Do the ups and downs of life send you into a panic?

Coping with the ups and downs of life can be draining for a single person.  If we're not careful, we can be floating on a cloud one minute and sinking in quicksand the next.

As much as we wish life would run along on an even keel, we soon learn that's not going to happen.  The truth, however, is that we can handle these highs and lows better if we have a clearer understanding of what's going on.

Once again, I'll trot out some of the dumb things I did when I was younger, so you can avoid making those same mistakes.  My pain, your gain.

Self-induced troubles

From our single person perspective, we seldom recognize that much of our misery is of our own making.  Ouch!  It hurts to admit that, but the sooner we face that fact, the sooner we can stop the self-sabotage.

We're all emotional beings.  That's the way God created us, and that's a good thing.  Sometimes, though, we let our emotions pull our strings like we're a marionette.

As you'll often find on this site, saying "That's just the way I am" is life's lamest excuse.  We're all capable of change, and refusing to change those parts of our personality that are holding us back is destructive stubbornness.

The most common example is choosing how we respond to a situation.  If we live in a state of high anxiety all the time, well, of course we're going to overreact to everything, no matter how large or small it is.

This kind of catastrophizing is like throwing gas on a fire.  It makes things much worse than they need to be.  It is possible to catch yourself when you do this, if you look at the trouble and choose what the appropriate response to it is.

You do have control over this.  You don't have to lash out with a knee-jerk emotional reaction.  Trust me.  If you count to 10, or even 100, you can calm down and use your brain instead of your glands.

The only way to cultivate patience--a priceless quality for singles--is to force yourself to remain calm in the face of potential irritants.  We can get irritated if we assume:

  • I'm too important to be treated like this;
  • I don't deserve this trouble;
  • I'm going to give this person "a piece of my mind;"
  • I can't stand incompetence in other people.

We can sail through life much smoother if we adopt the attitude of "It's nothing personal."  The world is not out to get you, personally, no matter how much it seems like that on a given day.  Bad stuff does happen to good people.  Recognize that nobody's immune, including you.

It took me decades to learn that.  You learn it, right here, right now.  It will save you a trainload of grief over your lifetime when you see that you're not life's favorite target.

Big, undeserved trouble

Trouble happens.  To believe it should never happen to you is not only arrogant; it's unrealistic.

Loved ones die, we lose a job, a relationship breaks apart, we get a bad diagnosis from our doctor.  All of those ups and downs of life have happened to me and probably to you too.

Some Christians think they should have a problem free life, and that's a sure recipe for disappointment.  It didn't happen to Jesus and it's not going to happen to you and me.  Period.

As believers, however, we have the power of God within us through the Holy Spirit.  That gives us the realistic hope that we can get through every kind of tragedy and trouble we face, especially the ones we don't deserve.

When you know that no matter what happens, you're going to come out on the other side through God's help, that gives you supernatural confidence.  Even if it's something you've never faced before, if you trust in God, he will somehow bring you through it.  The key is relying on his strength, not yours.

How to be wiser

Some people's lives are a scarier roller coaster than others.  Their ups and downs of life seem steeper, deeper, and more frequent.

We all love the highs, but we're not so keen on the lows.  We singles can make our journey less erratic by using some common sense:

  • Save up an Emergency Fund;
  • Try to have adequate insurance coverage;
  • Maintain your vehicle in good running order;
  • Take care of your health to the best of your ability;
  • Be choosy in whom you date;
  • Cultivate an intimate relationship with Jesus.

See the pattern there?  A little wise action ahead of time will prevent a ton of catastrophes later.  Now if you blow all your extra money on clothes and entertainment and you don't do any of the things above, that's immaturity.

Saving and planning take sacrifice.  Sacrifice is hard, but it's worth it in the long run.  It's also lots of fun to not have to say, "I should haveā€¦"

The object of this site is to help you leapfrog ahead in spiritual and emotional maturity.  When you make the effort to do that, you will find the ups and downs of life much easier to handle.

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