It’s been an...interesting....week. Yes, that’s the word...interesting.
There was the identity theft to deal with. A cancelled credit card, monitoring other accounts, alerting credit bureaus, calls to shut down a fraudulent account elsewhere, calls to get fraudulent charges off the legitimate account.
There was the phone call from my daughter (that woke me up one morning) to say she had hurt her neck and she couldn’t move. (And a day spent helping her and ruling out serious possibilities.)
There was the potential flame war in the online class I’m teaching that had to be put out as soon as it began.
Mind you, there were good things, too. And a choice about where to put my available focus. I say available focus because certain things had to be dealt with. But once they were, I had a choice. I could complain and fuss and keep focusing on how unfortunate these things were and how they were eating up my time OR I could choose to say to myself: Okay, I can handle each of these things. Everything will be okay. Now, what can I do that’s fun now that I have a spare moment?
There is value in running a quick mental check of what it’s useful to do in a given challenging situation. There is even value in considering problems that could arise out of these situations. And then taking steps to deal with the situation and possible future consequences.
There is no value in running scenarios over and over again in our heads and focusing on how horrible they make us feel. There is no value in constantly replaying them—except to notice how well we coped (when we did) and what we might do more effectively next time around.
There is no value in seeing ourselves as victims to whom bad things will continue to happen. There is great power in noting what our strengths were in the situation and building on them. There is even power in noting what was difficult for us and then obtaining information or skills so that next time we might be better prepared.
There is little value in trying to find someone to protect us forever and great value in learning the skills and acquiring the tools we need to protect ourselves.
This past week could have—and in the past might have—felt overwhelming and confirmed in me a sense of victimhood. Instead, it became something that reaffirmed my faith in myself and my ability to cope with life’s challenges.
The scare with my daughter became a chance to spend time together and grow closer.
The situation with identity theft, while not pleasant, ultimately will be a blip in the screen for this month—much less this year or my lifetime.
The potential flame war became a chance to draw the students closer together with a greater appreciation for themselves and what they had to offer each other.
We can’t control what happens to us. We CAN choose, however, how we will respond and where we will put our attention.
There is a certain emotional payoff in being a victim. There is a far greater payoff in seeing ourselves as strong, competent, evolving, resilient individuals.
AND EVERY PERSON READING THIS BLOG SHARES THOSE QUALITIES!
It takes a great deal of strength and courage and resilience to survive abuse. It takes even more to choose to face the past and our fears and shadows and work to heal. The more we see ourselves as having the qualities of strength and resilience and courage and competence, the more likely we are to succeed and the happier the lives will be that we create for ourselves.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),