Deuteronomy 33:11 - Bless all his skills, LORD, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Strike down those who rise against him, his foes till they rise no more.”
Here’s one that few people talk about: being fired.
This can leave a stigma over you for years to come as people ask why you lost your job.
However, the day you were fired passes into another day and becomes your past. You can’t do anything about the past, but you can do something about today:
One of the first steps is to prepare for the doorway into your new job is to develop tools to help you prepare for a job interview:
Now that you’ve got the right tools developed to apply for a job, it’s also important to learn skills that will help you stay employed. Forbes.com has an excellent article titled, “5 Job Skills To Get You (And Keep You) Employed.” One of their tips is writing. Writing skills are back in vogue, as nearly everything is communicated through web pages, social media, and email marketing. Also, more specifically with social media, many companies are just realizing the importance of social media for attracting and selling to customers and are scrambling to put together their “social strategies.” Adept users of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn quite possibly have the skills to help companies with their social strategies.
With the right preparation and skills it’s not only possible to recover from being fired, but to find and keep your next job. Remember, God is the one who blesses people with not only the skills they need, but he is also pleased with the work of their hands. Don’t let being fired the reason to give up and end your career. Let it be a stepping stone to a job you can feel good about having.
Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Disappointment. There it is. Things aren’t turning out the way you wanted them to.
Do you believe if you don’t expect something good to happen then you won’t be disappointed? That’s a hard question to ask.
With each one of these situations, it shows that you’ve already predicted the outcome. All you see ahead of you is disappointment. And you wonder, “What’s the point of trying when I’ll never see the approval I long for? Nothing will ever turn out the way I want it to be.”
Could there be a reason that you’re disappointed most of the time? Could it be that you don’t have any hope left? You’ve been hurt so many times that you don’t think you can handle one more let down.
How do we move past disappointment? Chopra.com, in their article, “9 Ways to Overcome Disappointment,” makes some suggestions. Here’s one – Adopt the perspective of an observer rather than a participant. Detaching like this allows you to see with increased clarity. Also, celebrate that you know what you want. By having the feeling of disappointment, it shows that you know what your goal is.
Attitude plays a big part in this. I’m opening my journal and writing in it, “Today will be the kind of day that I make it out to be.” That’s right. I said that I make it out to be. In addition, I make it a point to pray that God would open my eyes to see things the way he does. His plan will ultimately be fulfilled. Then I will discover that though one thing may have caused me disappointment, there are many more reasons that brought me joy. Reach for the joy, and let go of the disappointments.
Matthew 9:28 - When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.
In the ocean, far away from shore, sits a small desert island.
The sand dunes shift and change position with each passing breeze. Only a couple of palm trees stand as sentries guarding the island. Not far from the trees, something moves. And then drops to their knees.
It’s a person, and there’s no one with them. That’s because they’re stranded on this little desert island, because they can no longer come and go as they please. That’s how a person with chronic pain or an illness feels.
But that’s not the way it has to be.
If you stand up and turn around you’ll see an oasis in the distance. That oasis is made up of people who serve as those two, sentry palm trees, always on duty being your friend in spite of your pain.
But you have to take the first step toward them.
Let go of your fears.
If you want things to be different, you must believe they can be.
Cnbc.com in their article, “18 Ways Successful People Think Differently,” gives us some ways that we can do things differently and change our present, such as worry, fear, action, and gratitude are all choices you get to make. No one gets to decide anything for you. Every decision is completely yours to make. In addition, today is that second chance you have been asking for. Use it.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. There were some men who were blind. They went to Jesus hoping he would heal them. But even though they’d gone to Jesus, they still needed to believe he could do it. It’s the same with us. If we want things to be different we have to believe that God is able to change things. No, he may not change everything, and he might not even change the worst things you’re going through. But he does touch our lives by bring others to stand with us through our trials. God will also bring healing to our hearts and encouragement to strengthen us.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Sometimes anxiety fills our minds for a very good reason:
So we see that there are valid reasons for the unease you feel sometimes. However, sometimes anxiety comes on without any apparent reason. It surprises us. We can’t pinpoint where this anxiety is coming from.
But what we do know is that once anxiety has a chance to put its foot in your door, it can quickly move into a full blown panic attack.
Here are some ideas that may not completely take away your anxiety, but they can help calm you:
Whatever you choose, remember that though you may not believe it, anxiety is under your control. You decide whether you’re going to let your anxiety rule your life. Just believing you can gain back control may be enough to chase away your panic attack.
