Wanted: Silver Lining for Seemingly Bleak Situations

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Currently, I personally know of several people who are out of work. Indeed, it is near impossible to live in our area without coming across someone who’s lost his or her job in the past few years — and we all recognize the turmoil and instability that can cause.

While not always easy, I find it’s less difficult to cope with adversity if we can find meaning and purpose within it. When we do that, we can often emerge stronger, wiser and more fulfilled.

I have tried to use adversity as my impetus for learning more about myself, my world and the power within me. It has also driven me to make new choices or decisions that I wouldn’t have considered before. In short, it has always made me a better, more improved version of myself.

My own experience with hardship has reinforced within me the concept of a “God-force” or higher power that resides within each of us. This miraculous reserve of energy can help us through nearly anything.

When we mine this amazing force — I acknowledge it’s not always simple to retrieve its ore — we can realize the things we need to feel safe (in this case, employment and financial security) are virtually at our fingertips.

I know how it may sound to some, but [the human collective] mind is our gift from this divine source and is unequivocally the most powerful instrument we have; why not use it to our greatest advantage?

Philosophers from John Duns Scotus to René Descartes have examined man’s conflict with the existence of free will. Descartes said, “The will is, by its nature, so free that it can never be constrained.”

Because we possess free will, we are capable of choosing thoughts that create good feelings, leading to good outcomes — while discarding those that create the opposite.

When coping with the invariable ebbs and flows of job seeking, I’ve found several immensely beneficial “mind tools” that help maintain peace of mind: Reflect on how you view traditionally “negative” situations.

Instead of “I’m a failure” (for being laid off or fired), consider that you may have not liked that job anyway — and the divine source is creating a better work situation that uses your talents and gifts more effectively or enjoyably.

Or perhaps you didn’t like the people you had been working with; you now have the plan to move into a friendlier environment.

You can stay in the “present moment” without continuously worrying about your future. You can rope your mind into the “now,” and take this one day, one hour or one minute at a time. You can handle this — in small increments. You don’t have to solve everything immediately.

Refuse to quit! You can always scream, stomp your feet or cry your tears, but you can choose to keep on“keepin’ on,” and continue to send out resumes, connect with people, make contacts where possible and believe in possibilities.

Accept your situation (for what you do have) with grace and gratitude. You can choose to look for, and be thankful for, all the good you see in your life; and remember that “spring always follows winter” — this “condition” is only temporary.

Remind yourself — often — that you’re not alone; there are others who are facing similar circumstances, and you can find them and talk with them, if you want. Remember that others have gone through this before and come out of it all the wiser.

There’s a reason for everything that happens. Trust that something amazing will emerge from this, and that soon you’ll be able to look back with greater understanding, knowledge, empowerment and peace. RT

LAURIE PAPPAS, Ph.D., is the author of “Loving Heart: Navigating the Journey from Conflict to Peace.” She lives in Franklin with her husband, Ed.

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