When challenges arise, do you become a victim or a victor?
We’ve all experience challenges in our lives. When the difficult times arise, do you become a victim or a victor? Do you fall prey to your circumstances leaving your fate to chance, or do you rise up to conquer the outcome of your circumstance, maintaining control over how you respond?
There are so many different obstacles we encounter as individuals that can make or break us. Overcoming challenges successfully can cause us to feel victorious; but when faced with a challenge that has no desirable solution, this can cause you to feel like a victim. We do not have complete control over what happens to and around us, but we do have complete control over how we respond.
Just as we experience happiness, we will also experience difficulty. It’s inevitable, no one’s exempt. When faced with an obstacle:
- Take a moment to define the problem and why it’s a problem for YOU.
- Identify potential solutions.
- If the problem can be solved, solve it.
But what if there’s no solution? Depending on the situation, this can be really hurtful.
Recently, I experienced a personal difficulty that tested my resolve. My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer. I was concerned during the re-evaluation and biopsy process, the process that confirms whether the mass and lymph nodes were cancerous or not. I utilized positive thinking and energy during the wait for the results.
Unfortunately we got the news I had hoped against, she has breast cancer. I had told myself during the wait that even if she did have breast cancer, there have been so many advances in technology and treatment that she would be fine either way. In addition to learning she has breast cancer, we were also informed that she does not qualify for radiation and may not qualify for chemotherapy. This news was crushing and took me out of my positive mindset. I started fearing the loss of my mom and even worse imagining what it must feel like for her. My biggest fear is her being afraid, especially since she lives alone.
I had to allow myself the time and space to feel the emotions and acknowledge that I was not okay.
My son saw me cry, probably for the first time in his 10 years of life. I used courage to do something I never do, show my vulnerable side and reach out to those I love to let them know I was struggling. This was helpful because I wasn’t expected to be strong. I was finally able to show weakness and let others help me.
With encouraging words, information, and advice, I started researching the disease and options. Although I cannot solve the situation, I was able to arm myself with knowledge and questions for the doctor so that we could determine the best next steps.
This has equipped me to be strong for mom, and aware of some challenges to expect. Most importantly, I realize how important it is to cherish my parents and focus on creating memories. I guess subconsciously I never really imagined my life without them. My relationship with them has grown significantly in a short period of time. It is amazing how I have turned feeling like a victim into victory. I know we have a long and tough journey ahead, but I am ready to face what will come with love and accept the lessons along the way.
It is healthy to acknowledge your emotions, why you feel the way you do and what can logically be done to press forward. Is it research? Is it forgiving and letting go? Is it finding the lesson and meaning you are supposed to take from the situation? Is it making the best out of the situation and deciding to be happy anyhow?
It is okay to not be okay sometimes. It’s just not okay to remain in that space for too long. Try not to suppress what you’re feeling, or fake it till you make it. Do not indulge in self-pity or the “why me” syndrome. Instead, take the time you need to face the challenge, reach out to trusted individuals who can support you, and intentionally strategize on how to move forward.
Remember, trouble doesn’t last forever. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. The next time you’re faced with a challenge, will you be a victim or a victor?
Take care of yourself and others.