In the ebb and flow of life, we are bound to face challenges as we navigate through the stormy seas of adversity. It’s during these turbulent times that the lens through which we perceive our struggles becomes critical. Do we succumb to the weight of worry, or do we cultivate a perspective that transcends the chaos?
Paying attention in times of crisis is not merely a recounting of survival but an exploration of how our focus, our attention, shapes our experience.
As we navigate adversity and shifting perspectives, we discover the profound impact of paying attention to the present moment.
In the midst of life’s uncertainties, let’s reconsider where we direct our attention and how, even in the most challenging moments, we can find peace and strength. In paying attention, we may uncover the keys to not just endure but to thrive in times of crisis.
As the author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” reminds us, let’s remember that “it’s all small stuff.”
Now don’t get me wrong, life throws us challenges and we will go through times of adversity (the Bible even warns us to expect it!). I’ve come to realize, however, that I have made it through all those difficult times 100% of the time! I didn’t enjoy the experiences at the time, and many I definitely wouldn’t choose to go through again, but I survived them and many I even grew from.
I still come up against difficult, and sometimes very painful circumstances but my perspective has changed. Previously, I would face a challenge or trial and begin to worry and fret about what to do and about the eventual outcome.
Jesus tells us, however, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 NIV) For when I worry, I take my eyes off God, and put them on myself and my circumstances, to operate in my own knowledge and my own strength. That robs me of peace and joy.
Living in the present moment
Instead, I am learning to live moment by moment, trusting God’s provision for the moment, and being thankful for that provision. That keeps my focus off my problem and focuses on the Solver of my problem.
The Bible says,
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 91:14-16 NIV
Overcoming fear with faith
As I’ve shared in my book, Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression, “Fear is a fraudulent misappropriation of my attentional resources that robs me of my peace and joy.” Faith allows God the privilege of getting the glory for providing for my needs, and keeps my in perfect peace despite my circumstances.
During your times of trial, where will you direct your attention?
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For more helpful information about what you need to know when you have a depressed loved one, read here: 10 things to know if you have a depressed loved one.
Tips: what not to say to a depressed loved one and suggestions about supportive things you can say to a depressed loved one.