It never fails. Things are going along smoothly, you are being productive, everyone is happy at least 85% of the time, and you have settled into a peaceful existence with hope for the future and gratefulness for the present. And then it happens….BAM! Life. That sneaky little part of the universe that says “she/he just seems too happy…let’s change that.”
Now I’m not saying that it is inevitable that something bad is always going to happen to alter the path of good that you are on, but the likelihood that something will happen to test you on that path is very, very high. So, how do we handle those sudden “life” moments?
First, let me say that how you handle the times of adversity in your life really is a choice. You can choose to either step back, evaluate, plan, and implement a solution, or you can let the chaos beat you and let adversity win.
Second, I will also say there is no shame in taking a brief moment to fold under the pressure of adversity, to feel the pain, hurt, anger, or whatever feelings of defeat that the chaos will bring. You just can’t stay in that moment. Staying in the moment causes growth to the chaos. It does not create a solution and trust me, the chaos will not go away on it’s own 99% of the time.
So let’s take a look at one way to handle chaos. This is not, by far, the ONLY way to handle these life happenings, but it is a way that I have come to rely on and that has gotten me through some of the toughest and most trying times of my life.
Step one…take a step back. Most times when a problem hits us the normal thing to do is react. The problem with that is that most people do not think about the reaction they have. They just go with the first feelings that the chaos or problem has caused and in most situations this reaction is one of anger or anxiety. The reasonable part of the brain that helps you to think clearly temporarily shuts down in times of adversity allowing adrenaline to take over. The next time adversity happens, give yourself a few moments to take a step back and just breathe. Try not to say the first thing that comes to mind, try not to give in to the first reaction that swells inside of you. Just BE in the moment for a bit. Sometimes when we step back and think about the problem at hand quietly, it doesn’t seem as bad as we first thought.
Step two….evaluate the problem. You’ve taken a step back and had a chance to think about what has happened. Now, take some time to evaluate the situation. This could be anywhere from a few moments to a few days depending on what type of chaos has chosen to rain down on your parade. Weigh the pros and cons of what has happened. What is the worst that could come of it? What, if any, good things could come from this chaos? Make a list if you need to because sometimes seeing the pros and cons in black and white helps to evaluate things much more clearly.
Step three…..make a plan. Now that you have evaluated the problem and you have your list of pros and cons, decide what outcome you want to happen. What is the best solution for you that could help to regain that peace in your life. Once you have decided on an outcome, then you are ready to make a plan that will get you to that outcome. What steps must be taken to achieve your goal? What has to happen in order to capture the peace in your life again? Write down all of the steps and things that have to happen in order to reach your goal. A goal is just a thought until you write it down, and then it becomes a reality.
Step four….implement your plan. You are now ready to take control of the situation and put your plan in motion. It’s time to take those steps in order to reach your goal. It’s probably not going to happen overnight but that is ok. You have a direction, a plan, and you know what has to happen to get it done. It may not be easy, but as long as you stick with your plan there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.
My only other advice in how to handle adversity and chaos in life is to trust that there is a higher power in control of the situation. If you are having trouble with steps 1 through 4 then I suggest this: close your eyes and ball your fists, imagine that all of your problems are contained in those two fists. Hold your arms up over your head, still with your eyes closed and your fists balled. Open your fists and imagine that you are releasing your problems at the same time. Hand them over to God and trust that He already has a plan for you. You just have to ask Him to show you the way and then trust in that path. Even if you have a plan, I suggest that you include a step of trusting that God is walking that path with you every step of the way.
Now take back your peace.
Thank you for stopping by for a few minutes with me and God Bless each of you today.
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