Heleo.com in their article, “10 Simple Strategies to Control Your Anxiety,” provides us with additional ideas on how to get your anxiety under control, such as avoid asking yourself, “What if?” The more time you spend worrying about the possibilies of what may happen, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action and calming yourself. Also, disconnect. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline.
Whether we know the reason we’re feeling anxious or not, with the help of the ideas above, we can release our anxiety into the wind and let peace and calm take its place. And, remember, God asks us to cast all of our anxiety on him. He cares for us and will help us not just find peace for the moment, but will grow that peace into an everyday occurance.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 - Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with an incurable pain or illness? Finding this out can be devastating to your life. It can cause you to question everything.
Something good has to come from all of this, right?
If you are a friend of someone who is trying to figure out why they have to suffer, and want to truly help, here are some things to keep in mind:
Trying to help a friend quench the fires of depression can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. Helpguide.org posts the article, “Helping Someone With Depression – Supporting a Depressed Person While Taking Care of Yourself,” which provides a guide through the symptoms of depression and how a friend or family member can help. It’s especially important to be sensitive to the pain the sufferer is going through, and this article provides ways to start a conversation, and examples of questions you can ask.
The fires of depression can quickly spred from one area of your life to every part. You may quickly begin to lose the battle against it, but just as the Bible verse says above, when you have someone else with you, they can give you their strength and you will be bound together in a cord that’s not easily broken or burnt up by those depression fires.
1 Timothy 4:12 - Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Whether good or bad you’re going to be an example to those around you.
What do you want others to see in you?
Take care with what you do and say. It may be difficult to speak kindly to others sometimes, but doing so reaps a rich relationship where your friends truly feel that you care.
This will be the result:
You may feel afraid to look out for others before yourself. But you may be surprised at how good you feel about your life when it’s centered on someone other than yourself.
Kellyexeter.com.au, in their article, “5 Easy Things We Can All Do to Look Out For Each Other,” says that you may think you don’t have enough time to take care of yourself let alone others, but in fact, you do. The article has some ideas such as give people the benefit of the doubt because you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, and ditch the sarcasm and snark for cheering people up.
Even though the Bible verse above speaks about a young person, the second part talks about the kind of example you set. We are to be an example that God can use to show the world his love, through our speech and deeds. And this is the kind of example that will answer the question to what you want others to see in you in a positive way. Be that example, and others will notice.
Galatians 5:1 - It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Chains today are used for many purposes:
So you see, chains can provide security and beauty. Yet, there’s another kind of chain – one that doesn’t protect you, but keeps you bound to slavery and from being able to escape.
Chains to our old life can keep us handcuffed and unable to erase the scars forming around our wrists and ankles. Each time we move, the chain rubs and reminds us about the choices we made in the past, and the ones we’re making right now.
Sometimes we feel like we will never escape and find freedom. It can seem too hard to even try. So how do I unlock the chains of my past? Wikihow.com in their article, “How to Let Go of the Past,” passes on some key ways on how to do just that. One of the keys is to shift your behavior. If you do things the same way over and over again, it can feel like the past keeps popping up. Another key is don’t fear failure. If your past has created some sort of fear about a certain circumstance or part of life, activily work on beating that fear back.
Jesus died for us and has the keys to unlock our chains. We simply need to accept them from his hands and use them. And just as the Bible verse above says, once we are free, we must choose to not let ourselves be chained to what used to hold us fast.
Psalm 4:1 – Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
There are different reasons why we put a smile on our face:
There’s one more reason, though, maybe that smile means you’re trying to hold onto control because you’re afraid of what others would think of you if you didn’t smile.
What’s the true story?
Life gets tiring and sometimes the reason we’re so tired is that giving a false smile takes a lot of energy. Sometimes we walk into a conversation where everyone else is laughing and we don’t feel like laughing because our emotional pain is off the charts. Do you laugh when you’re crying inside? Do you make an excuse to walk about from your friends?
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m glad that I have people in my life who help me find a balance, and who believe in me enough to allow me the freedom to show my real emotions. That balance I’m talking about is learning to live a life that is real.
There’s something else that can explain what we’re going through and give us some hope. It’s a condition called, Smiling Depression. Nami.org posts the article, “What You Need to Know About ‘Smiling Depression.’ ” In the article they explain that smiling depression involves appearing happy to others and smiling through the pain, keeping the inner turmoil hidden. It’s a major depressive disorder. One thing that you can do is to find things that are meaningful to you and help you feel productive and accomplished.
