Sunday, April 08, 2012

Acceptance, Faith and Action

How to Cope When Life Lands a One-Two Punch?

Maybe you got fired, you can't find a job, your bank account is overdrawn, and life looks hopeless. Maybe you or your family is suffering a health crisis, or your spouse left your long-term-marriage. Whatever the specifics, when they attack, troubles seem to gang up on you. One problem leads to another until you feel your world is ending. The loss of job, health, or marriage leads to loss of financial security, and any sort of crisis leads to emotional depression. How to cope when life lands a one-two punch?

Respond to the crisis with a three-phase counter-attack:

1. Acceptance: Before you can recover from a crisis, you have to acknowledge that the devastation before your eyes is real. When life broadsides you, your first instinct is to look at the flaming crumpled wreck in disbelief and think, "This isn't real, this can't have just happened." But it did happen, and you can't move back the hands of time and ask the director for take-two. This isn't a movie, it's your real life. As William Shakespeare said, "What's done is done."

True acceptance requires giving up all resentments and regrets. Blame is not going to fix anything. Screaming at your ex-boss or ex-husband or sticking pins in their voodoo doll isn't going to change your situation, and it will make you feel even more upset.

The key to acceptance is forgiveness of everyone, especially yourself, for everything that has ever occurred. Forgiveness is for yourself - so you can release yourself from the fires of anger and hatred that will otherwise burn your spirit to a cinder. Adopt an attitude of forgiveness - not so your ex-boss or ex-husband can sleep better, but so you can transform your own nightmares into sweet dreams.

2. Faith: If you are deeply religious, you know what this means. In any case, have faith in your own abilities and in your future.

3. Action: Acceptance and faith are important, but they are not enough. Believe in the future and don't worry, but also keep taking action.

When you get hit by a sequence of challenges, such as job loss, financial worries, and depression, you need to respond with all three: Acceptance, Faith, and Action.

by Jonathon Huie