Ecclesiastes 5:17 - All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.
You turn on your computer and then step away to get something from the resource center at work. When you come back, though, you aren’t greeted by a computer screen showing your latest emails, but with an error message.
Three of your emails weren’t sent yesterday and you’re new emails have been unable to download, because your computer lost connection with the internet.
Okay. So you calm yourself down knowing that, thanks to your smart phone, you can check your emails there. So you switch to your email app on your phone ready to take notes on your emails for later responses.
But wait. Your phone can’t access the internet either. That shouldn’t matter. You should be able to connect to your mobile data. Yet you can’t.
“Here we go again,” you think. “How much time will I have to use up with technical support?” And if that wasn’t frustrating enough, as you look around the room, you see that everyone else is up and running. Why isn’t your computer connecting?
Frustration. Life can get frustrating quickly when you’re blocked from completing tasks you normally are able to do. Or perhaps it’s the long line at the grocery store check out. It could also be the commute home, where you come to a dead stop as another delay is added to your day.
Frustration can add to our stressful days and we can become angry quickly. How do we let go of that frustration?
First, when you do have to call IT or go directly to the one who has the task of dissecting computer glitches and error messages; don’t be the person who starts yelling at their fellow employee. After all, it may be his job to try and get to the bottom of your problem, but he’s not perfect and sometimes he has to check with other sources to find the answer. So don’t take it out on him.
The same applies to grocery clerks, waitresses, pharmacy workers and yes, even the receptionist at your doctor’s office. All of these individuals are just trying to do their job, and it’s unfair to begin a tirade at them when it’s not their fault things are running behind.
Second, try to remember that people are also waiting on you to get a job done or need the paperwork you can’t complete because you’ve had a delay. You can be the reason for someone else’s frustration. Let’s see if we can’t find a way to let go of the tension that’s building up inside you.
You’ll find some ways to cope with frustration in the article, “Frustration – 8 Ways to Deal with It,” on life-with-confidence.com. Here’s one of their suggestions:
One of the things that you can ask yourself is, “What’s working in this situation?” Not everything is always going wrong. You can always find something that’s going right. Take a look at the rest of the article and you’ll find some ideas that you can apply to the difficulties you are facing now which are making you feel frustrated.
After all, you don’t want to end up like the people the Bible verse above speaks about. You don’t want to live in your darkened frustration, affliction or anger. In the end it may take away all the joy in your life, and the good things that God is blessing you with that you can’t see.
Proverbs 10:9 - The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
In the ever increasing drive social media places on us to look good and successful when we aren’t, we may find our integrity slowly burning off like morning fog.
We say what we don’t mean.
We don’t do what we said we’d do and make up excuses like, “I know I let you down, but I’m just too busy,” and our promises fade away.
We hide secrets in the basement of our minds fooling other people that we are of good moral character when in fact -
Steal what isn’t our own
We make light of important matters
And it all leads to our character being tossed aside in the name of profit and success.
We may think that what we’re doing doesn’t affect others, it does –
Our marriages suffer as cheating on your spouse becomes more than just a one
Our relationships with our children suffer as we break our promises to make
time to show up at their soccer games or watch a school music program.
Our relationships with our parents, siblings, and extended family suffer as we criticize and put down their life, because they aren’t making the big bucks.
Our jobs suffer as we steal someone else’s ideas and projects and put our names on them.
Our loss of integrity doesn’t just stop there – it affects us internally:
We’re the ones who know what we’re doing even if we may fool others for a time.
Our internal monitor moves into the red zone as now our health begins to decline.
And finally what we think about ourselves is no longer hidden by the fog but is pushed into the burning light of just how far we’ve fallen.
Is there a way to gain back our integrity? Read the article on wikihow.com titled, “How to Improve Your Personal Integrity,” and find suggestions such as being truthful with other even if it gets you into trouble and be honest with yourself.
No one said that a life of integrity would be easy. It may take some time before others trust you again, but it’s worth the effort to try. If you do, as the Bible verse above says, you’ll become a person of integrity who walks securely. And you won’t have to carry around the burden of wondering when you’ll be found out.
