Monday, February 25, 2008

Get back in the game

Life can often hand us some pretty serious setbacks. These setbacks can come in many different forms. Maybe it is the ending of a cherished relationship. The people that we love can sometimes decide that they do not feel the same about us. I have seen many people go through this kind of anguish. It can often be the worst kind of hurt. Or maybe we lose our job. This form of anguish can be equally severe, but it is different than not being loved in return. Life may hand us a setback in the form of physical problems or sickness. It could be financial problems, problems with our kids or family members. Setbacks can come in the form of depression or other mental and emotional problems. It can come in the form of the death of a loved one. Regardless of how the setbacks come we can only be sure of one thing, they will come.

So what do we do when the setbacks come. I think that is as different as the people facing the problems. However, I found that the best way to handle setbacks is to make sure we get back in the game as soon as possible. By this I mean we have to keep moving forward. I am not suggesting developing a cold heart or a distant uncaring nature. I am suggesting that we do all we can to keep the positive things in our lives going. I see so many people give up on life when they face a major setback. They become so overwhelmed with grief that they lose track of the many positives in life. People often get stuck in feelings of remorse, guilt, fear, vengence, retribution, melancholy, anger, sadness, and host of others, that they have a hard time getting re engaged in life.

I have suffered from this many times in my life. I have been through things and just did not know any other way to handle them. I would see other people go through things and seem to have such a strength about them. They seemed to hurt but they had a knack for going on. I don't know if they ever got over what they were facing but they seemed to get through it. As I studied these people the magic that they seemed to possess was that they made themselves get on with life. This helped me to come to a realization for myself. These people didn't necessarily get over it, but they do get through it. They were able to get through it by getting back in the game. The game of life. They did things to bring meaning and purpose to life. That may have been through their vocation, their religion, their family, or by starting something new. They sometimes took on challenges that they wish they had taken on before. The big thing is they got back in the game.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that grief and sorrow are wrong and I am not suggesting that I have some ability to be stronger than anyone else. I am just saying that I have noticed how others appear to be able to overcome major life problems. The trick seems to be having the ability and strength to hurt, and yet, get back in the game. To constantly move forward. Check out the following quote. I think it sums up the point hat I am trying to make.


Many of us unconciously create drama in our minds, expecting the worst from a situation only to have our expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Inadvertantly we become authors of our own misfortune. And so we struggle from day to day, from crisis to crisis, bruised and battered by circumstances without realizing that we always have a choice...What if you began to expect the best from any situation? Isn't it possible that you could write new chapters in your life with happy endings?...Suspend your disbelief. Take a leap of faith. After all, what have you got to lose but misery and lack?
Sarah Ban Breathnach

3 comments:

Lucy said...

I really like quote. It brings us right back to the Law of Attraction. Difficult circumstances such as you wrote of make it much harder to keep the negative thoughts out. However, I know of no one that had circumstances worse than Viktor Frankl. The only way he survived his circumstances was through positive thinking.

Mike Gardner said...

Nice post, Rocky. I recently came across this text of a speech given by Admiral James Stockdale in the early nineties. Adm. Stockdale was a modern-day Stoic, with a capital S, who lived the philosophy the way it was designed. Talk about getting back in the game, he never left the game. This document is really worth the time it takes to read. Check it out at: http://media.hoover.org/documents/978-0-8179-3692-1_1.pdf

Mike

hillbilly said...

Those are two excellent examples of people who had a superrior ability to keep moving forward. I have read Viktor Frankls "Man's Search For Meaning" several times. He has such a strong message about the power of the human spirit and man's will. I am due to read his classic book again.

I read the text on "Courage under fire". What a classic!! I was so taken with it I went right to the bookstore and picked up a copy of Epictetus' "Enchiridion" James Stockdale is certainly an inspiration and a testament to the will of man. I don't think I could ever embody the sheer strength and will of these men. However, it does build a sense that if they can endure all they had to then certainly I can make myself get back in the game When I suffer setbacks. Frankl and Stockdale are both very inspiring. Thanks.