Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adversity-How Do We Handle it?

Dr Frankl a well renowned psychiatrist, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz came to this conclusion. He recognised even in the midst of the most evil tyranny when the heart and soul of man is immersed in the dark shadows of hopelessness the difference between living and death is when we recognise that though our bodies maybe crushed still we have the power to choose our attitude. Dr. Frankl wrote, "Everything can be taken away from man but one thing: the last of all human freedoms-to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances".

At times we all face difficult times and situations but it is how we handle these adversities that will either make us or break us. When we face betrayal what ever form it takes, it is only natural that at first we will feel hurt and our hearts will become crushed. Then comes fierce blinding anger, even rage, but what do we do with what can be harmful emotions?

In order to heal we must harness the anger that has been unleashed and through prayer we allow the gentle movement of the Holy Spirit to make benign the anguish that once pierced the depths of our soul. As we pray we also pray for the one who has tried to do us harm, for in praying for our enemies we free ourselves from hate.This is not to say that the evil done is to be condoned, but it is to say that the evil done to you has not gained ground in the inner most depths of your heart.

At times the greatest obstacles we face is not the actions of another but our own reactions to those who try and bring harm to us or our loved ones by trying to destroy our good name and reputation. We must at all times protect our families from harm but we cannot achieve this by doing harm to another. This simply creates a vicious cycle of action and counter action, of insult and counter insult, and in the end who gains by this counter productivity? No-one!

Rather than become victims, turn what was meant to harm you into an act of empowerment, as you turn to God and allow the Triune Spirit to comfort, strengthen and guide you to make the right decisions and choices. In the end if those with 'listening ears' choose to believe the slander and malice done by another was that person a friend in the first place?

By looking at all things as blessings in disguise we can cauterize the pain of the hurt done and instead focus on the good that has come from it, for God turns all things good when we allow Him too. This negates the power of the one who has tried to destroy you by innuendo and false accusations, and instead it opens your own spirit to the work of the Divine and through this window we glimpse what we can become when we allow God to work within our souls.

Sometimes the strongest person is not the one who can shout the loudest, but the one who can remain calm while all hell breaks loose around them. For when we follow our Lord and Savior should we expect to be treated better than our Master? Why then are we so surprised when our names are slandered, or when we are falsely accused? If we choose to follow in the footsteps of Christ we must expect more thorns on our path than rose petals.

In the end most of our behaviour is driven by a need to justify ourselves to those around us. When in fact, the real essence is to find meaning and purpose through the pain of betrayal and from this painful experience we will have learnt to lift our hearts to the Lord in prayer and through this path comes wisdom.

For the price of wisdom is pain and the fruit of pain is giving and giving till it cost just as the Master did before us.

Written by Marie