LIFE - Embrace the season you're in
One thing I've learned over the years is that we go through seasons. There are times in life where everything is fine and you couldn't be happier. It's like a nice summer day: the sun is out shining, the wind is blowing, and you're sitting under a nice shaded tree staring at the ocean. And other times, it's a dreadful winter: the rain is pouring, it's windy out, you forgot your purse and all your belongings (including your umbrella) in the car, and you're stuck outside because you've locked yourself out and there is no place to take cover. Whoa, how many of us have been there before? When we go through the dreadful winter time in our lives, it's easy to wish we weren't going through it. It's easy to pray and ask God to take it away and want to see the sunny skies again. But what if God were trying to teach us something in that dreadful winter? Situations such as death, a break-up, a loss of connection, or even a bad day cause this dreadful season. When this happens, I've come up with a process that's worked for me.
COPE - Realize the situation you're in and be in the moment. Allow yourself to fully understand what's going on and let your emotions come out. Take breaks from the situation occasionally but know that it's still there.
DEAL - Now that you've realized what's going on, create an action plan. Are you going to just sit there and allow time to pass? Are you going to share your feelings with close ones? Actively and consciously do something about the situation. Hint: when other people are involved, it makes it easier when you're upfront with them on how you're dealing with the situation. I like to be left alone so I tell others around me just that. "I need to be left alone right now to deal with ..."
HEAL - Now that you've dealt or are dealing with it, know that it's going to take time to heal. Some situations may take longer than others but it's important to know that this is step continues on throughout the next step. Sometimes, people never completely heal and that's ok. Just allow time for this process and allow yourself to begin to heal.
MOVE FORWARD AND REFLECT - This step is two fold. The first is move forward and the second is reflect. Both are very important and should not be done without the other. Like I said in my last point, you may still be healing in this last step but now is the time you take healing into action. What are you going to do to move forward? Will it be moving on to another person? Or, no longer associating yourself with that person or people? Or something as simple as writing it down in a journal? Moving forward can come in a variety of ways and it's different for everyone.
Lastly, is to reflect. I think this is so important. Ask yourself, what did I learn from that situation? Or, what can I do next time to ensure that doesn't happen again? Reflection doesn't need to be long, it's just a simple set of questions that only you can answer.
Now, I know it's much easier to recall the dreadful seasons in our lives but what about the nice summer days? What about that time you had a family vacation and created those awesome memories? Or got a promotion at your job that included a pay raise? The four step process that was used for the dreadful season can also occur in your happier season as well. I would break that down into the following:
COPE - Realize the situation you're in and be in the moment. It's ok to think good thoughts sometimes and be happy.
DEAL - Are you going to celebrate or share how you're feeling with others?
HEAL - Use this situation as a stepping stone to move through your dreadful season. Actively and consciously remind yourself that you're life isn't entirely bad.
MOVE FORWARD AND REFLECT - These moments to lasts forever but take this moment to sustain you to the next moment. Also, it's not a bad thing to reflect on this moment as well and ask yourself those same type of questions that only you can answer.
Whatever season you're in, embrace it, and know that just as the seasons change throughout the year, so will your life seasons.