So when life has you down, what do you do? Feeling a little lost?
When life has you reeling, and you start to wallow in worry, grief, and frustration, you need a plan of action. Just having a plan and starting to act on it will start to renew your self-confidence.
I find that serving others is the BEST remedy for this. Mostly I am serving my kids on a constant basis. When they start to get a little too self-absorbed, we need to reach outside and start serving as a family.
This weekend, my kids and I drove over an hour to visit my mom, and aid her with household projects, and shopping. Just reaching out, spending time with loved ones, and being loving gives us a break from our own world of self-occupation.
In addition, we know that worry will not really add any value to our lives. As a matter of fact, it will increase our stress, and decrease our productivity. When we worry, we start to drift away from God. It says “God, I am not trusting that you have my back on this one, and I am going to have to figure it all out myself because you are not reliable. “
I have noticed that the more I have fruitless worry, the less connected I feel to God. That connection is really the lifeline that keeps me calm, and together in the midst of trials. I can’t afford to let it slip.
This weekend I took my kids to Mass with my mom. There was a visiting priest from Rwanda. He was a charismatic individual, and started to tell us about the genocide in Rwanda.
I might not have all the facts completely straight, but I believe he mentioned that he worked in a diocese in Rwanda that lost 43 priests in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
I started to think about that alone. How long does it take to raise up 43 priests? What a huge loss for the world, and for that community to lose such a huge number of priests.
The next story, of which there are many to be found, is about the killings of the Tutsi who fled to a church at the top of a hill. Thousands crowded inside the church to take sanctuary. They thought they would be safe in this place. They locked the doors. The Hutu militia outside locked them in, and tried to firebomb them, and poured gasoline on top of the Church. The parishioners remained unharmed. Then the militia took bulldozers and heaped dirt upon the roof, and knocked the walls so that the church collapsed and killed all the parishioners. It was said that rivers of blood poured from that church down the hill.
There were 30 large-scale massacres within 100 days. It is estimated the 20% of the population of the country was exterminated, 70% of the Tutsi people, and 500,000- 1,000,000 people were killed.
All I can say is that even though our own suffering is painful, we cannot let it encompass our existence. We do not know how long our short existence might be. Suffering is going to come in many forms to us; it could be in a relationship, or economics, or health, or persecution. But when we start to fall into the traps of sorrow and worry, we must have a plan of escape.
- Make a plan. By even making a plan, you are actively engaged in your healing.
- Be grateful for every good thing you have. I like to play the grateful game with loved ones, where we keep saying out loud every possible thing we have to be grateful for.
- Realize that worry will not solve your problem, and is not fruitful.
- Recognize that there is suffering much greater than your own, so that your compassion for others might also grow.
- Reach out to serve others that your life will not be about you, and thus your own suffering will not be so in focus.
- Reach out to the only One who really has any control over the situation. “Jesus, I trust in You. I know you have this under control, even if I can’t see the greater good at the moment. No matter what, this is all part of Your Perfect Plan. Please help me to trust, and accept.”
For a little more perspective, and a fine example of trust, review the life of Saint Faustina, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
Copyright 2014, Marya Jauregui