Tag Archives: wellbeing

Love, Circumstances, Regret, Eternity: 4 Contexts Where Accepting Life on Life’s Terms Changes Everything

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

What’s sadly amusing is that people (let’s be honest, it is each of us) who need to learn life lessons often do not believe they have a problem.

I heard a notorious complainer and backbiter announce that she had once attended a conference on negativity.  One man struggled with coping and  refused therapy. He had never entered a professional mental healthcare office, yet claimed it would not help.

Accepting life on life’s terms is tricky. Instead, we often try to control circumstances or other people, and strive for comfort.   

Personal Power

Reputations, health, and safety are subject to events outside our control. No matter the wisdom or lack of sense behind our choices, good  and not-so-good will result. Jesus said God sends rain on the just and on the unjust*.  Life’s terms are reality.

Nonetheless, we have control over our behavior and responses. That is powerful!

I switched from railing against difficulties and fighting to improve the past, to focusing on changing me. Now a matured worldview, attitude, and belief system provide a deep sense of hope and purpose that eluded me before.

Do you see how far you’ve come since one to ten years ago? Change happens in truth. Honest introspection is not difficult. Simply by asking, “Why do I feel/believe/behave this way? Am I the person I want to be?”,  your escape from endless cycles begins. 

Life’s terms 

Relationships:   No human loves unconditionally and no one stays forever. These are not true because people are uncaring, rather it is that we are fallible, and incapable of perfectly meeting another’s needs. These are life’s terms.

Accepting these terms allows for rejoicing at how many people care sincerely and imperfectly.  Shared happiness and pain create a sense of community and personal fulfillment. This replaces the anguish of manipulating or insisting relationships match our design. Grace and freedom reign.

Circumstances:  Events outside ourselves are often confusing and seem to have trajectories of their own. It is impossible to slam on the brakes and stop all the nonsense. These are life’s terms. 

Accepting life’s terms means no set of circumstances has to complete our story. Looking for  options and focusing on what is next, spares us from paralyzing fear and hopelessness. We can create, share ideas, pray, and involve ourselves in a message of hope.   

Personal history:  The past is full of regrets and “can’t believe I did that”.  Consequences of poorer choices are not always avoidable. These are life’s terms. 

Accepting those terms allows us to make needed amends, and jumpstart the present.  How many of us would spend days hiding if we constantly stared at all our mistakes? Knowing the past cannot be fixed, we transfer energy toward influencing today for the good of humankind. 

Salvation:  No past choices determine our eternal future. Zero.  Starting now, putting faith in Jesus means we can believe our gifts, strengths, and weaknesses have purpose in the hands of a sovereign God. He sees his beloved (if somewhat confused) children through eyes of forgiveness and delight.

These are His terms, for which we can feel relief and gladness. 

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 19:21 

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,  but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.

*https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+5&version=ESV

Death, Murder, and Denial. Emotions Call for Attention

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Denial does not work because bottled up emotions will come out some other way, affecting our physical and mental health.  Refusing to talk about something keeps us isolated, alone with our interpretation of events.

This is one of myriad reasons my suggestion is consistent –  seek a professional, knowledgeable perspective.

At 18 and single, Kimberly had already experienced pregnancy twice. Her first baby died just before birth,  and Kimberly was forced to deliver a stillborn daughter.  The second pregnancy was a rebound one, she said. 

When we first met, she was in the first trimester of the second pregnancy. She was excited!  Her strong family support system, including her mother, helped her cope. Her dreams for another baby girl knew no bounds.  As we talked, I grew to like what appeared as Kimberly’s overcomer attitude.

Family death and murder

Then her mother suddenly died. Kimberly spoke fondly of her, and expressed regret they would not have more time.  Her emotions were well-hidden. “Everything happens for a reason,” she said. I never saw another reaction. 

By now the nursery was furnished. Baby clothes lined dresser drawers. Packages of diapers collected against a wall. Her much-loved child was due in four weeks. Then the unthinkable happened. 

One afternoon, her boyfriend’s sister assaulted her, beating and pushing.  Kimberly’s pre-born baby died.  She filed charges and eventually won a homicide case against the assailant. 

The next time I saw her, she was unemotional. In the course of one year, this young woman had lost two babies and her mother. Yet she showed no pain.

Hidden emotions will spill…

Her behavior told a different story.  Only one month after the assault,  she invited me to walk her through her third round of hope and dreams. For months, all she could talk about was her developing little boy. 

“Are you sad?” I asked, referring to so many losses.

“I was, but now I have this baby to care for,” she said with a smile. “Everything happens for a reason.”

I’m convinced  she was coping the best she knew how – by tackling one storm at a time.  That’s an effective, temporary coping skill.  However, it leaves us dependent on the whims of circumstances outside of our control.  Buried emotions powerfully push us toward immediate relief.  The resulting lack of awareness does not guide us toward making healthier or wiser decisions. 

I hope for the sake of her longterm physical, mental, and spiritual health, she eventually found the will to face, experience, and share her feelings with a professional grief counselor.  

We all live with pain. God draws us to himself, gives of himself, and tells us to reach out to one another. Why? Because none of us are meant to do this alone. We thrive in honesty. 

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.