*This is the final blog in the series leading up to the release of my new book The Long Walk Back.
Recently I have been writing about the struggles and pain of failures and setbacks in our lives in conjunction with the release of my new book, The Long Walk Back. In the book, I write about the people you need along the journey back. Our lives function around relationships. We have family relationships. We have friendships, work relationships, church relationships and acquaintances. Our lives are full of connections with other people.
Each of these relationships plays a different role and have differing effects on us. Whether we are experiencing times of success or a moment of failure, how each of those people view us and affect us is different. Sometimes we are surprised by the response people have when difficult times come. How people responded to my situation shocked me at times. Sometimes it was good and sometimes it was not so good. If you are experiencing a setback or failure in your life, you will see a different side to the relationships around you. I am sharing these so you will not be as surprised as I was by how people respond when your life turns upside down.
People who are indifferent
This one was the most surprising to me. The complete silence was not something that I expected. What I found was either people did not know what to say or they were afraid to get involved; much like the story of the Good Samaritan where the majority of the people in the story crossed to the other side of the road to avoid the problem. They did not want to harm him, but they did not want to help either. I saw a lot of people who didn’t want to harm me, but they also had no desire to get involved in the mess I had made. I don’t think they didn’t care. Most of them were just afraid or were so consumed with their own difficulties that they had no time for me. Don’t hold it against this group of people. You will usually find that as you begin to figure things out, those relationships will often renew or at least improve.
People who are glad you failed and want to you stay there
Sometimes we think the people who are kicking us when we are down have turned on us. Usually they were kicking you when you were up, you just didn’t know it. Everyone does not like you (or me). There are people right now who are secretly hoping for your demise and when it happens they will have a field day. Even when you get back up, they are still spewing venom. Some of them never stop. Understand that as I write this I am over 16 years removed from things coming unraveled. But within the last 30 days, Barbara and I were in an environment and she looked at me and said “I am miserable here”. The reason she said that is because there was a group of people having a field day with us. 16 years later and I dominate their conversation. Do not allow these people to consume your time and energy. They are glad you are down and hope you stay there. They will never cheer you on or offer assistance. There are plenty of other people on your side. Don’t allow the smallest of minorities to keep you discouraged.
People who want you to get back up
Some of the people I mentioned in group one fall into this category, although silently. However, the majority of people want to see you get out of the difficult spot you have found yourself in and make a difference with your life. You will find people who will show you grace, give you a second chance, cheer you on and be your friend. Sometimes these will be new people you meet along the way that have experienced some of your same pain and want to help you heal. Some of these will be long time friends and family members who do not want to see you stay down. This group of people will be key to your comeback. You will find the hope and encouragement in these relationships to be a light in the darkest of moments. Don’t discount the impact of anyone who is willing to walk along with you, even if for just a short season.
People who need you to get back up
What you need to know is that even with your disaster or difficulty, there are people who need you. They need you to get it together because you have such an impact on their life. Often the most affected are family and they need you the most. They need your leadership, strength and guidance. There are also other people you have tremendous influence over who need you to get up from where you are. This group includes people who are struggling with problems or who will have difficulties in the future. They need you as a light of hope; an example that people can recover from disaster. Don’t stay there. Someone needs you.
We will spend our entire lives in relationships. Understanding them will help us navigate through life better. It is especially important for us to understand the impact of those relationships in difficult times. Not being caught off guard by the response of people will be beneficial in your journey.
If you want to get your signed copy of The Long Walk Back you can do so here: https://stephenmizell.com/book-pre-order/