HOW TO COPE WITH COPING

In every obstacle there is an opportunity.

While enjoying my morning shower I remembered an unpleasant, early memory. When recalling my childhood it’s often easier to find a monster memory than a happy one.

My childhood was worse than many but better than most. A book telling the tale would sit on the horror shelf. Plenty of scary memories peppered with many moments of laughter and grace. The latter I recall with fondness while the former I seldom and barely recall at all. Forgetting is my way of coping. Forgetting after doing all I can to forgive. It’s effective and allows me to move forward.

The shower memory was one I haven’t forgiven. After all these years, I’m still stuck with it and don’t know how to forgive and move on. It’s once again filed into the dark crevices of my cranium until the day when blockages once more come looking for a cure. This I know, it will resurface when least expected.

I came to wonder why I choose forgiveness and forgetting while my siblings chose alternate coping methods. My brother swims in the river of denial (pun intended) while my sister surfed the waves of self-destruction. Any difficult situation he has ever experienced is always someone elses’ fault while sis believed she was to blame for everything. Nothing is his responsibility and the world owes him for every bad memory, event or person he has met in his life. She believes every bad memory, event or ounce of trouble she brought upon herself.

His option of blaming and non-forgiveness is painful to many and doubly tortuous because he causes his own suffering. Her past abuses of drugs and alcohol caused self-injury but also pain to those who love her. Both options are mentally, physically and spiritually unhealthy. While not unique to them, this is how they consciously or subconsciously choose to cope with bad experiences and the associated memories of those experiences.

Of the three choices, forgiveness and forgetting is the Mount Everest of coping skills. I’ve actually become quite good at forgiving and can testify to its benefits. It has healed me and if given the opportunity to share forgiveness with offenders, it has helped heal them as well.

Forgiveness is seldom easy. In comparison to other options, it is a gift. It’s a gift because you think and feel as if you are giving it to another when your forgiveness sets you free..

In the end, we all do what we know how to do best. Whether we cope in healthy or harmful ways the reactions are almost always linked to the cause and depth of the injury itself. Whatever method you now use to cope be it anger, aggressiveness, drinking and drugs, ignorance or exercise, pretense, staying stuck or the ever popular blame game, when it fails (and it will) I suggest giving forgiveness a try. Feel free to open your heart to forgiveness, in or out of the shower.

It’s not the troubles we run into, it’s what we do about them which determines their net effect upon our lives … by the very act of trying, our spirit is making progress

It’s not our past which most determines the possibilities open to us, it’s what we choose here and now to make happen in our present and future.

It is the ability to focus our attention on self-motivating thoughts, rather than being mesmerized by negatives, which rests at the very heart of a healthy approach to life.

The sort of resilient personality who can bounce back quickly after a major setback, does so largely because they quickly generate positive emotions which serve as a physical and psychological antidote to bad news. ~ Nick Baylis

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