We all speculate with great confidence what we would do if our spouse cheats, if “that woman spoke to me like that,” if our kids acted like THAT in Wal-Mart, or if our closest friend needed us. And many of us feel strongly that we just couldn’t handle a cancer diagnosis…. and may even ask a survivor “how are you doing this” (as if any of us really have a choice).
Truly, you don’t know what you would do or how you
would feel until you are actually IN a situation!
And while most of us end up walking into and through a hard situation or two in life, what we do with it may be surprising! I have known strong women in wonderful long-term marriages who would have sworn that if their husband ever cheated on them, they would divorce them and never look back… until he DID cheat. Before the initial waves of shock, horror, profound sadness and flaming anger mellowed, these strong women showed a completely different kind of strength. The strength to repair their relationship, fall back in love and protect their beloved family. They did this by defying common wisdom. Forgiveness welled up in these amazing women. More forgiveness than they ever thought they could or would extend to another human being. Looking into the eyes of the one who holds your entire history as well as the hearts of your children can bring a whole new perspective. Now this may not be right for everyone, but surprising and wonderful results came through these trials and surprising reactions.
Just know that you are more than you ever dreamed!
When the rubber meets the road, the strange thing is that these hard times often have a weird ability to pull from us creativity, wisdom, and an amazing degree of “starch.” You may have the wind knocked from your gut, but when you manage to catch that breath, get your feet back on the ground and stand to face that which assaults you, there is nothing to do but rise to the occasion. Not only that, but a whole new perspective which lends new clarity regarding your passions and priorities may invade your heart. All of this might come from within, or from your faith, or even those who have taken you by the hand to walk beside you.
That is how we all HOPE to react, but what about when you fail yourself and/or others during those hard times? It does happen you know. We all fail each other from time-to-time even though our hearts are in the right place. Well, the best thing we can do is to step into this whole thing knowing that you will mess up at some point. Accept it. Forgive yourself in advance, try not to worry too much about what others will think and step up anyway. Do your best and let that be that. And for goodness sakes, do NOT let the fear of failing prevent you from trying. You are better than that! Chin up, precious one! You have shining moments ahead.
And remember, try not judge others who are dealing with difficulty…
Just like you hope they will not judge you!
Let GRACE abound!!
So, when you see that mom indulging a whiney, demanding little girl or boy who is acting all“Veruca Salt” (from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory), keep in mind that you have no idea what goes on with that family. The child may have an issue that you do not understand at all. God forbid, maybe that family lost a child at some point and the sibling is reacting, or the parents just no longer have the heart to reprimand. Don’t be so quick to judge! Besides, why should you judge either way? Seriously…why? One way or another, the rubber has met the road in that family, let them work through it.
And when the clerk at your favorite shoe store speaks snippy or curt…slow down. Take a breath. Is she just a nasty human being? Probably not. She may be waiting on the results of medical testing. Her fears may have every nerve in her body on fire with the dread of what is coming in her life. Or it may be her history that haunts her. Either way, it has nothing to do with you. Let her work through it. A little bit of grace brings a lot of peace, that’s for sure!
As so often comes up in our mission to help those walking into and through a cancer story… walk your walk and let others walk theirs. Learn your lessons and leave others to learn theirs. Share your wisdom and learn for the wisdom of others.
Have faith, put one foot in front of the other and
allow forgiveness & grace to flow from your heart
Where the rubber hits the road is where your transformation to begins
Always in your corner,