God wants us to be able to smile when it’s for the right reason. He will also answer us when we call to him for help in living a real life. He will bring us relief from all of the distress we feel in our heart when we’re trying to decide if it’s an okay time for us to smile. As long as our motives are to live a life that is real in our actions and emotions, he will help us do it.
Watch out: Smiling Depression can be dangerous because it can have a connection to suicide. One of the ways to help yourself and others who are depressed is to seek help. If you or a loved one are having thoughts about suicide seek help immediately. It is a matter of life and death. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 or simply dial 911.
Isaiah 59:14 - So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
Watching bad news unfold can cause our physical and emotional pain to increase.
We’ve certainly had a lot of bad news lately. At some point though, we may need to curb our viewing of the news especially if we find ourselves obsessing over it. It’s so easy to do, because we have instant access through our computers and cell phones to news that is happening right at the moment it happens. Then, as we become emotionally involved in the news, we can feel our muscles tighten and bring pain to our body and to our mind.
But it’s not just what’s happening around the world or even in our own towns and cities. It’s also how we speak to each other about what’s happening. I’m not trying to judge someone. We all can fall into being drawn to a negative news story and make it seem worse than it is when we talk about it to our friends.
But watch out.
It used to be that people took care with how they used their words whether on TV or off. But now, the gloves have been removed and people blurt out what first comes out of their mouths without thinking before they speak. The anger they feel over what’s going on oozes out of their mouths defaming whoever they are talking about.
What happened to common courtesy and respect for the other person? We pass around gossip quite easily whether it’s true or not. And isn’t that what the news media in a way also does? If they hear of a story that they think they can write about, they jump on it. But they don’t just report the truth of what’s happening. They twist and turn it and blow it up to be more than what it really is. And then the headaches start, followed by stomach upset and pain quickly spreads throughout our bodies.
Cnn.com, in their article, “Too Much Bad News Can Make You Sick,” talks about the damaging health risks that come with watching bad news such as lack of restful sleep, anxiety, depression, headaches, muscle tension, and stomach problems to name a few. The article also posts a video showing how we can’t avoid stress, but we can manage it with suggestions in the video on how to do just that.
Justice truly is being driven back and truth has stumbled in the streets and onto our TV where honesty doesn’t ever enter. It has to start with you and me. We may not be able to prevent what those in the news say, but we can certainly ask the Lord to put a guard on our mouths also that we don’t twist the truth and cause someone pain in the process.
Isaiah 48:17 - This is what the Lord says--your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Life can feel like a merry-go-round.
You think you’re moving forward when in fact you’re just going around in circles. It especially is difficult for people living with a mental illness.
Sometimes our view of the world is tainted. We feel like the world is against us. We can work hard on a particular habit to erase its influence on us, but when you let your guard down for one minute, you find yourself failing even if you use all the strength you have.
Also, a person suffering with mental illness can’t seem to get off the merry-go-round of life, because someone close to them uses their weakness against them. Maybe we worry a lot, because our “friend” tries to tell us all of the negative aspects of a situation and how we better be careful or we’re going to fail again.
I don’t understand why people have to be so judgmental. This, too, causes much grief. All we want to do is complete the tasks we have to do each day. When someone expects us to not just do our day’s work, but to also complete a whole new project, it can become overwhelming. It’s then that our co-worker may make fun of us, or worse, may turn us in to management as being a hindrance to completing their divisions expected output.
No matter what you do, it can feel like you’re life will always be going around in circles and sometimes you even get stuck. How do we remedy this problem? Planetofsuccess.com has some answers in their article, “Feeling Stuck in Life? 10 Powerful Ways to Free Yourself.” One of their examples includes overcoming the perception of impossibilities. Feeling stuck can paralyze us. It’s time to explore some new options. Also, be honest with yourself realizing that there are many solutions we just have to come up with the courage to choose one.
Now, back to the merry-go-round. In addition to the suggestions of how to get unstuck and get off the ride in the article above, here’s an idea: Stay focused in the moment. There, you can pause and find the off switch. Take some time off and rest. Jesus will heal the dizziness you feel from circling your life and give you his Word and prayer to find direction and strength to become unstuck. This way, if you happen to end up back on the merry-go-round, at least you’ll be better equipped and it won’t take as much effort to find the off switch.
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.