We see it every day. Folks blaming their current situation on genetics, a rough childhood, or natural disasters. As a teacher, I see it more than most as that particular character trait is passed on to the younger generation. Let’s face it, there are things we experience on the daily that we have no control over. We can’t “fix” the atrocities past generations did. We can’t “reverse” the heinous things that happened to us as a child. We can’t “negate” the damage last month’s earthquake had on the men, women, and children of Turkey. Each of those things might have horrible consequences and should be analyzed for future reference…but we can’t change them. So what do we do? WE RISE ABOVE THEM!
We are all going to go through trials and tribulations throughout our life. It’s biblical…and it’s natural. But why are there some people who seem to be able to let the bad stuff “roll off there back”? What makes successful people seem as if they are immune to such circumstances? If you’re saying, “Yeah! That’s not fair!” then that is part of the problem. Things that happen that are beyond our control have nothing to do with “fairness”. They just happen. The quicker we learn that and come to terms with it, the quicker we can begin to rise above our situation.
We currently live in a time in history like no other. It today’s society, we have people (the number is actually very small…but they’re loud so they get news coverage) who would rather pin the blame for their current circumstances on anybody…but themselves. BUT WAIT! IF these things that happen are out of their control, how they blame themselves? BECASUE, when things happen that are beyond our control AND we sit and wallow around in pity and “woe is me” mentality, we are doing nobody any good…especially ourselves. We’re only compounding the problem. We must stop doing this. Unfortunately, it’s easier to blame other people or circumstances than address and rise above the problem.
What our grandparents, great grandparents, or great-great-grandparents did has nothing to do with us. Their mistakes yesterday don’t define us today! Likewise, being raised in an abusive household has a child, although horrible, does not keep us from being successful members of society who help others going through the same situation(s). At the end of the day, as hard a pill as this is to swallow…those are excuses. We have to stop making excuses for our unhealthy habits, financial woes, and mental anxiety.
“But you’ve never had any really bad experiences!” Screw you! If we’re honest, we all have had experiences that are horrible in some form or fashion. The loss of a loved one. Being fired from our dream job. Making a bad investment that wipes out our family’s financial security. We’ve been there! The difference is where some people seek attention and spotlight their predicament, others quietly bust their @$$ to make their life better and rise above the situation.
How can we begin the process of “rising above”?
First, we need to stop pondering the bad and start realizing the good! We lost our job, but we still have our health, our family, and our friends. We had a heart attack but we made it through with some residual effects…you’re still alive to tell the tale. The flood took our house, but insurance will replace most of what we lost…and our family is safe!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
Second, we need to start identifying others who have been in similar circumstances and research how they made it through. There are countless stories, blog posts, and news articles of people who have lost much and still have a smile on their face. Use their story to create a strategy that we can attempt in our own life.
Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:13
Third, we need to start creating new habits. A big part of the reason we continue to find ourselves focusing on the negative aspects of our situation and getting angry, anxious, and worrisome is that we’ve made “focusing on the situation” a daily ritual. We need to replace old harmful habits with positive productive habits!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. ~ Philippians 4:8
It’s time we stop blaming and start claiming! Claiming the good and ignoring the bad. Claiming our strengths and denying our weaknesses. Claiming the precious life God wants us to have and kicking Satan in the balls when he tries to convince us otherwise! We gotta start finding the beauty in the ugly. Stop playing the blame game. And take control (and responsibility) for the outcome of our life. Our life (and the lives of our loved ones) depends on it.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. ~ Habakkuk 3:17-19
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