As I look back and reflect on the recent past, one of the issues I have been discussing with others and struggling with in my own life is how to develop endurance. The presenting problems might be different, you might be trying to cope with the death of a partner, the pain of relationship breakdown or physical problems which are threatening the end of your defence career, or a posting that you dread and feel like you can’t go on. There are others I have spoken to who are trying to grasp difficult technical subjects feeling they don’t have enough time to study, while family life crashes around them.
What do you do when all hope is gone and you just want to throw it all in? Here are four things that might help you to endure and keep going:
REFLECT! The storm will not last! This cold cloudy, miserable weather will not continue forever, so pause to be thankful for what is and remind yourself that this situation will pass, maybe sooner than you think! You might do this through some relaxation exercises or journal writing, but the key is to get things back into perspective, the things that you are so worried about might never happen.
REMEMBER YOUR RESOURCES! The fact is you have many more resources than you realise. You have a family and friends who want to understand your struggles and will help you if you are prepared to let them. You have gifts and abilities that you have not yet tapped, which you temporarily can’t see because of your stress. Take some time out to read a personal development book, get some positive input and catch up on some sleep.
REFUSE TO QUIT! Going through hard times does not make you a failure, giving up does! Yes, there might be pain, disappointment and set-backs, but now is the time to show that you have the right stuff, learning from the experience and being equipped to overcome whatever obstacles are in your way. As Winston Churchill said “Never, never, never, never give up”.
REMEMBER YOUR DREAM! Somewhere in all that you will need to recapture the dream of why you started. One book I read recently put it like this “The greatest discovery any man or woman can make, is the purpose they have been born for, and then pursue it with passion!” (Peter Sinclair) What is your dream? Can you see it? You may have already come a long way in that journey to fulfillment, keep it clear in your mind.
In one sense all that is about re-balancing your life, physically, mentally and spiritually. If you need help with that, come and see me because that is part of my job. The fact is, an unbalanced life is like an unbalanced tyre on a car, it’s dangerous, but you can choose to ignore the wheel wobble. However, the longer you put up with it the more damage it does and I can assure you it will not fix itself! Don’t put it off any longer. One final quote from the Bible to meditate on:
“Do your best, prepare for the worst-
Then trust God to bring the victory.”
(Proverbs 21:31, The Message)
Chaplain Ian S Whitley