Even though you know life is not always smooth sailing, do you have unrealistic expectations? How do you respond to conflicts, hiccups and bumps? What works for you in the moment but leaves you feeling empty in the end? If 2020 has taught me anything it has exposed areas where I tend to run that give me an illusion of protection. They are comfortable and familiar and out of habit I naturally have learned to use them to try to feel safe.
What are some places you hide?
I might like consorting with these to get my way, make my point or just pout some. But in the end I am left unfulfilled. Anger leaves me isolated from others. Self pity leaves me unsatisfied. It leaves me in a more painful place than where I began if I am honest with myself. How can I, how can you choose a better, more uncomfortable path in order to end well?
The expectation of life without hurdles is not realistic. Designating in advance where you will run to when you feel attacked is. One thing I have learned is that regardless of whether my current turmoil was in my power to consciously avoid or if it was just a mix of absolutely horrible timing that was not in my control, I have a place to run to. Hard things happen. Period.
#1 Recognize coping behaviors. You will repeat them and be unsatisfied with the outcomes until you recognize them and desire to change them.
#2 Listen to what is at the root of what you are repeating. What are you feeling? How are you reacting?
#3 Reach for strength not your own. You NEED grace. You need grace for your mistakes and you need grace for circumstances that are out of your control. Ask God for a rhema verse that is opposite of your natural inclination. If it is anger because you feel hopeless, ask God for a verse about hope. If it is a fear of being abandoned, ask for a rhema to remind yourself He is always there, always close. TELL yourself that no matter what things look like, you can trust these truths. Your hope is not in the path. It is in the promise.
It may take time to see patterns.
It may take pressing in to discover fears.
It may take brokenness and openness to receive truth.
The pain of staying the same has to be greater than the pain of change.
You CAN end well.
No matter the start.
No matter the mistakes.
No matter what has happened.
It is a journey and there is a constant level of discovery and growth.