Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"No Excuse" Should Not Negate Your Struggles and Pain

So you may have heard, “so and so went through this struggle and they came out stronger than every. You have no excuse.” Okay, so let’s examine this a bit. What I believe is lacking these days in our society is the ability to empathize, think of others on a daily basis (not just in times of trauma), and the ability to understand that every single person has a story. Moreover, everyone’s story matters. What does this all mean? This means that there has to be a balance between strife and the mantra “no excuse”. Weakness, struggles, pain, and sadness are all things that can help a person grow and gain wisdom. In Christianity, we believe these things bring us closer to God. God wants us to turn to him in times of strife, when we are at our weakest. He wants us to turn to him in times of happiness. Over all, He wants us to turn our eyes upon him. “No excuse” here would mean, repent. You have to own your struggles, pain, weakness, and sadness and turn towards the Lord. If you bear some responsibility for where you are in life, own it. If you are failing to turn to God in times of need, change it. True, things are often easier said than done, and we should not expect to grow alone. I am a big proponent on the truth that God made humans for relationships. We are not meant to be alone, to struggle alone or to be happy alone. Aside from being a Christian, the mere fact that humans have formed bonds since the beginning of time indeed speaks volumes towards this belief. “No excuse” does not mean “get over it”, and I caution everyone to be careful when thinking this about others' struggles. What this should mean is reflect and take ownership in how you are interacting in your own life. Consider your relationships and where you are failing. Consider how you could make things better for your own life, and if you feel weak, seek out the counsel of someone else and especially God. It is okay to feel weak, to be weak, and to feel sad when faced with struggles and hardship. This makes sense, we are humans and we are meant to feel. Emotions were undoubtedly created to handle a multitude of situations. Furthermore, remember that each person has a story to tell and that each story has meaning no matter how significant or insignificant they seem (a lost love, loss of a child, living through deployments).

On the flip side, extend Grace with everyone that you come in contact with, and remember this is not a sign of weakness. Remain honest with yourself whether you are the person listening to the others' struggles or the person who is struggling. True, there are those who seem to be perpetually struggling and use this as an excuse to remain at their own base level. These are people that we alone cannot change that despite our irritation, still need our love. There are individuals who can only be changed by the grace of God. These are the individuals that cause us to scratch our heads, fight to understand why on earth they continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. We have all likely come into contact with these folks, those who really could use the mantra “no excuse”, but have made plenty of excuses. Here is the interesting thing about these individuals and why I say that these folk can truly only be helped by the grace of God. These individuals have created their own worlds. This is comparable to habitual liars, who truly do not know how much they are lying or that they have even told a lie. They believe their own self-talk and no matter how many times you highlight their lies or inconsistencies, nothing changes. I am not saying your frustration is wrong or not to even feel it, but remember to extend grace, and that you can love someone in spite of their flaws.


I digress, now back to the matter at hand, “no excuse” does not mean compare yourself to others. We all have our own coping mechanism as well as strengths and weaknesses. Let others inspire you, but do not dwell on the fact that others can do what you cannot do or are doing what you desperately want to do. Whether it is loosing weight, having children, finding a mate, or landing the perfect job, “no excuse” means do not let the negative parts of life consume you. Breathe through life and allow yourself to feel. Repent and be honest with yourself and take ownership of the wrong doings in your life. Never let anyone diminish your pain or your struggles, but appreciate that there may be others out there who understand and want to help you. Above all, have faith that change is possible and know that it is always darkest before the dawn.

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