The expression when it rains it pours is pertinent to many of us when so many difficulties hit at once. How do we navigate through things when everything goes wrong?  It’s easy to get into a catastrophizing mode of thinking everything is doomed.

Much of what we learn in scripture is to not let our thoughts go willy-nilly rather turn over our thoughts to Christ. II Corinthians 10:5.” We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Typically, that’s not what we do with our thoughts. We may want to soak in the negatives and let them take over creating some depression and anxiety. If we go down this negative spiral, we may find ourselves stuck in too deep despair and not knowing how to pull ourselves back out of it.

  1. The best rule of thumb is to not panic.  Many times, it’s not as serious as the scenario you played out in your mind. Second, focus on what is going well in your life. Many times, we tend to focus on what’s missing and not all of the good that is there.  If we ask ourselves a question, what is missing, or why is this happening our brain can’t necessarily come up with answers.

So we can ask ourselves how can I come up with answers on how to solve this problem. How can I calm myself down until I know what is happening?

  1. Distinguish between a bump of the road and the end of the road.

You may experience detours that are stressful at the moment, but it shouldn’t prevent you from succeeding in the long run. Be gentle with yourself when you make mistakes. We all make them, especially when we are learning something new.

I have started back with my painting classes and I am always aware of what I do wrong and have to learn from it and do better the next time. Rarely do I find I do the painting right the first time. What a bummer to think I can’t do it perfectly the first round!  What’s interesting is even if I redo the painting sometimes it comes out better because of what I learned. But sometimes, it looks worse.

What I think I learn from this is to accept the imperfections and look at what growth I got in the process.

  1. Ask yourself what you need to learn if anything.

In emotionally challenging situations, it may be easy to get stuck in your pain and not be able to navigate through. Sometimes you just must accept that you had a slipup, that you can’t always prevent them. Life just happens and we don’t need to beat up on ourselves if we messed up. Just pick up yourself and learn what you can to do better next time without being consumed with needless battles of self-condemnation.

  1. Consider debriefing, not rehashing over and over.

Sometimes we get stuck in an endless battle of rumination over what we did or didn’t do. We might get attention by remaining a victim by continually talking. Maybe we just need to share our concerns with a safe friend or relationship with God. God can comfort us in our difficulties according to:

II Corinthians 1:3 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

We can experience victory when things go wrong knowing that there is always someone who receives us with grace and love. We just need to be able to be more forgiving and loving with ourselves.