Thursday, July 21, 2016

Attack and Parry

Since I shared with you all about what the Lord did at Crossfire last week and what I learned from it, it is only right that I share the hard bits too.  This week was not a success at Crossfire for me.  I have worked hard to maintain boundaries because I volunteer for more than one organization.  Up until this point, the boundaries have been fine.  Standing stones respected by all the tribal leaders.  It was good *thumps chest*.  This week the stones cracked and fell partly over.  In my haste to assure the tribal leaders that the standing stones still stood for something even if they had fallen, more stones fell.  It was a stone massacre.

The rest of my day was doomed to be an utter failure.  Nothing was going right!  The list of tasks got longer as I failed to accomplish anything.  I was ready to scream, tear my hair out and cry hysterically.  I'm a dramatic person, could you tell?

So..... Here's what I learned:

  1. Trying to explain to someone you don't know how to fix something, when you have demonstrated greater skill than them in a tangential area, is unlikely to cause positive results.  They can't believe you because they can't do it and they know you have done things on that computer so you should be able to figure it out or at least know better then them what to do.  
  2. I tend to do two very bad things.  When I'm busy and focused, I'm not nice.  I resent every interruption and friendly hello.  I also paint "the whole day" as a failure.  The truth is the whole day wasn't a failure.  More on that later.
  3. Failure is a normal part of life and there are plenty of pithy quotes on the subject like "it's not how you fail it's how you proceed".  While those kinds of thoughts are true in my opinion, here's why.  What you focus on will shape and color your thoughts.  If you focus on your failure; your whole day, year, life, will feel like a failure.  If you focus on what God wants to teach you through a difficult circumstance, what you can do something about in the moment, plugging back into your support group or any number of positive and/or real things....well, suddenly (or gradually depending on how deep and long you've plunged into the depths) the false impression trying to define you can be let go.  It's still a choice, and the feelings might linger, but you can end the narrative of your day differently.
  4. I didn't want to have Bible Study after the day I had, but everyone of us has at one time or other had a bad day, thought it would be better if we just laid down and hid, and instead chosen to come and been blessed for it.  Not only was I able to share my burden, which helped me release it, but the act of then turning to the Word of God and being reminded of who He is, took the focus off of me and back where it belonged.  It allowed me to ask Him what He wanted me to learn.  I believe part of what God wanted me to learn is that my worth is not bound to my accomplishments.  One of my longest battles has been with pride.  I like doing well and while that in itself isn't a problem, it can be.  It's an internal focus issue.  Yesterday was a reminder that pride does come before a fall.  Not only did I have a false sense of self, so did others. While I can't alter someone else's expectations of my ability, I can proceed in humility.  What a great reminder that I can't do it all and that's okay.  I wasn't designed to do it all.  
  5. After many years battling depression, in part for the above two reasons, I have learned to recognize the signs and I know what to do to counteract them.  It's hard.  Very hard.  But today I can start again, prioritize and proceed.  After all, a minion doesn't quit.  They just have an adventure trying to accomplish the task!  
I love stories, but several things in my life have reminded me that the heroes, sidekicks, antiheroes and minions all proceed through the story filled with hurtles, hardships, setbacks and failures.  No one skips from start of quest to triumphant ending.  That would be a terrible story.  So today I'm choosing to think of life as an adventure!  Bring on the Fire Swamp!

Thinking you've learned a good lesson and facing the day thinking you'll be able to keep a good perspective on problems doesn't mean you won't have hard things happen.  Almost cried three times today but I kept it together.  Life is hard sometimes and it takes fortitude.  Especially when there is nothing you can do but wallow or release.  Being reminded of lost dreams while you're being introduced to new lost hopes was not a great follow up to yesterday, but that's what today has brought.  So once again, I have a choice.  I can wallow and sink or I can let it go and tread water.  I know which one I feel like doing, but I also know which one I'm going to chose.

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