“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt.”
With a gorgeous desert backdrop and rarely hesitating to shovel some of his savory life tips my way, he leaned back in his patio chair relishing in a favorite cigar.
“It’s how you play your hand.”
At thirty-eight, I enjoyed more than ever hearing my dad’s superpower — wisdom. My dad’s always had a sweet way of pouring into my hungry heart.
I know there is pain that I do not know, nor will I ever know all the pain delivered by this worlds heavy hand. I’m a firm believer we all suffer in deep places of discomfort to a degree that is painfully hard for each of us. The point of which we feel that pain arrives at different seasons and ages for each of us.
It is what we choose to do with the cards dealt us that separates, as they say, the wheat from the chaff.
In last weeks blog post I talked about leaning into your discomfort. This week I wanted to go a step further and discuss how we can do this when we are carrying the truth of heartache and uncertainty.
So here are a few thoughts and practices I’ve gathered from my personal journey and from listening to others who have endured more than I have known.
- Surrender control. When we wrap a suffocating grip around our life factors there is no room for adaptation and flexibility. Control is not a friend of uncomfortable. Surrender welcomes uncertainty and makes room for vulnerability. Surrendering control says, “I am O.K. with the outcome.” This takes practice and trust, which takes me to faith… Surrender welcomes uncertainty and makes room for vulnerability. Click To Tweet
- Find faith. In my deepest and darkest places my faith did not save me. But it did give me a place to lay the immensity of my emotions. Our hurt, pain, sorrow, shame, and disappointment swells up like a knot of sickness so tight it begs for release. My faith in someone greater than myself, that heard me and loved me, gave me a place to sit these raw emotions that I could not sort through on my own. Almost always, when I got to this point of surrender, I walked away carrying less.
- Seek Gratitude. I don’t understand clearly how to remain in a place of gratitude while facing a life threatening illness like cancer, the loss of a child or the devastation of a loved one taking their life, but I do know it while facing the extreme loss of hope, my future, and my identity. To be at the very bottom of hope and try to climb out. Searching and seeking out gratitude shifts our thoughts off ourselves. It’s like lighting a candle in a dark room. Shining light on a bit of sweetness. Creating hope. Intentionally immersing ourselves in a state of gratitude has been proven to have lasting positive results on the body that are — savory.
- Believe that it is in these very hard places that the sweet life is birthed. Everyone is saying it. Everywhere you look on social media you can find a meme about the cost and benefits of the storm. The storm brings the rain and washes away the clouds and ushers in the sunshine. Without hard times, we do not know good. Without pain and suffering, we do not know gratitude, love, and joy. These hard times, if given the opportunity, birth out of us a broken and contrite spirit. Broken spirits, when rebuilt, are magnificently bold, authentic and invigorating. Not to mention, contagious.
The life of single motherhood can be, at times, very uncomfortable. Losing a family unit, a husband and perhaps a dream you were holding onto, is shattering to the core. Not to mention moving forward in finances, education, careers, and parenting.
I pray these practices I have gathered, and currently applying in my own plethora of messiness, will take you a step further in your journey of pushing through the craziness we find ourselves in. I pray your heart is lighter and your hopes and dreams are ignited.
Taking you and your family a bit further into — the sweet life.
Food for thought: What are a couple consistent messages you’ve bought into that are down right lies? How can you rewrite them? What would that look like?
Photo cred: photo credit: subtrahierer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/127865668@N04/16169028208″>Royal Flush</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>