What is my reaction when….I find myself losing ground? Is there denial, blame, victim talk, whining, or quitting? Or am I like a real pro who, having lost a game on Sunday, head for the practice field on Monday determined to drain every ounce of valuable experience out of the losing effort so that next Sunday is different?”  (from When Men Think Private Thoughts)

We all lose ground once in a while, and sometimes we are in an all-out slide downhill, grasping for tree roots to stop our fall. It doesn’t take the appearance of an angel to wake us up that we aren’t in a good place emotionally or spiritually or mentally. So, given that we will all be there sometime, how do I respond in those moments or seasons of my life?

Denial keeps plugging forward, hoping it’ll all just go away–and it never does.  Blame keeps the failure external, not owning my responsibility in where I find myself–and just prolongs the dark night of despair (and often ticks someone else off, too). Victim-talk makes me a martyr, saying why does it only happen to me–and keeps me in a powerlessness, paralyzing frame of thinking. Whining is annoying to everyone around me, a very unattractive quality–and it sucks the joy out of the journey by focusing on the circumstances. Quitting is giving up, acquiesing to the failure and its consequences–and not getting back on the horse to ride another day to victory.

OR…….We can pan for gold! We can look for the diamonds in the rough, the rose among the thorns…OK, you get the metaphor. Squeeze out every learning from the trip-and-fall experience, as to not get back here with face-in-mud again. AND, use it to help others who you observe on the slippery slope, being a warning flag for them not to get to where you once were (or how to pull out of a funk like you did, if they have started to go down in flames).