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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jon

How Hardship Can Help You

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

What do you do when you feel like your world is collapsing?

What do you do when life yanks the rug out from under you?

How do you deal with significant issues that take you by surprise?

“Dad/Mom, I’m pregnant.” “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but, you have cancer.” “I want a divorce.” “Your child has committed suicide.” “I’m having an affair.” “Your loved one has died in a car accident.”

These life events – and ones like them – demand to be felt. They force us to respond, and often our initial response is to feel overwhelmed. After you weather the initial surge of emotion you’ll be in the position to begin working through the unwanted heartache in your life.

You're WAY tougher than you think. It’s amazing what you can get through when you don’t think you have a choice.

Keep loving in your pain. What do you do when someone rejects your love? Redirect it. Relationships take two, and if the other party doesn’t want a relationship, or doesn’t want the depth of relationship you desire, you’re in trouble.

So accept reality.

Be sad and grieve the loss. Mourn, but move! Be wounded, but keep walking. Find someone or something to pour your love into. Maybe it’s helping the elderly at an assisted living home. Maybe it’s volunteering at your kids’ school. Maybe it’s joining a small group at your church. Maybe you should help out at an animal shelter. If you keep your love bottled up it’s going to turn sour and end in bitterness.

Someone out there wants you; it’s your responsibility to find them.

Grieve and grow. Loss is an unconditional part of life. Grief is optional. We have to choose to enter into it and work through it.

Forgiveness is often a major part of grieving.

Forgiveness helps us grow by severing the cord between you and the past event. It frees us from the emotional prisons we build for ourselves. Grief is healed in community. You will not get better alone. Grief is not overcome in isolation because we need feedback. We cannot sort through complex feelings in a mono-logue, we can only sort through them in a dia-logue. Grief takes time to heal so be patient with yourself and others. You don’t get over grief; you get through it.

In your sadness, learn. Einstein said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

Allow your sadness to motivate you to think deeply about the meaning of your life. We are responsible for fulfilling the meaning of our lives, for overcoming our grief and loss.

Being human means responding to life’s difficult situations and replying to the questions that are asked. Being human means answering these questions. In fact, our life is the answer to this questions.

But who asks these questions?

To whom are we responding?

To God, and to ourselves.

Create from the old and ugly something new and beautiful. For many, the meaning of life rests on the attitude we choose toward our suffering.

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