Sunday, May 12, 2013

Soul Sunday

When it comes to sports athletes suffer injuries, they get knocked down, sometimes even knocked out.  But they don't let it keep them down.  In fact, often times they come back stronger, wiser, more successful,etc., to the point fans don't even remember those knock downs only their amazing recoveries. 

What a great analogy for let's face it despite our best efforts life is full of knock down moments.  And even when recovery seems impossible we can still find a way to get up, and find our way back to balance.  It may not happen overnight, but small steps can often times produce great results. But how?  By simply giving our attention to these such principles:

1. Know your center of balance.
Many people are unbalanced simply because they have no awareness of the core values that keep them centered. They've never stopped to answer the question, "What matters most to me?" The best answers, in my experience, are ones that remain unchanged even when circumstances shift. We all want good health, happy relationships, rewarding jobs, and adequate incomes, but none of these things are totally within our control to obtain or keep. Your balance should be defined by who you are and who you are becoming (character) rather than who you're with or what you have (circumstance).

2. Expect to get knocked down.
Inevitably, something will show up along your path that is negative. If you try to convince yourself that you're somehow immune, reality will eventually teach you otherwise. Everyone experiences unexpected disappointments, hurts, and failures.

The certainty that you will eventually be knocked down need not become a gloomy anticipation of impending doom. You can be prepared without being pessimistic. Keep focus on your balance and the positive but be ready for negative.

3. If you fall, take enough time to stabilize.
Once you've experienced a fall, you can choose to respond in one of three ways:
Don't Deny: Ignore your distress. Get up and move on as though nothing really happened. Outcome: untreated injuries often turn into bigger problems.
Don't Obsess: Focus on the injustice of your pain. Stay down or continuously point out your injuries to others. Outcome: this turns to bitterness, causes us to become stagnant, and keeps us focused on the past instead of moving forward.
Do Heal: Give yourself enough time to recover. Your healing may come in hours or years, but let it happen. If you can't do it alone, get the help you need.

4. Return to your balance.
Remember your core values and find your way back to them. Whether your circumstances have changed for better or worse, you can regain your balance.  There is a proverb in the Bible that says "A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again" (Proverbs 24:16). We should be defined by our recoveries, not our falls.

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