Facing the Lion

There is a story of a man who had a recurrent dream that he was being pursued by a ferocious, terrifying lion. The fear and subsequent retreat for his life left him exhausted, and weakened. He would eventually wake himself up with terrifying screams.

As he recounted the dream to a friend, his friend suggested that next time in the dream he should confront the lion head on and figure out who or what he was doing in the man’s life. A few nights later he had the dream of the lion chasing him. Instead of running away, the man turned and engaged the lion with terrifying roars and teeth meant to shred through flesh. In fear, the man asked, “Who are you? What do you want?” The lion replied, “I am your courage and your strength! Why do you keep running away from me?”

That is a great little story. The fear of fear is worst than the fear itself. Flip the perspective of crisis in your life. See it as an opportunity to find the courage you need. You can’t run away from it, no one can. Life is filled with adversity, setbacks, and losses. So turn and face it and find the courage you need to overcome. The crisis that you face has all the inherent resources you need to thrive. Sometimes you don’t need to look any further for help than within the crisis itself. Sounds impossible?

Just consider that inherent within every crisis is its openness to be shaped. How? through the power of your perception. This is your explanatory style. You can explain tough and stressful events either through positive or negative explanations. The crisis will conform to the perception. What is your default thought process when confronted with a challenge. Is it shaping the crisis with engaging or retreating perceptions?

Inherent within crisis is its humility to allow others to act. When I was going through a very tough bout of depression my counselor told me I needed to give people the honor of ministering to me. That was tough. I always wanted to be the one who was counted on to help. It was humbling to think I needed help from others. But the crisis allowed me to give to others the honor of helping. You know what? All were available and willing to be there for me when I needed it.

Crisis provides the gift of wisdom. Remember what I mentioned about “scar tissue”? It is the wounds that crisis inflicts that give us the depth of insight and wisdom toward life we couldn’t get without crisis giving it them to us..