Thursday, June 29, 2006

Adversity-How Do We Handle it?

Dr Frankl a well renowned psychiatrist, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz came to this conclusion. He recognised even in the midst of the most evil tyranny when the heart and soul of man is immersed in the dark shadows of hopelessness the difference between living and death is when we recognise that though our bodies maybe crushed still we have the power to choose our attitude as Dr. Frankl wrote, that "Everything can be taken away from man but one thing: the last of all human freedoms-to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances". Dr Frankl understood that what ennobles a mans life is to live a life of meaningfulness even in the midst of unspeakable horrors, as he wrote, "Give man a meaning and he will survive!" Though Dr. Frankl survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps he did not subscribe to the thought that man must live at any cost, for he knew that when this horror was over one would be left to ponder their choices, and then deal with their conscience or lack thereof.

At times we all face difficult times and situations but it is how we handle these adversities that will either make us or break us. When we face betrayal what ever form it takes it is only natural that at first we will feel hurt and our hearts will become crushed, then comes fierce blinding anger, even rage, but what do we do with what can be harmful emotions? As Dr. Frankl suggested above we have the authority to choose our attitude towards all difficult situations, what we must do is harness the anger and re-direct it towards empowering our inner being rather than becoming the victim of someone else's spite. What we cannot do is feed the destructive forces that have been unleashed by someone else's actions. Let those who have been attacked take the higher path and thereby freeing themselves to remain true to themselves and true to their Faith.

In order to heal we must harness the anger that has been unleashed and through prayer we allow the gentle movement of the Holy Spirit to make benign the anguish that once pierced the depths of our soul. As we pray we also pray for the one who has tried to do us harm, for in praying for our enemies we free ourselves from hate. It is a known fact that the person who sincerely prays for the well being of their enemy cannot at the same time hate them. This is not to say that the evil done is to be condoned, but it is to say that the evil done to you has not gained ground in the inner most depths of your heart. While your enemy may sit and plot your demise as their own souls fester, your soul is the opposite as it sings songs of praise to God on High as it is released from the hatred that kills the soul and hinders the work of the Holy Spirit.

At times the greatest obstacles we face is not the actions of another but our own reactions to those who try and bring harm to us or our loved ones by trying to destroy our good name and reputation. We must at all times protect our families from harm but we cannot achieve this by doing harm to another this simply creates a vicious circle of action and counter action, of insult and counter insult, and in the end who gains by this counter productivity? No-one!

Rather than become victims, turn what was meant to harm you into an act of empowerment, as you turn to God and allow the Triune Spirit to comfort, strengthen and guide you to make the right decisions and choices. In the end if those with 'listening ears' choose to believe the slander and malice done by another was that person a friend in the first place?

In order to be empowered one must learn to look at situations with an objective eye and remain calm in the midst of the storm. For when we allow ourselves to become objective we can see the disguised Blessing that God has shown us and that is to sift our friends like wheat and chaff, and though the process is painful as friends alliances shift we are able in the end to recognise who our true friends are and who they are not!

By looking at all things as blessings in disguise we can cauterize the pain of the hurt done and instead focus on the good that has come from it, for God turns all things good when we allow Him too. This negates the power of the one who has tried to destroy you by innuendo and false accusations, and instead it opens your own spirit to the work of the Divine and through this window we glimpse what we can become when we allow God to work within our souls.

Sometimes the toughest person is not the one who can shout the loudest, but the one who can remain calm while all hell breaks loose around them. For when we follow our Lord and Savior should we expect to be treated better than our Master? Why then are we so surprised when our names are slandered, or when we are falsely accused? If we choose to follow in the footsteps of Christ we must expect more thorns on our path than rose petals.

In the end most of our behaviour is driven by a need to justify ourselves to those around us but the real essence is to find meaning and purpose through the pain of betrayal and from this painful experience we will have learnt to lift our hearts to the Lord in prayer and through this path comes wisdom.

For the price of wisdom is pain and the fruit of pain is giving and giving till it cost just as the Master did before us.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

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