Dealing with the storms of life can either wear you down or reinforce your resolve to go through them and learn what you can.The photo above evokes the spirit of Chapter 17, The Second Voyage from my novel, Life Song: An Irish Odyssey. In this chapter, Owyn and his companion, Brother Ignatius are on a voyage up the eastern coast of Ireland. The Viking ship is commanded by Lord Aarvald, the earl and one of war chiefs of the ruler of 10th century Dublin. Owyn’s initial misgivings in accepting this transport are further complicated as ship and passengers deal with a sudden squall on the Irish Sea.
In this passage, I am reminded of just how often the circumstances of a day can force us into situations that we would ordinarily have passed up. I’m sure you have been presented with choices that make you uneasy. As the events unfold, you’re sure you should have declined and sought out some other, more comfortable solution. Take for example an argument with a family member. You sense that the subject matter will not become a reasonable or friendly discussion. Desiring to avoid the confrontation you try to make an exit only to find the way out blocked. Our defenses become useless as the tensions mount. Later you can look back and try to figure out the who, what, why of it. But when you are in the situation all you can do is defend. If that doesn’t work, a few well placed punches (fist or nasty remark) are all you can pull out of your ‘bag of tricks.’
The next day, embattled from the previous encounter, you may find yourself at work. Work’s a haven from thinking about family stuff, right? Oh no. Today is performance review day. So that day’s treat is a litany of your shortcomings, accompanied with the dreaded ‘verbal warning.’
It’s terribly difficult to keep your sense of self-worth intact as these types of encounters mar your life. Some things you can’t avoid. Some things you should avoid. When you can not do so you are forced to evaluate a few things:
- What have I been doing that brought [the encounter] on?
- Was it deserved?
- How should I handle this?
- Is it [relationship or job] worth making amends?
- Do I have to work things out?
- Do I want to change?
The challenges – to our integrity, or being understood – need to be weighed carefully. Our decisions to stay the course or change direction is ultimately our own.
Thanks for stopping by! Warm regards, Sue