Today is another in our series of Tribute Fridays. Previously, we paid tribute to friends, veterans, mothers, great leaders, and teachers/coaches. I am aware of many in our midst that either have or currently are dealing with adversity in their lives and thought we would recognize and encourage them today.
Adversity comes in many forms: health issues, marital problems, financial struggles, challenging children, legal issues, work stress, loss, etc., etc. Each one of these can take a significant toll on the individual which could impact their health, happiness, or effectiveness on the job. Anyone that has not dealt with such adversity should be thankful and prepare for that day when they must deal with it.
So, what do you say to a friend, neighbor, or coworker undergoing such adversity? How do you deal with it if you find yourself there today? How can we help each other? Not that I purport to have all the answers, but I can list a few things that have been helpful to me in the past. Let’s look at a few:
- Allow yourself to lean on a friend – One tendency when someone is in the midst of a life challenge is to isolate themselves from others. This is possibly the worst thing you could do. During difficult times, we need someone to lean on… someone that can lend a hand to pull us up… someone that can share the load or help share the load. When you face a challenge, find someone that you can share it with and allow them to help lighten the load.
- Seek spiritual encouragement – For me, it has been helpful or even critical to seek spiritual encouragement when I undergo a difficult time. God’s love has an amazing ability to soothe our hurts, if we will let Him.
- Enhance your own resolve – My wife’s grandmother was a very loving woman, but she was pragmatic and tough, as well. She would say, when someone close died, “OK, you can mourn for three days, but then you have to pick yourself up and move on — not just for yourself, but for others that depend upon you.” Great advice! There are times when we simply have to stiffen our resolve and simply make ourselves go just one more step, take one more breath, or to just get through one more day. During difficult times, we cannot allow ourselves to remain sorrowful too long or it will be even more difficult picking ourselves up.
- Divert your attention – One helpful technique for moving beyond a difficult situation is to divert our attention to something else. Finding a way to occupy our thoughts or turn unproductive time into productive time can help us out of our rut.
- Encourage or serve someone else – I have personally found that when I am most burdened, it helps to simply seek a way to serve someone else. When you do something for another, it has a remarkable way of healing our own ills.
- Seek someone that has successfully dealt with your situation in the past – Finding someone else that has walked where we walk is a great way to see that there is an end to our problem and we can deal with it successfully. Another individual might also have practical suggestions on what to do next.
- Remember that through adversity, we reveal our character – Yes, adversity is difficult. However, when you undergo such a difficult life-event, you reveal the real you — you reveal the character that cannot be faked. So, remember that this challenge will pass and that you will be a better person at the end of this tunnel.
Finally, as friends, neighbors, and coworkers, we need to be alert for opportunities to encourage each other. If you know someone undergoing adversity now, take the extra time to be available, do something special or somehow, encourage that person with words or actions. Sometimes, just a small gesture from a coworker or friend can make all the difference in a difficult situation.
Thanks to you all for making this journey a good one. This truly could be a great day… perhaps the best yet. And, have a terrific weekend ahead!