Emotions are just like the weather, they come and go. The danger comes in believing it has to be sunny all the time. – Mark Silver
Crappy situations have their benefits.
In fact, I believe there is not only opportunity—but also joy—in challenges.
You’re probably saying, “Come on, Sherice … Get real.”
I am being real.
I have to admit, I used to be pissed off at the sentiment. There’s this line in the Bible from the book of James that starts out like this: “Count it all joy when you go through trials and tribulations…” and I used to be like “Come on James! What the heck?!” Sure yeah, I understood the fact that despite how trying situations could be, at times when you see it through, there’s some merit or you grow etc. I got that. In fact, I’ve gone through enough experiences to attest to it. That’s what inspired my saying, ‘There’s always an opportunity in the challenge’. And I really believe that. But joy?!
Ok wait, it’s not really just the joy part, it was the count it all. How can it ALL be counted as joy? Life can deliver some really cruel punches and even when you overcome them, going through it isn’t always fun, much less joyful!
The truth is, he’s onto something.
You see, I had a vice. Me and debt are not friends. Being short on funds would generally be the quickest way for me to start freaking out. And being self-employed, with fluctuating cash flow, I would get a fair bit of practice trying to tame my emotions in this area. Over the years, I improved at taming my emotions, and could even find ways to see benefit from the situation. During tight times, we would find new ways to be inventive, get more strategic, save money or make more. Though I wouldn’t count those experiences as joyful, the lessons were invaluable. It’s pretty much how I decided ‘there’s always an opportunity in the challenge.’
My new favourite lesson is just learning to sit back and fully accept what is. Over the years, even though I changed a lot, there were still times if the drought lasted long enough, I started to crack. And it was easy to tell, because, I’d be start cleaning and organizing EVERYTHING ’cause I just had to control something.
Today was one of those times, and I had to dip into the Travel Fund. We were saving up for a trip to Thailand so I could literally ride my elephant LOL. We’d come so far, and still refused to let our credit cards solve problems, even knowing that what we were experiencing was temporary. So to cover some bills, I decided that our family was more important than any dream … so down went the Travel Fund, and the funny thing is, I’m ok with it. Not only that, I’m really, really good with it. I even found myself singing around the house and just relaxing in the midst of things- something I would NEVER do. And the crazy thing, I can sense that even my super-laid-back husband is tenser about it than I am.
But I feel void of concern, void of tension, worry-free and wait for it…I feel joy! Seriously, I’m beside myself with joy. It’s not that negative situations are necessarily joyous, but you can consider them that way.
My problem was that for me to feel good, situations had to be good. If things were “bad” in my head, I felt “bad.”But then I realized that I am not my feelings. My feelings are not a reflection of who I am, or even the situation I am in. I choose my feelings.
In the area of my biggest vice, I had changed completely and suddenly I was really grateful for this crappy situation, because without it, I would’ve never had this breakthrough.
Will I never feel anxiety about money again? I hope not, but if I do, I know it’s just a feeling and I can choose.
Emotions are just like the weather, they come and go. The danger comes in believing it has to be sunny all the time.