As we all know all too well, adversity is not reserved for day-time soap operas. Even the most fortunate have experienced adversity of some type, be it a loss of a job, health problems, failed relationships, disappointments at work, financial difficulties, etc.
But then there is the worst of adversities... the death of our loved one, our child.
I intentionally used the word 'movement' through adversity in the title as adversity has an uncanny way of paralyzing us. If we do not choose movement through it, we will be stalled in the white knuckle grip of adversity.
Here are three action steps to help you move through adversity today:
1. Take inventory. When we are dealt a loss, we tend to feel lost and that all is lost. Identify what is lost other than stating the obvious physical loss of your loved one. What has changed and what is the same? Take a moment to breathe. Then, on a blank piece of paper, for 1 uninterrupted minute, write down and express your gratitude for what still remains. An attitude of gratitude creates happiness and resiliency. In fact, more and more studies are showing that gratitude is the most common characteristic among the happiest people, even given their adversity.
2. Convert turning points into learning points. As hard as it is to hear, try to use your adversity as a time to pinpoint opportunities for you to learn, grow, rebuild, improve or test your own character and faith. What is your grief telling you that you need at this moment? Can even one iota of beauty come from something so tragic? As I said, this may be so hard to hear, especially if your loss is new and still so fresh. Please know in no way am I minimizing your pain. I am your #1 supporter and you are the one to choose when and how you see your journey.
3. Plan for the future, but live in the present. Don't obsess about the pain of yesterday and don't be seduced by the promise that tomorrow it will be all better. It takes time. It takes work. It takes practice to think in the here and now only (I'm still a work in progress!) All we have is this exact moment. What we do in this exact moment leads to our future. What can you do right now to better your future? Smile. Laugh. Exercise. Say 'no' and rest. Accept help. Live for now.
When adversity hits, try to keep fighting for forward MOVE:ment with these three steps.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"