Developing Emotional Intelligence – Learning to Cope With Hardship

Emotional Intelligence and Living Faith – The Heart’s Antidote to Hardship and Pain

In this life, there are two lessons worth learning: 1) pain and hardship will always make a spur of the moment appearance when you least expect it and 2) if you don’t get a handle on it, it WILL try to assimilate, overwhelm and destroy you. Oh great and wise Selena {over the top? a bit crazy? Just nod and smile} how have you come across this treasure trove of wisdom? {nod and smile}. Oh wonderful, bloggers I’m so glad you asked.

According to Wikipedia, emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth. Allow me to simplify, emotional intelligence is all about knowing YOU. It’s about understanding how you think, how you process emotions and how you understand those emotions to help you promote your own personal growth. Emotional intelligence starts with YOU but it’s all about trusting God. This is where living faith comes into play.

…that you may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity…for the Lord will not cast off nor spurn His people, neither will He abandon His heritage… ~ Psalms 94:13,14

…the Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow… ~Psalms  34:18

Repeat after me: I am God’s heritage and He will never abandon me. Say it aloud again. He will NEVER abandon you. Life throws us some doozies. For some of us that’s the broken dishwasher for others, it’s the news of something much heavier: sickness, betrayal or even loss. Regardless of the source of the ache–no one source is more important than the other–God has promised to be close to those of us who are crushed with sorrow. He’s promised to give us power to keep ourselves calm in the days of adversity. Now, I don’t know about you but it sounds like God is NOT going to zap our problems away. Instead, He is giving US the power to keep OURSELVES calm when turmoil or torment arise. This power comes from tools like understanding our emotional response to stress.

  • Do you eat, or starve yourself, when you’re hurt or angry?
  • Do you lash out at others around you, as means of escape or avoidance?
  • Do you ignore the situation, until the pain of it scourges your mind and debilitates you?
  • Do you isolate yourself under the guise of “needing some space” only to find yourself more withdrawn and lonely?
  • Do you abandon yourself to endless hours of housework, office work or other “work” hoping the situation will handle itself?

Understanding your emotional response to hardship and pain goes a long way to helping you understand how you cope with that pain. And if you can understand how you cope with the pain, you can take the steps necessary to reverse or correct those coping mechanisms. For some, that be as simple as telling a confidant and allowing them to help you work through the negative behavior. For others, it may be finding the strength and courage to seek out a counselor or psychiatrist. For all of us, it involves prayer and allowing ourselves to move beyond this “God will fix it” mentality and into the understanding that God works WITH us and THROUGH us to EMPOWER us.

Repeat after me: God is close to me and He will never abandon me. I’ve lived through more horrors than the average person. I know this because when I share about 5 minutes of my story, people begin to cry and they always {yes, always} say: “I would have never known; you just don’t seem like you’ve lived through that much hell.” Truth be told, they are right. I don’t look like what I’ve lived through and that is a testament to the words in this post. If you allow God to work with you and empower you, there isn’t anything He can’t bring you through!

Thanks for visiting.

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