Keeping Our Heads Above Water (K.Blais)

We have been inundated by rain. Not only rain, but the consequences of water displacement, dams, and beaver habitats have wreaked havoc on many areas. Our rivers and creeks have overflowed with the sheer magnitude of the volumes of water they have struggled to hold. Our lakes, once beautiful places of serenity and peace nestled in God’s country, have become sources of gradual destruction and continuous elements of stress.

Bridges have been destroyed. Roads have washed away. Sink holes have erupted where the earth has seemed to attempt its escape from the intensity of the water’s force. Beloved cottages and breathtaking homes at the edges of our bodies of water have suffered. Belongings have been lost, and while only material, the loss of these possessions has still hurt us.

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(photo credits to RL)

We see a sense of devastation and destruction in so many physical ways, several locations around us hit harder than others, and yet how similar this flooding is to our emotional lives as well.

We often become inundated with problems in life. Those emotional wounds we know all too well, in addition to other stresses (both physical and emotional) laid upon us, can seem so much like the volumes of water poured upon our land. We feel the powerlessness of our inability to control what is happening to us.

We have been wronged and the sheer unfairness of being the person wronged can overwhelm us. We feel the injustice of being taken from and yet we are unable to fight back. We are abandoned, betrayed, and deceived. We struggle to obtain truth, only to be scorned by lies and untruths. What we have attempted to build up for ourselves, has only been torn down. More and more the complexities of life, even the every day things, saturate us.

Yet somehow, maybe even somewhat surprisingly, even through the downpours and the flooding, we do not crawl inside of ourselves to hide away. We do not permit the waves to simply continue to cascade over us, rendering us powerless. We do not allow ourselves to sink and drown.

Instead, we search for higher ground. We fill our sandbags and attempt to barricade the water from causing further destruction. We attempt to salvage what we have left. We lean on the support of our loving friends and family. We allow those who want to help, to help. We trust in our faith and in our beliefs. We face the issues assaulting us head on, doing what we can with what we have.

We take things one step at a time, one day at a time. We try to look for the positive and to acknowledge it, wherever the positive can be found. We remind ourselves that tomorrow is a new day in which the sun may shine and the water may slowly begin to evaporate. We keep our head above the water line, treading for as long as it takes because we do not give up. We will not let the waters win.

We remind ourselves to keep our faith forefront. Soon the water will recede back to its natural shoreline. Soon our feet will touch the sand again. Life will continue on. There may be some repairs ahead of us, but that is no different than how the Earth continues rotating on its axis, repairing itself as it goes.

And we trust that what was once beautiful, can be made beautiful again.

 

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“This, Too, Shall Pass”: Finding Inner Strength (K.Blais)

It struck me today that these are trying times. That may end up being the understatement of the year, but it’s a statement nonetheless.

So many of us, as well as our friends and loved ones, are going through various personal, emotional, and financial difficulties that there doesn’t seem to be much sense to any of it. As if viewing a film, we stand back and watch helplessly, hearts breaking, as those we care about damage themselves, relationships with others fall apart, and the stress and strain of finances take their toll. Maybe we even experience it ourselves. The universe can seem dark and unforgiving. So how in the world can we and our loved ones experience some of the most life changing trials and expect to carry on, to look ahead to a better future?

Perhaps it’s not about the future years from now though. It could be about the future as far ahead as we can see. Maybe it’s the next hour, the next day, or the next week that we need to get through. Perhaps simply getting out of bed in the morning is the hardest step for some of us to take. Whatever the future is to each of us, I believe that we all can find the inner strength to make it happen.

(image courtesy of Google images)

Inner strength is often called resilience, and is thought of as the ability to cope with stressful situations which occur in life. Finding our inner strength can be thought of as staying positive and finding light even in dark situations. (information courtesy of ask.com)

We were all born with inner strength – the drive to survive and thrive.

But what if we don’t think we can? What if we really don’t feel strong enough to see any future? What if we don’t believe that we can get through whatever tribulation we have found ourselves in?

First off, we have to believe that we truly do have the strength to overcome difficulty. So much of our success, and failure, in life is determined by the mental attitude with which we approach things. If we think we can, we can. If we think we can’t, we can’t. Mind over matter isn’t just a saying. If you believe in it, you can make it happen. Likewise, if you believe that something will destroy you, then that can happen too. Keeping a positive attitude can go a long way.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ll even say it as many times as necessary, we need to surround ourselves with people who help us draw on the inner strength deep within us. Immersing yourself in people who truly believe in you and your capabilities is one of the main keys to finding, and maintaining, your own inner strength. Choose people who share the same values as you and hold them close. Finding people who support you, your choices, and your actions (maybe even if they don’t always agree with them) can be enough to hold you up when the going gets tough and the waters are murky.

Lean on your faith, your beliefs, and trust that God knows what’s best. If your faith isn’t a strong element in your life, then sometimes simply believing that things happen for a reason and that everything will work out for the best can help too. Have faith and believe that you can handle “this”, whatever the “this” might be.

Sometimes it is necessary to just let go. Try not to “sweat the small stuff”. Let go of past hurts or mistakes that you may have made and focus on the present situation and how you can best handle it. You don’t have to handle it perfectly either. Do your best and then let it go.

Be thankful for the hard times because they will help you appreciate the good ones. There are many things in each of our lives for which we can be immensely grateful for. Cling to those ‘good things’ when the going is rough. The ‘good things’ will bring you peace.

Remember: “This, too, shall pass”. You are never given more than you can handle. A door doesn’t close without a window opening. The road may seem dark, but believe that you will find the light to show the way.

Inner strength may not always seem like your own strongpoint. You may find yourself in the middle of some ‘disastrous situation’ and not know where to turn or even if you have the strength to continue on. When inner strength is needed though, you will find your resilience and the courage to move forward one moment at a time. A small step, a deep breath, and the knowledge that each day is a new beginning may be enough to keep you going. It may never be easy, but it will always be worth the effort.