Two Steps Forward and Two Steps Back

Have you ever been disappointed and wonder why you are going through this scenario again?  Have you started to move forward only to find out that you have to go back a few steps?  How do you handle these challenges or do you just avoid the whole thing by not dealing with it at all?


These my friends are bits and pieces to the recipe for setbacks that occur in your life.  For some of us it is daily and for some of us it does not happen that often.  Nonetheless, no one gets a free pass from setbacks.  They do happen and they will happen again.  Trust me on this, I have had a few in my time and they have been doozies.


A setback conjures up mixed feelings in my book.  I dread them, but still I force myself to face them head on.  That was not always the case.  When I first encountered a setback, I spiraled out of control.  Being a very emotional person that was my natural response, but it only made the situation worse for me.  It did not change the fact that I had a setback and it did not resolve the issue at hand.  I reacted and then after much calming down (about 2-3 days worth), I then tried to find some sort of resolution.


I could play the “why me” card as well as the next person, but I had to discard that card and remove it from the deck.  “Why me” will never bring you an answer because there really isn’t an answer.  Things will happen.  You have to determine how you will deal with that fact.  Once you have determined this, then, and only then, can you begin to find a viable resolution.


After years of pulling my hair out (dumb move for someone who now has thin hair), trying to justify what happened, I now gained a new perspective from all of this.  I look at setbacks as a testing format.  It gauges my strength or lack thereof and from the setback I gain a trait that I originally lacked.  Was I impatient and needed to learn patience, was I cocky and needed to be humbled, just what was the lesson I was meant to learn?  Was I willing to accept that I was flawed and there were things I needed to change about myself?  I am not asking this as a way to over-analyze the situation (believe me I was very good at over-thinking), but rather what can I take from this that will teach me and possibly save me from making the same mistake again?


All of life can be viewed as a lesson.  We start off with a blank slate and then after time, problems and predicaments start to arise.  At first we seem capable of writing them off or they are small and can be quickly resolved.  At times they just keep coming back (think of weeds in a garden), until we address whatever it us and learn whatever lesson we must from it, so that we do not need to go through it again.  I was a slow learner and I went through too many issues multiple times until I finally got the lesson or principle I was intended to understand.  It hurt having to go through some scenarios more than once, but it happens if we fail to learn from these situations.  We have to take something from it and no, saying “why me” is not the message we are supposed to take away from this.


One thing I know I have learned from all of this is that I have gained an inner strength and a discipline that I can apply to my life.  I have weathered the storms and I have come through the aftermath.  I have gained knowledge and acquired some wisdom from all of this.  I now have a strong base to lean on when the next storm brews and yes, there will be more storms.


Change your perspective and then learn to navigate through the storm.  Search for wisdom to spot the lesson you were meant to grasp.  Take a deep breath and then slowly let it out.  Maintain your composure, strap on your determination, and seek sound advice when you are troubled by the situation at hand.  I have found a firm foundation on which I stand and rely on my faith to get me through.  Remember if He is with you, you will get through the storm.  Lean on him, pray to him, and he will guide you.  In my past I tried to do everything on my own and I failed miserably.  Today, I offer it to him and I have less anxiety and I feel a calmness coming over me.  He is there and I am content – no matter what the outcome may be.  Behind the storm is a silver lining in which joy can be experienced and appreciated.  Hold firm to your beliefs, depend on him, and you will be alright.

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