When Things Are Difficult

In The Trenches

Each day seems to be more difficult than the previous.  Each day seems like this trial will go on forever.  Each day we have to strive to persevere.

In particular I am referring to my grieving for my son, but I realize that the words above can apply to a variety of situations.  Whether it be discipline issues, health problems, or homeschool challenges, we have to pull ourselves up for our family and for ourselves.

The family is a wonderful gift.  Yes, it can cause pain and we can respond in frustration.  Yes, we can experience the pain, and respond in a loving manner.  This is hard.  It is easier said then done.

Change Our Perspective

We can look at the struggles we are in and complain.  Once we are done nothing has changed and we might even feel more self-pity.  How about seeing our struggles as a blessing?  Asking ourselves questions like:  How can I learn from this situation?  What virtues can I put into practice?  How can I be a better person?

For some we might think that the problem lies with our child, husband, neighbor, or something else outside of us, and they are the ones that need to change.  We can all use improvement- there is no denial about that fact.  While we cannot change another persons behavior we can change ourselves.  We can change how we respond to that person or situation.  No, they probably will not see you being loving and think I need to amend my ways.  It may take a long time and they might not come around to seeing things your way.  In the meantime at least you are making sure to be loving on your end. You are striving to be a better person. You are growing in virtue. You are persevering through the difficulties.

For me, accepting my son is gone (which is difficult to do) does not make the pain go away.  I can fight the pain and be angry or thank God for it.  I have chosen to be thankful.  Every tear I shed represents the love in my heart.  I think of all my tears being collected and one day being returned to me as joy.

No one asks to be challenged with troubles but they come.  In the midst of it all it is easy to see life as overwhelming and recognize your helplessness.  But we are not helpless, we have free will.  Free will to decide how we are going to live.

You can read tips and books on discipline, try a new therapy, get advice from friends, and so forth.  None of this will help if our attitudes are poor.  We have to decide to improve our outlook and choose to love others and ourselves.  If we do this then when things are monumentally difficult we can still persevere.

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