Beliefnet
You Can Sit With Us

No one goes through life without struggles. The question is what do we do when we fall? How do we find the strength and the spirit to get back up? I have listened and read many stories of people who have come into “success”. Success is defined as the accomplishment of aim of purpose. All have said that the failures or what they really mean is the suffering is what actually defined them. Today, I want to talk about the fall. I know some of you are in the midst of some type of fall and often we only are candid about the peaks in our lives. We tend to skim over the valleys. However, the valleys are where we can expand our souls if we are willing to face the truth. The valleys are where the most growth happens. The valleys are where we learn how connected we all are. Social Scientist Brene’ Brown says we will never be free ourselves from suffering until we are all free from suffering. Our job and part of our purpose is to look outside of what’s in front of us. Every action has a reaction in our families, our communities and in our entire world. We are brothers and sisters whether you want to believe it or not. Look at the genealogy of the bible.

Let me ask you a few questions….

Have you ever disregarded someone because of the choices they have made in the past?

Have you ever disregarded someone because of what you have heard about them even if you don’t personally know them?

Have you ever disregarded someone because “it’s not your problem” or “they brought that thing on themselves”?

Have you ever disregarded someone because they are different than you?

Have you ever disregarded someone because they didn’t measure up to “your standard” of success?

Have you ever disregarded someone because you don’t have time? You’ve got your own problems to deal with.

Ok, Now let me ask you a just a few more questions…

Have you ever stepped out and done something for someone else with no gain to you? No manipulation involved

Have you ever sat down and really listened to someone who was really hurting? No advice just listened?

Have you ever showed real empathy to another?

Have you ever put judgement aside and saw something in someone that resonated with your past or present?

Have you ever shut down gossip?

Have you ever met the need of a complete stranger without weighing all the pros and cons?

We all carry battle wounds from living in a fallen world. Remember, this is the devils’ playground and his one and only job is to steal, kill, and destroy. However, we have someone much more powerful than the devil who is perfect and entirely good. He helps us during our falls by instilling in us empathy for other people’s pain and suffering. If I sat down with you and listened to you tell me about how your business failed but I had a thriving business, then it might be difficult for me to show you empathy. But, even if I had a thriving business but I had lost someone who I loved dearly, I would be able to show empathy because both are losses. Empathy is the antidote for shame. The reason we don’t get “real” with others when we are heartbroken, lost our job, lost a child, are in a financial or health crisis is because of shame. Shame is what keeps us on the couch. Shame is what keeps us in the valleys. Shame is what keeps us from taking just one step forward. Brene’ says that shame is lethal and we are swimming in it.

So, if you are in a fall right now, I suggest praying first and foremost. Ask God to help you! It is very simple but if you ask Him to just give you enough strength to get through this day, He will! The second thing is to start documenting exactly how you are feeling? Put pen to paper and get all those emotions and perceptions out so down the road you can reflect back because things are hardly ever how they appear when you are in the midst of a storm. Third, get out of yourself even if it’s just for a few minutes and do something for someone else. It could be as simple as opening a door for another. I know it sounds silly and you may even be saying to yourself right now. Go #(%*%* yourself but remember that every action has a reaction. See, this one life we have is not just about us…. I know, I know that is what many of us have been taught but the truth is sometimes we have to go into the valley so someone else can be at the peak. I try to look at this world as a big piece of tapestry and each one of us is a thread that needs to be woven. In order to create this beautiful piece, each piece is needed.

We are all looking for the same thing and that is a whole-hearted life. Brene’ Brown says whole-heartedness is about saying I am imperfect, I am afraid, I am vulnerable but I am worthy of love, joy and fulfillment. When you are depleted from being in the valley, ask God to carry you because like any good father, he will put the pieces back together and you will be grateful for who you are instead of who you were.

The best is yet to come. Believe it so you can receive it.

xo

IG armedforgood.

 

 

 

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