Tag Archives: “finding gain through your pain”

Ten Seconds to Changing Your LIfe

So did you take the ten-second challenge? Becoming more joyful is not as easy as it seems, is it? It’s like trying to improve your posture. You have to remember to think about it. And decide again and again if the effort is worth it. But who doesn’t want more joy in your life? Who doesn’t want to be a happier person?

We don’t realize that choice has so much to do with how we feel. We tend to believe that how we feel is out of our control, or controlled by what happens to us.

If that were true we would have no real freedom. Fortunately, it’s not.

Some happenings are bad and do demand a time of grief and thought, but many more times we just get caught up in fear or anxiety that is unnecessary. If you have no control and no responsibility, let it go. Don’t weigh yourself down with pain and problems that don’t belong to you.

As a therapist, I listen to people’s pain and problems all the time; it’s part of the job, but I listen to them for them. I don’t take it in. It isn’t mine. It doesn’t belong to me. If I take on their pain, I’m no good to them. My job is to walk through it with them, and help them experience it, see it clearly, and make choices about it.

Is it the end of the world? No, not even if it feels like it. Face it. Experience it. Get out of it by doing what you can, and go back to focusing on the good in your life.

The hardest things to do this with are death, divorce, and the pain of your children. That last one is maybe the hardest. But we must remember that pity is the nastiest thing we can do to another person. Children are hard-wired for struggle. It’s how they grow and develop character. We don’t want to take it away–just strengthen them to walk through it with the truth about themselves.

And the truth is always that God loves them and wants the very best for them. God is good and can be trusted, but has enemies who are very active here–that is where suffering comes from. And that is precisely why we don’t want to give it a lot of time. Do you want to walk with God or His enemies?

God is never surprised by pain or happenings. He always has a way out, you only have to ask Him to show it to you. Then trust that He will because you are His kid, and go back to making sure the good things in your life get at least ten seconds of notice. God wants you to thrive.

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Finding Gain through Your Pain

Yesterday I looked in the mirror and saw someone I hadn’t seen in over 25 years. Evidently physical headache pain and emotional pain look the same in the eyes.

I remembered how I used to catch glimpses of my face in unexpected mirrors and be horrified at the anger or fear I saw. I’d think is this what my daughter sees?

Oh God, no! This isn’t what I want her to see as mom, this can’t be comforting!

So when God opened a door for therapy, I jumped at the chance: One of the best decisions of my life. I knew I was uncomfortable and dysfunctional, but had no idea why.

That was 29 years ago. Uncovering the pain was hard work, I’d grown up very good at avoiding it. But it was so much better and easier than carrying it.

I’ve been grateful to catch glimpses of myself in unexpected mirrors the past few years and see a peaceful reflection. I was just as surprised. What a difference.

Don’t let fear block your joy. Most of us carry fear and anger without knowing it, like I did. If you have a chance to sort things out in your head, do it. If you have insurance that covers therapy, get it.

In scripture God asks, “Why will you suffer? Why will you die?” He’s asking because He’s offering life and joy.

We can choose suffering. He will let us. But it’s as if He says to each of us, “I know you need to learn, but do you really need to learn everything the hard way? I’m willing to guide you, just come to Me and ask. You’ll still have hard times. You’ll still have to make choices. But it could be so much easier than what you’re doing.”

Make some good choices today. One of them could be to trust God. He is safe to trust.

As I’ve been saying lately, trade in your pain for joy. Learning how to hang out with God and get His validation is a great place to start. “In His presence is joy…”

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Filed under A God perspective, Becoming real, Joy, Living well, Love ed, Mental Health, suffering, What is God like?