Developing the Power of Strength
We all experience disappointment. I certainly have. It's part of the human experience. There's nothing wrong with it. Disappointment, when it occurs, however, has the potential to drag us down into a negative spiral for days, weeks, or months.
Unity offers an answer - a solution, and tools to help us cope. Perhaps something in our teaching may help you, or someone you know.
Life is consciousness. This means that what we think, what we feel, what we sense, what we intuit creates our experiences. We are the thinker who thinks the thought, the intuitive who perceives beyond the realm of sense - and we experience sensation in the physical plane. And yes, we have emotions - we feel.
The good news is, we have the power within us to control our emotions. While we may not be able to control conditions or events, we can control how we react or respond to them, we choose whether or not to give those events, those relationships, people, etc. power over our lives. Remember, friends, incidents do not cause thoughts. Disappointing events do not cause depression. What can, however, lead to depression is the way we perceive our disappointments. What are the things you say when you talk to yourself?
We have a tendency - or is it just me? - to set an intention, to have a positive goal in mind, yet we work in a negative way toward it. We talk ourselves out of good ideas, because, well, we were disappointed that one time we tried something, so why try anything again? We get ourselves stuck. I liken it to the image of one traveling downriver by canoe, with water rushing in through a hole in the bottom of it, filling buckets with water astern of the boat, then pouring the contents into the boat!
So, how do we cope? How do we turn things around? How do we learn to deal with life and its tribulations with a "degree of success," as Webster defines it (coping)?
- First, accept how you feel. Accept that disappointment is a part of life. Everybody experiences it!
- Instead of sitting in your state indefinitely, once you have allowed yourself to acknowledge that you are in good company, start the process of reframing.
- Change your self-talk. ("Things are always happening to me" can become, "Something beautiful is happening IN and THROUGH me!" Remember, nothing "just happens.")
- Make a plan.
- Talk it over with someone close to you. Sometimes, it can help to seek spiritual counseling from a minister or life-coach.
- If your expectations are of "perfection" (from yourself or others), then adjust them.
- Take a break! (Rest up, recharge, renew... Self-care is of critical importance, even in the best of times. In challenging times, it is a way of "getting out of one's own head," which can have marvelous effects. We tend to gain much-needed perspective when we step away for a while.)
This Black History Month, we remember certainly the heroes we know and hear the most about: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, all of whom faced their share of disappointment. But they persevered, they kept going, they had the strength to overcome. Their adversity in the wake of slavery and Jim Crow was not an albatross, weighing them down. Whenever they stumbled, whenever they faced disappointment, the promise - the vision - of a better tomorrow buoyed their hopes. They did not stay mired in self-pity or sorrow. Speaking of Dr. King, he famously said, "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
For those of you with an "ear to hear" and an "eye to see" something more, beyond what appears on the surface, consider this: We often say in Unity that we may be triggered by an experience, and we exhibit disappointment. By shifting our perspective, we see, with the clarity of spiritual vision, that DISappointment becomes "HIS-appointment." We are here, always, by Divine appointment; there are no accidents or coincidences. You are designed by way of a Divine pattern, and the Christ in you is creative love and light; you are the living expression of a growth-oriented contemplation generated in Divine Mind.
So, own your own life. Take charge of your mind! Never lose infinite hope, dear readers. Whatever may occur around you, whatever travails may befall you, know, always, that God is with you and within you. You can cope.
Daryn L. Wells