Whether our own personal trauma is large or small, we too can also make a choice to focus on our courage and faith instead of constantly re-living or dwelling on the bad experiences that happen to all of us.
Challenging circumstances are part of being alive. We don't have to feel picked on. If we get our minds off our self and focus on others we will soon become aware that everyone faces problems. Focusing on others gives us the ability to think about and deal with our own difficulties in a more realistic and mature way.
Part of being well adjusted is the ability to deal cheerfully with the inevitable disappointments of life. Instead of focusing on what is going wrong in our life, we can choose to focus and what is going right.
For example one day my son came home from school and told me that the other boys had called him "stupid boots". I told him I was sorry he had a bad day. He replied, "I didn't have a bad day. Just a bad two minutes. The rest of the day was great."
No matter what happens to us, we can choose to face trouble with courage and dignity. When we face the difficulties of life with optimism and hope we can more quickly let go of all the bad and get on with all the good.
No one is always well-adjusted. We all have our fragile days when we feel like we're going to fall apart. On my hard days I like to wear a sweatshirt with a mallard duck print on the front. The duck’s head is on backward. Underneath the duck is this word, "mallard-justed."
Sometimes we feel like our heads are on backward or we’re being slowly pecked to death. That’s when we need to turn to God and renew our strength. We are all maladjusted to a certain degree and in a perpetual state of adjusting to life's challenges. Problems will keep happening as long as we are still alive. It helps to remember we win some and we lose some. There is no easy time of life, but we only get the day once and then it is gone.
We can choose more positive coping skills or adjustment patterns when we feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out or downhearted. We may choose to pray, go for a run, lie in a hammock, play a round of golf, sing in the shower or write a long narrative in our journal. The only person who can really get us down is us.
There is a battle for our souls going on every single day. That battle is largely played out in our minds. We have to face the enemy and kill those negative, wounded and fearful thoughts. We can do it. We can do hard things. The audacity to be cheerful and grateful even in the midst of great stress and trouble is the mark of a life well lived.