can try to develop a determination where you no longer just give up… but use these feelings, while you are in the moment to fuel yourself and to thrust you towards where you need to be. There are still times when I may end up under my sheets like an ostrich afraid to face the world. But those hidden moments are much fewer and last for shorter periods of time when compared to where I started. Now when I come out from under the covers, I no longer have to wipe the ice-cream from my face. I come out with a game plan. And the belief that whatever the battle you and I may be facing, that it is only going to be the starting line, to launch us to where we need to be on our lives’ journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Farrell-Davis is an operations manager whose love for words drive her creative expression as a freelance writer and blogger. She thrives on seeing others succeed, and channels that passion into non-profit and community organizations. Balancing family and career, along with being an avid reader, food aficionado and music enthusiast, Lisa engages at the intersection life and faith in all its beauty, complexity and messiness. Her musings on her adventures can be found at www.uncagedphoenix.com or on Instagram: uncagedphoenix_blog.