Difficulty doesn't make you better, but it can if you do this.
Difficult situations make you better.
Ever heard that before? Me too. Shoot, I've said that very thing.
The thing is, I don't believe it's true anymore.
Why? Because all of us have seen people go through tough stuff but they don't all become better people. Some actually end up becoming bitter and dysfunctional.
Ultimately, the saying is missing something.
Difficult situations CAN make you better.
Difficulty can ultimately be a blessing. Because...
Instability brings insight.
Going through difficult things doesn't make you better if you just go through them but only if you take time to process. Time to think. Time to reflect. Time to process both in quiet meditation and time to process verbally with people you respect.
I had a great conversation with my daughter just yesterday about this topic. We talked about how we cannot avoid pain but we can decide what to do with it. We determine what kind of person we're going to be in the midst of it and on the other side of it.
We talked about if pain were a sandwich (go with me on this) and you left it in the corner of the room for days and months. It'd eventually become rotten and affect the rest of the room. Not only that, everyone that comes into the room would be able to sense that something just isn't right.
Same goes with our hearts.
If pain is allowed to sit and fester in the shadows, it affects every part of us; our attitude, our world view, our ability to love, the grace we are able to give, and our relationships.
What we need to do is go through the uncomfortable process of taking the pain out and looking at it from all angles. Ask the right questions. Lament. Mourn. Dive into our souls and allow a few others to join us on the journey.
Joy does come in the morning, but many times it's after the whole weeping part.
So does difficulty make you better? It can. But whether it does is completely up to you.
In the middle of emotionally charged seasons, you don't want to make critical decisions but you do get critical insight into who you are and how your heart works. Take advantage of them.
As you process, here are a few questions you may want to ask to get you started on your journey within. It's one worth taking and taking often.
- Really, I mean really, why is this bothering me so much?
- What core fear or core insecurity is this situation really attacking?
- When was the last time I felt this way and what are some things I learned about myself?
- What could God be trying to teach me through this?
- If I were watching a movie about me, what would I want the actor to do in response to the pain?
There are a million more questions you can ask, but these are just a few that I go through on a pretty regular basis.
Remember, you cannot control what people do nor can you control all of your circumstances, but you CAN lead your heart. You CAN decide what kind of person you are going to be.
As always, I'm here if I can help.