Thursday, September 24, 2009

Facing Unexpected Challenges

Our first vacation for the year turned out to be more challenging than we had imagined. I discovered that I could either ruin our trip with worry, anxiety, and despair or enjoy the peace and beauty of our new surroundings and keep my thinking positive and peaceful. This wasn’t always easy to do. After nearly missing our plane, we learned that a friend is dying when we arrived at our destination and also discovered that our son is very ill. Because fear could easily have consumed my thinking, I had to work hard to change my thoughts.

I recognized that using the techniques I’ve learned and taught during the past year really helped me move from misery to peace. I felt helpless being so far away from my loved ones during difficult times, but felt comforted in know that Lord loves them and understands their pain.

I’m including a list of potential peace-busters and some thoughts that can restore one to serenity. Either my close friends or I have faced these challenges recently. Note how simple changes in thinking can make a big difference is helping your experience peace amid sorrow.

1. You’re stuck in traffic (there’s been a wreck) and it looks like you’ll miss your plane.

“There’s nothing I can do about this but accept the situation as it is.”
“I’ll hope that I can make the plane, and if I miss it, I’ll make other arrangements.”

2. Your adult child is seriously misbehaving.

“I’ll continue to love my child, but I won’t enable self-defeating, addictive behavior.”

3. Your best friend has betrayed you.
“Although I feel sad that my friend has broken my trust, I have others friends who care about me. I can still be happy.”

4. A family member has offended you.

“I will not allow our relationship to be ruined by something my loved one said/did.”
“I’m going to focus on my loved ones strengths and ignore his/her weaknesses.”

5. The weather report forecasts lousy weather for each day of your vacation.

“I’m going to have a fun time on my trip regardless of the weather.”
“My happiness on my vacation does not depend on the weather. Perhaps the forecast is wrong.”

6. Someone you dearly love has just been diagnosed with a serious health condition.

“I’m going to enjoy spending time with my friend/family member. We’ll have many good times ahead and will count our blessings often.”I choose to think positively about my friend’s medical condition and send loving thoughts his/her way.”

7. Your friend is dying from cancer.

“Although I grieve for the loss of my dear friend, I celebrate his life and am praying that his family will feel peace as they see him pass from this life to a better one.”"I am grateful that I am privileged to know this wonderful family and learn from their examples."

Each of us faces trials and sorrows at times. Moving from fear-based thinking to acceptance and peace can be difficult. Controlling our thoughts requires great self-control at times. The rewards of peace and inspiration are definitely worth the effort.

© Carol Brown

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