Living Simply: My Minimalist Coping Mechanism

Well, this helps too.

Well, this helps too.

Two days ago, I wrote about feeling ready for the next big lesson.

I should have known better. Of course many of you out there cautioned me to be careful what I wished for, and you were exactly right. I can admit it. You were right, I was wrong, and believe me, I won’t make that mistake again! 😉

Within eight hours of that posting, my husband and I encountered a pretty big financial crisis. It isn’t the first time we’ve been in this type of situation, but it never gets easier to face.

Now, I’m a Jesus follower. I believe that if the Bible says that God takes care of His children (which it does), then He will. He’s come through for us in bleaker situations than this one. But while my faith tells me we’ll be okay, my head immediately engaged panic mode. I suppose it’s natural, whether you believe in God or not, to sometimes feel one thing in your spirit and hear something different in your mind. No matter who or what you lean on in times such as these, we’ve all at one point or another had a moment of doubt.

I have a rule. When a crisis hits, I am allowed to react for one hour. If I need to be angry, or sad, or have a pity party, I may indulge for exactly an hour. After that, it’s moving on time. (I’m an INFJ personality type, so I have to set pretty strict boundaries around my emotions, lest they eat me alive and spit out my bones.) So yesterday, after hearing the bad news, I made myself a cup of coffee, set a timer for 60 minutes, and sat down at my computer to vent. I typed for a while and worked for a while, and talked to a friend.

After my one hour was up, I began to create a conclusion for myself. This part of the process is the most important, because whatever conclusion I form will be my anchor for the rest of the ordeal. I came up with three points, which will become my three personal anchors for this circumstance:

anchorThis situation is not my fault. I didn’t do anything to cause it, and I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. More importantly, I cannot fix it now. It is not useful for me to dwell on a circumstance that I can’t change.

anchorI can’t begin to doubt my most fundamental beliefs just because I hit a bump in the road. If I believed that God was good yesterday, I have to believe it today. I can’t allow my circumstances to dictate my foundation.

anchorI have a choice: to view this as an ordeal, or to see it as an adventure. I will either be happy or I won’t, but my situation doesn’t have the power to decide that for me.

From here on out, any time my reaction feelings begin to take over, I will anchor myself with these three statements. And you can all keep me accountable to this. Honestly, now that I’m past the reaction stage, I feel unexpectedly confident. I feel like this is a test, and one that I am determined to pass.

What is your coping strategy for unexpected crises? Do you have any foundational beliefs that you hold to in these times? Has anything ever caused you to doubt, and if so, what happened?

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2 thoughts on “Living Simply: My Minimalist Coping Mechanism

  1. With all the ‘goings on’ lately I am forever reminding myself that this is God’s work…so it is perfectly how it should be at this moment…even if it makes me uncomfortable or sad, or angry, or scared…it is still perfect.

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