Monday, April 13, 2020

How to Face Frustration


This past week I was extremely frustrated.

I had a difficult time sleeping and I experienced heartburn. I'm not too fond of frustration. The "why" of frustration is not as important as "how" I face frustration. I'm not sure if you have been frustrated lately.
 
If yes, this text is for you. I want to share a few things I learned so we can improve and grow in character. 

1. Discover the root cause of your frustration. Mine was unforgiveness. I battled my frustration for many days. One night, as I struggled to sleep, God reminded me that with forgiveness, comes healing. I had a clear choice to make. I chose to forgive. I immediately forgot that I forgave. I chose forgiveness again and again. Knowing the true source of frustration gives us the power to do something about it. You are not powerless in your frustration my friend. 

2. Stop Apologizing for your hardship. I was struggling to keep up with friends during a run. It was dark. We were socially distant but we didn't want anyone to be too far away. "Cintia, are you okay?" someone asked me. I said, "I'm sorry, I'm just slow today." "Please, don't apologize. You can have a bad run, you know?" My friend proceeded to tell me to stop apologizing for the hardship I was experiencing. Instead, she said, talk about it, pray and grow. Misplaced apologies will not solve frustration. Experiencing our feelings, talking about them and growing are better options. 

3. Buy your own flowers. This was the strangest advice I heard in college. A mentor told me that a woman should buy her own flowers. I was so confused by those words that I failed to listen to her explanation. I finally understood my mentor a few years ago when I decided to buy flowers on a regular basis. Flowers are a visual reminder of unconditional love. When I am frustrated, sad, disappointed, I buy flowers. When my eyes meet the flowers in the middle of a room, my heart is immediately filled with relief. Flowers are unapologetically beautiful. They are only given as a sign of love. Flowers improve any environment. When I buy fresh flowers I am reminded that love is real and someway, my frustration will end. 

If you are not into flowers, choose a beloved item and put it in a place of high traffic. It may be a photo of loved ones. This method helped me thrive in a very toxic work environment in the past. The key is to have a visual reminder that you are loved unconditionally. 

It is easy to point outward as we seek to be free from frustration. When God is involved in the process, He will encourage you to look at your own heart. I'm not saying it is all your fault. I am saying you are only responsible for the condition of your heart. 

God can help you change from the inside out. Only He can provide you with a continual heart feast given by His true love.

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