Proverbs 2:8 - For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
You grab another brick from the pile, along with a scoop of mortar and add it to the wall you are building. One-by-one, the bricks are added and a wall rises to the front, back, right and left of your position. By late afternoon you step back and examine your work. With a nod, you then you pull out your cell phone and let your new employee know that you’re ready for him to arrive on the job site. With a guard left in place, positioned to defend your home, it’s time for you to take cover inside.
This is a picture of what it looks like to keep yourself “safe” and defend against anyone who would attempt to be part of your life.
It’s easier this way. Letting people into your life can be messy. It can be hurtful. It can take away the safety you feel inside your sheltered dwelling place.
But is it really living if you keep yourself walled off from the world? How can the flower of love bloom if no sun has a chance to lift the darkness off your path?
It can’t. It may feel safer to stay out of touch from other’s lives, but it’s really no way to live.
Why don’t I let others in? Learn some reasons why you guard yourself from others, such as you’ve been emotionally hurt in the past and are not open to getting hurt again, or you were raised in an environment that was physically or emotionally volatile from the article, “Guarding Your Heart Its Really a Matter of Trust,” on the website twoofus.org. You can also find out how to drop your guard and allow people into my life again in the article, “Drop the Mask – How to Slowly Lower Your Guard and Change Your Life,” from tinybuddha.com.
Letting your guard down won’t be easy, but it will be worth it when you start to develop deep and meaningful relationships. And, as we see in the Bible verse above, we don’t need to post a guard over our life. God will be the guard for us and his protection will swing open when a relationship built on trust begins to bloom. So pick up the phone and let your guard you hired know that you will no longer need his service then watch him march away.
Proverbs 17:7 - A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
You have a friend who you care a great deal about and they are struggling with a situation. It’s hard for you to watch them as they try to do something to correct the problem, but they aren’t able to.
Your heart hurts for them. You can almost feel your friend’s loss physically, and all you can think about is how you want to step in and somehow help.
But there’s nothing you can do.
Each of us face problems. Some of them we can ask other people to help us and they come along side of us as we pass through the circumstances. Did you get that I said, “come along side of”? This doesn’t mean we can fix the problem for them. It means that we can be there to give them encouragement to not give up.
And that is powerful.
Here are some suggestions from goodlifezen.com on how to comfort a friend through a crisis the right way in the article, “21 Ways to Comfort a Friend in Crisis,” such as offering practical help like making calls or doing errands.
The next time you want to just “fix” something, realize that the best way you can “fix” a friend’s problem is to be there. Try using some of the suggestions above and it may help your friend find the solution they need just by being there for them.
And as the Bible verse above states, if we truly are another’s friend then we will be there no matter what the adversity is.
1 Samuel 3:10 - The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
“Can you hear me now?”
We all remember the commercials where someone is on their cell phone attempting to talk to another party and they’re having difficulty hearing each other.
We can do this in real life by not paying attention to someone when they’re speaking to us either by phone or in person. You can tell that someone isn’t really listening to you when all they say is, “Whatever you say.” And they don’t look right at you, but somewhere out in the distance.
When pretending to be listening to someone when the other party is trying to be honest and tell you something that is important to them, it can cause hurt feelings to develop. Everyone wants to feel important and that they matter. If you don’t have the courtesy to pay attention when having a conversation then you can cause someone to doubt their worth in your eyes.
On the other hand, if you truly take part in the conversation, it can mean all the difference in the world to them. Let’s take a look at how we can take a more active part in a conversation.
To participate in a conversation is part of active listening skills. When someone is using them they will show in action that they are listening to you. Here’s some examples from the article, “Active Listening, Hear What People are Really Saying,” on mindtools.com.
When listening to a conversation it’s easy to let your mind wander instead of showing respect to the speaker by listening to what they have to say. Learning to use the active listening skills above will allow you to learn more about the speaker and help develop deeper relationships. Then, as the Bible verse above talks about, your speaker will know that you are truly listening to them and care about their opinion.
To learn more select the button below to watch a video on active listening.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.