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We all want to be brave

I admire bravery, I think we all do.  That is why so many movies and television programs have a brave hero facing unsurmountable obstacles.  Some days daily life feels like a quest.  I suffer from a chronic illness that has many and varying side symptoms.  Each day presents a different challenge or unexpected obstacle.  I know that I am not alone.  For many people, the personal obstacle course is provided by another person, a sick child, an elderly parent,  a loved one battling addiction or crippled by a mental illness. 

I never enter a crisis or rock-hard season feeling ready or brave.  I struggle to believe I will muster up the strength to handle what is coming  next.  I find my anxiety rising and showing up in unexpected ways.  When I am binge watching a show I do not really like that much, I realize it is to keep my thoughts away from my next medical procedure.  We are like the hero in so many shows, starting out weak, ill prepared and unsure of ourselves.

Courage is not something I  pack to take with me, like a good pair of hiking books.  I must leave without it. Instead, courage finds its way to me when I need it most.  When I falter and believe that I will fail, courage arrives from some unknown place within me. I find the strength to make an appointment or show up for a procedure.  I know that courage comes when someone makes another trip to rehab, gets through another long night at the hospital or cries another bucket of tears. 

I now understand that I do not need to feel courageous or brave or able to handle what confronts me.  I only need to commit to the task ahead.  I can take one step, one struggle at a time.

Courage will be there when I need it the most.

Read and write for a better life with Faith 2 Talk Press.

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Soundless Explosions

Day after day, things happen to me that have an impact on my soul.  Of course, today was one of those days.  Things happen to me, people say things to me, comments are made about me, and I, remain silent.  Saying nothing is appropriate and the right thing to do.  There is no need for an outburst.  Yet there is an outburst, that takes place within me.  The impact of  daily living on my emotions is like standing in a hailstorm. I am bombarded with stimuli that provoke reactions deep within my mind.  While nothing rises from my being to become thoughts that form words that leave my mouth to express how I feel.  Silence is my most effective shield. 

The accumulation of the silence can be corrosive.  Sometimes, it can break through like water breaching a dam, and then, it is explosive.  I have learned the importance of processing my emotions; by myself and with myself.   I allow myself to experience and understand what is left behind after people have trampled through my life.  My emotional responses have become my teachers and my friends.   All the words and thoughts that run through my head were never meant to be spoken.  I sift  them through the filter of perspective, my silence remains unbroken, and my heart is no longer burdened.  After that, quiet is an important companion I can bring along when I spend time with others.

When was the last time you spent some time alone to sort out what is bothering you?  When did you take time to quiet the judgments and scoldings you are heaping upon yourself?  Have you processed the interactions that left you unsettled?  I recommend taking that time.  It makes a world of difference for me. 

The thoughts and emotions that you sort out when you are alone become your teachers and your friends.

Read and write for a better life with Faith 2 Talk Press

Read and write for a better life with Faith 2 Talk Press

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Difficult Days

Even the most difficult day ends at midnight.

I am revisiting the word difficult. Doing something that requires skill, labor, and planning. Difficult things require much effort to be successful and can be filled with hardship.

I was in the midst of a hard day. I had the thought that this is difficult. What I was working to accomplish was hard. It actually helped me to acknowledge the difficulty. It made it easier for me to keep pressing forward.

We live in such a win-lose society. Crushing the other side or an opponent is the goal. We want to dominate. We aim to completely leave other people in the dust.

We need to give greater weight to the efforts that we make, even when the results are not spectacular. If all we did was make it to an appointment, show up to a job we hate, or attend a gathering we really wanted to skip. Our efforts, especially the small ones, are important.

Our lives and our characters are built on completing difficult things. There will be no trophies or medals for the hard difficult days we endure. No one may notice or realize the struggle involved. That is why it is so important to tell yourself that you made it through a difficult day or tough set of circumstances.

When you find yourself in the midst of a difficult day, remember that day will end, and you will get a new one tomorrow.

Remember it is not winning that really matters in the long run. Instead, it is what we gain by walking through to the end of our difficult days or trials.

Read and write for a better life with Faith 2 Talk Press