Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Frustrations? Or Lessons?

There are different ways to look at challenges in our lives. We can look at them as frustrating irritations. And ruin our day. Or we can see them as opportunities.

One of the best examples around TLC is when we deal with frustrating clients. We can let them drive us up a wall. Or else we can take a different perspective.

For example, today I was having a session with a manager who was proud of himself because he'd made progress in learning patience. Instead of getting frustrated or blowing up at a client's mother who had a lot of questions, he instead suggested that he call her back the next day with the answers - as the situation was not a 911 that required immediate action.

In previous meetings with this manager I'd suggested that he look at challenges as an opportunity for growth. I told him he should ask God what he was supposed to learn when he encountered a troubling person or situation. After all, frustration and challenges can be our best teachers. We seldom grow when we're sitting around filing our nails or swatting flies

And the nice thing in looking at life from this perspective is we become proactive. Instead of letting people or emotions run over us, we instead welcome these opportunities for growth.

And even if we can find no growth or lessons in our challenges, we’ve approached them in a low-stress manner. And we’re able to save our energy for the next opportunity or lesson that God presents us.