As my stress level began to rise last week, I had to ponder what I was doing wrong to be able to maintain this imbalance. I was praying, venting and working to resolve the source of my stress with seemingly little success. But, what I wasn’t doing was letting go of anything or releasing the outcome to God. And, more importantly, I wasn’t trusting in the truth of who God is and what He brings to my life and any situation that I may face.
Hence, I realized that when we are overwhelmed, distressed and frustrated, it helps to place our problems in their proper perspective. We often get ahead of ourselves, trying to predict the outcome of the situation and think through all the worse possible case scenarios. And after all the catastrophizing, it’s no wonder that we tend to feel that the problem is larger than life.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Anytime we give our problems/situations too much negative time and attention, they become distorted, and this distortion can place us in the depths of despair, not seeing any way out or through the problem or situation. There is always a way through, not necessarily a quick way out of, our problems. We simply must yield to the process and be willing to grasp the solution when it reveals itself to us.
No matter how the answer comes, let go of worrying; trust that your efforts are not in vain and that God will make it all work for good. Therein we find a place of peace that will empower us to rise above our problems and still move forward in the midst of difficulty. Not always easy but definitely possible.
As I faced challenges this week in my caregiver journey with my siblings, I realized that life to some people is a contest, a constant competition and comparison of their performance against another’s performance. And, a competitive spirit in a situation that definitely IS NOT a competition makes a tough situation tougher.
Life isn’t about who’s the best or who completes a task first. It’s largely about finishing what we set out and purposed to do to the best of our ability. An old spiritual song that was often sung in our hometown church summed it up this way: “the race is not given to the swift, neither is it given to the strong but to he that endureth to the end. He that endureth shall be saved.”
Therefore, what’s important is that we fulfill our purpose and call, not necessarily that we finish #1 or even finish quickly, because matters involving people often take delicate handling in order to reap the best and most lasting outcome. A competitive spirit and being #1 won’t help us to make and retain lasting and loving friendships. It won’t make people love and stick by us or have faith in us. It won’t make us love ourselves any more than we did before we placed another “win” under our proverbial belts.
A competitive spirit is out of place in matters of the heart. Competition pits one against another and has its place, particularly, in the world of sports where we are free to get our game on. However, competition wasn’t intended for the inner courts of our lives and relationships and causes a variety of unnecessary disturbances in our lives.
Life, and the things we do in honor of our Creator, ourselves and others, is about sharing and showing love, honor and respect for the people and principles that are important to us. Hand’s down, no competition necessary.
I believe that travel can be an important part of one’s journey to wholeness and self-discovery. So, I’ve vowed to travel more and create more extraordinary experiences for myself that feed my soul. One such experience was traveling to Norway recently to support my son and the USA team, as well as other soccer teams from various countries, who were playing on behalf of the Homeless World Cup Foundation.
Below is a selection of photos from my recent trip to Oslo, Norway. I hope they inspire you to up your travel, if you haven’t done so already, and allow your travel experiences to nurture your soul and teach you things about yourself and the world, as my adventures have for me.