I have heard two sermon series on adversity lately. I have also had my fair share of adversity in the last 12 weeks too. To be honest, I have not always handled adversity well. I am not proud to admit when I got married and my bridesmaid who was in charge of putting my makeup bag forgot to, it ate me up. I mean really ate me up! I was so mad on my entire honey moon about it and thought about it all the time. Looking back I am sure it was about $20 worth of makeup but it also cost me a relationship that never repaired and I was distracted on my honeymoon! How sad is that?
How we handle adversity is a key factor in our relationships and ultimately how we control our own emotions.
When someone or something creates conflict do you:
A. Believe someone or something has wronged you and until it is right you are going to be angry.
B. Believe the best in people and work to see how this adversity can improve your life and relationship.
I was a very answer “A” person for years. I met so many wonderful women who seemed to have it all together. As I got older I would watch how they handled adversity and learn what they did to return to that zen place of womanhood that seemed to elude my hot little head.
It cracks me up now when people say “Wow how did you say so calm and so nice in that situation?” I have become Answer “B” women and I will share with you how.
- Adversity as perfectly acceptable fuel to success. When something comes up you have got to become a conflict master and dig in and look for what good can come from this tense situation. What you learn and apply can really be fuel to success.
- I give the other person the best explanation for their behavior. I do not assume people are out to get me, I assume people are people. Ron and I have a saying in our family. When we both have the same information we often come to the same conclusion. It may just take some time for me to learn more details or share more details but when you are looking for success in adversity you will often find it.
- Be loving at all times. My Bible teaches about loving people. Love is the greatest characteristic you can have. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not keep a record of wrong etc. (read 1 Cor 13 for more things love is and is not). If you can master this one then you can handle so much more in your life.
Adversity is a strange teacher I have learned to work with. I usually learn something about myself or learn about how to be better in the future. I am not asking for it to come knocking on my door but as a wife, mom and CEO it is going to. I had to make a choice to use it and not let it control me. I think that can lead to heart attacks, substance abuse, depression and a host of many other life controlling issues.
I had to face adversity and decide would I use it as fire that consumes or fuel for success? What will you do?
Are you tired of waking up at 3 am and thinking about how that old, so and so, made you mad. Are you tired of the feeling the conflict your gut that is on fire? Are you tired of boiling over when something hard happens in your life that is unpleasant.
Hang in there and try a little at a time. Ask yourself, “How can I make this situation better?” “How can I be more loving (and still not a victim)?” It does not happen overnight but you can get better, be better and grow into the person you want to be not the one that adversity often tells you that you are.
Be strong and love your life,