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Hard times build and equip

Every human being that has travelled through life on earth have experienced some hard times. Take a moment and imagine the impossible with me.  What if we were able to put together a gigantic poster naming all the people that have ever existed in times past and present. Alongside their names we write down all the hard times they had lived through. I wonder what that would look like. Perhaps the hard times of those that existed centuries ago would be quite different to the hard times experienced by those of us existing in today’s world. We may also find that the hard times experienced vary for each person in the degree of difficulty.  Amongst all the names on this gigantic poster we find ourselves speechless as we read about the stories filled with incredible challenges.

How did they get through that, we wonder?

With the knowledge that there are different stories of hard times and different levels of difficulty within them, we know that to each person ‘that hard time’ was indeed hard!!!

We know that because of our own hard times.

When you are going through ‘a hard time’ hearing of other people’s hard times doesn’t take away the pain you are feeling. It may help you to feel thankful that you are not going through something as difficult, yet YOU are still going through your own journey!

Would life really be that great if we didn’t experience difficulties? Naturally we don’t like hardship and challenges. You don’t usually hear people saying “Oh I can’t wait to go through that incredibly difficult trial; it is going to be so much fun”.  Of course that sounds ridiculous as hard times are not fun they are HARD.

Personally I hate hard times! They are uncomfortable, painful and often scary. BUT I know for a fact that who I am today as a person is a result of going through difficult situations in life that have matured and strengthened me. These difficult situations have helped me to understand that I have ‘no control’ over certain aspects of life or people which has taught me to let go.

In my spiritual life it has taught me to trust! To trust more in the God that I know who loves me and has my best interest at heart!

It has given me a heart for other people. From my own pain I desire to share my life with others so that I can give them comfort and hope. It has helped me to understand how a person may be feeling when they are struggling with life.

Ultimately ‘the hard times’  shift my focus off myself onto other people.

The hard times have equipped me with tools that I can use to help others. It has built perseverance to keep going when the odds are against me!

Each difficult time that I have experienced has built in me a strength that has helped me get through the next difficult time. We don’t know what the future holds or what we may have to experience in life so my perspective is that these difficulties are times of strengthening and equipping so that when the really tough season approaches I have the ability to keep going.

These hard times give us an appreciation for when life is good as it is all too easy to take life for granted when things are going great!

When we are in the middle of ‘a hard time’ it is dark and lonely. It is very hard to see where one is going or how one is going to get out of it. Those seasons may feel like forever yet they do pass.

If you are in that season right now my hope and prayer is that you keep going! You will get through this situation.

If you are not normally a spiritual type of person I would suggest for you to take a risk and pray. What is Prayer? It’s just talking from your heart to a God that really loves you.

There are countless times that I have come through situations and then found myself looking back and realising how much I have changed as a person. These changes have always been good changes, changes in perspective of other people and perhaps attitudes that needed adjusting.

Something good always comes out of the bad. We may feel buried underneath a bunch of hardship yet eventually we come out of that place and shine. Just as a seed that is planted in the ground underneath the dirt eventually sprouts into something amazing!

You are amazing, you will shine too!

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To Turn the Tables

You may be wondering what this blog is about when you initially come across the title.  My hope is that you find yourself super inspired and are able to relate it to your experience in life. The inspiration to this topic is born out of my own frustration of expectations that don’t play out the way you…. Ahh…. well…expected. The subject of expectations could take us on a worldwide tour in some cases, especially once you have lived long enough to experience let downs.

What am I talking about here?

Alright so here goes my best effort to explain. One of my biggest frustrations in life has been expectations gone wrong! As humans we do have expectations of certain people in our lives. Countless times I have found myself feeling disappointed when it seemed that someone I looked up to did not share the same idea.  It may initially be going somewhere within the interaction yet the tendency is that it generally falls short  and one realises that the other party was not on the same page or they may have had a different agenda.  These expectations may be as simple as someone walking past and saying “hello”. It may extend a little further with a generous minute of conversation with them. If by chance that precious minute extends to a genuine conversation whereby you sense that the other party is truly interested in knowing you, then that turns into a bonus!

Life is busy! No doubt I may have unintentionally walked past someone and failed to acknowledge them. It does take effort to step out of your comfort zone and talk with someone you may never have had a conversation with. Let’s face it we do all like our comfort zones, right? However,

We all crave connection.

So where does ‘turning the tables’ come into this conversation? Having heard this reference spoken of in conversation, I decided to look it up for a clearer understanding of what it means:  Turning the tables as cited in: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/turn+the+tables

“To change a situation so that someone’s position is the opposite of what it was”

In my case I made a decision to do the opposite of what I had been doing. To challenge myself to another level of thinking and perspective! Rather than having expectations on others I decided a while ago to turn the tables! My heart told me that if I felt the same disappointment in a social situation or with a particular person then there had to be others who felt the same. This moved me into a zone of “others” rather than “self”. As the saying goes, you “put yourself in another person’s shoes” so to speak. It gives you an inside story to how you can meet the needs of others. With intention I decided that it was time to do my best to offer others that which I had been seeking for myself.  This change in perspective has opened up a whole new world for me.

 It has been such a revelation to realise that in fact others experience the same let downs that I have.

It is so much more rewarding when you decide to be to others what you would have always wanted for yourself! When we are hang up on waiting for what we are expecting to receive from others we can become sorely disappointed. In the disappointment we tend to do the same to those people in our circle. We can be so focused on people that are unreachable that we end up doing the same to people who may want to connect with us. It is quite the cycle.

The truth is humans do disappointment! We all fall short on many occasions, whether it is intentional or not.

My guess is most of us crave the same things, we all desire true connections with genuinely interested persons. In some instances we do lose our focus and perhaps fall into the trap of idolising another person at the expense of not seeing who may be there waiting in our circle.

As I made the choice to ‘turn the tables’ of this disappointing cycle of let downs it has opened my eyes and heart to those around me. To those that do want to have a conversation. It has helped me to connect with others better. It has allowed me to fill in the gaps of another person’s life and in turn it has filled in mine.

It’s all about perspective! When we ‘turn the tables’ off our own interest onto others it gives back to you everything that you thought you were missing out on. In other words it becomes a WIN WIN situation for everyone involved.

Let’s turn those tables and start winning, excuse the pun but Winners are Grinners!!!!

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