I never really thought of anything in my life being a "tragedy", maybe that's just my mindset about negativity, but I have gone through my fair share of obstacles. Some of these may have been self-induced but nonetheless, they were opportunities to learn and grow. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt Logan about a month ago and talking through how people can move forward when struggle is all they see.
Here is what I have learned that helped me get through pain.
Understand the Seasonality of Your Situation
Life is full of seasons. It's not just fall, winter, spring and road construction, but all things go through seasons. There are seasons of ups and downs in your careers or relationships. Maybe you’re in a season of transition, grief, conflict, illness, unanswered prayers, new challenges, or just trying to get by. You can't change the season by wearing shorts in the winter. But by embracing the season, whatever it may be, you can grow from it. You may see grace, power or blessings you may never have experienced otherwise. That song "Turn, Turn, Turn" says "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose, under heaven." I think most of this came from the bible. The point is, seasons have beginnings and ends.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted. —ECCLESIASTES 3:1-2
The Power of the Phrase "Right Now"
It is so easy to get sucked into a whole of despair. Negative thoughts have a compounding factor. I talked briefly about drowning and how it's hard to see the tree branch that could save you when you are splashing in a fear cycle all over. That's how those hard times feel, like you are never going to feel better, never going to get out of this. But see point 1 above, everything has seasons and when we give some construct to how we think about our troubles, it helps us to keep us in check. This sucks "right now". This is hard "right now". It gives acknowledgement to the feelings we are having but gives an expiration to the current situation we are in. Watch this video from Kristina Kuzmic.
Look For The Lessons
I haven't lost a child or a parent and can't imagine that pain. But I have lost people I love. Losing someone you love is a test of life and you have no control over the tests or challenges that life throws at you – what you do have, however, is the power to control your response to these challenges or tests. It isn't to say that every piece of pain somehow has a purpose but I do think in terms of grief and struggle there are lessons we can learn. With my house fire, I learned to be more patient and understanding with myself and my kids. I learned what all I could live without. I learned what it felt like have someone randomly show compassion towards my family and our needs. Some of those things would have been hard to learn otherwise.
“In school you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you are given a test that teaches you a lesson” Malcolm X
My advice for people "in a season.
Seek wise counsel
Ask yourself "What CAN I do right now, in this moment?"
Take An Action. Take one foot forward. You are moving forward, not moving on.
For the book I mentioned on Boundaries Books, click here.
Catch our full interview below.
His official Triumph Over Tragedy podcast launch is September 5th but you can get a sneak peak of this interview and 1 other great podcast already.
Connect with Matt on his social channels.