How to Be Optimistic in the Face of Trials…
Found a wonderful post at zoesoulspa on finding the silver lining in our trials:
It’s time – we need to talk about what trials can mean and do for us. Sometimes people spend so much time thinking how difficult a situation is or how unhappy they are. This especially true when times get tough or life is hard. It may feel like you are trudging through a storm all by yourself. It may even feel very unfair.
What about when someone intentionally hurts you? That can be devastating! We have all been there at one time or another… but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Let me ask you a question… What would happen if you changed your question from, “Why me?” to “How is this situation perfect for me?”
We tend to see life in the current moment instead of from a long-term perspective. Here’s an example.
A friend of mine was recently laid off after working for his company for over 12 years. He was the VP of Operations, requiring him to travel extensively throughout the U.S. and manage multiple locations. His job was very stressful, yet fulfilling for him. In many ways, his job defined him. His wife managed the household, including raising the children and keeping the home fires burning while he was away on business.
When he lost his job, his whole world crashed in on him. He suddenly went from being a prominent executive with a lot of prestige and power to being unemployed with far too much time on his hands. He suddenly didn’t fit into his own world. His family struggled with the adjustment of him being home around the clock and he felt a tremendous loss in his life.
I asked him one day what he thought was the perfect aspect of his situation. If only I could have caught his reaction on camera. He looked at me like I was insane! I pushed him a little for the answer. “How do you think the way the lay off and your new life have transformed is perfect for you?” Just a blank stare. Let me try this another way…
“If you were watching this from a neutral point-of-view, as if it were a movie of someone’s life, what would you say are the positives of what happened?” Then I just waited. I wanted him to give this some thought.
Finally he responded. “I would say to this man, you finally get to be part of your family.”
“Hm… tell me more,” I said.
“For years you’ve chased the corporate dream. And when you finally reached it, the corporate world kicked you in the butt. It was your family that was there for you. They loved you and supported you when your company abandoned you.”
“So,” I said, “how was this situation perfect for ‘the man’ in this movie?” His answer was simple. “It gave him a second chance at having a life.”
Now I pose the same question to you. If you were watching your life played out as a movie, what is lesson or the “Ah-Ha” of the current situation or trial you are experiencing? It’s there… you may have to dig a little to expose it. But I guarantee it is there!
Today’s challenge is to see your challenges from a different point of view. Take an emotional break from the stress and drama of the moment, and ask yourself, “What is the lesson from this trial?” Ponder it. The answer may not come immediately – perhaps you may even need to pray or meditate on it.
When the answer does come, you will be amazed at how perfect the entire situation is for you to learn what you need to learn. You will see how this was not a one-size-fits-all lesson. This is 100% tailor made for you!
If you have someone close to you that you can share with, go through this exercise with them. Sometimes it really helps to have someone you trust share their insights with you.
As this practice becomes more comfortable for you, you will gain a new perspective on all of the struggles in your life. Trials and difficulties take on a completely different meaning!
photo credit: photoschau.de