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Walter Albritton

September 8, 2019

 

Get Over It!

 

Sooner or later everyone tastes the bitter pill of failure. No one gets through life without suffering defeat. Some learn to get over it and move on. Others never learn.

The best way to handle failure can be summed up in three words: Get over it! Have a pity party if you must, but decide quickly to move on. The longer you whine about your failure, the longer it will take you to recover. So limit your whining to no more than a day.

Worry will not help. Bitterness makes things worse and it sours your spirit. Regret is useful only if it shows you ways you need to change. Retrieve some lesson from your failure and resolve not to make that mistake again.

Life is a mix of pain and pleasure. There are difficult days and there are days of joy. In the dark days you must learn to look for light wherever you can find it. The words of Thomas Carlyle are helpful: “The eternal stars shine out as soon as it is dark enough.” If you gaze up into the dark sky long enough, eventually you can see the stars shining.

             Embrace the reality that life is not all sunshine and sweetness. There will be sad and lonely days, but you can choose to overcome your misery. Longfellow understood this reality:

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining,

Behind the clouds the sun is shining;

Thy fate is the common fate of all;

Into each life some rain must fall, --

Some days must be dark and dreary.

Adversity is a great teacher. We learn more from failure than success. Success often leads to pride, and pride causes us to stumble. “Pride and weakness,” Robert Lowell said, “are Siamese twins.”

When you fall, ask what caused you to fall, and resolve not to repeat any blunder you realize you made. Only a fool continues to make the same mistake repeatedly. You can learn not to do certain things again. Until you do, you will never be able to “get over it” and move on.          

People may hurt you. They may step on you to get ahead. Someone else may get the promotion you thought you deserved. When that happens, you have a choice. You can stew over it and complain bitterly. You can scream and cry that you were wronged. None of that will help you. It only makes you miserable. Anger robs you of peace of mind. So what can you do? Move out of town? No, just get over it. And quietly resolve to do what Jesus recommended: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That is the best plan – and a healthy plan.

          To get over a disappointment you must usually rise above it. Washington Irving said it well: “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it.” He was right. You can refuse to be subdued by your defeats and become a better person because of them.

          Anger is seldom wise. Problems are not solved by tearing your hair out. Baldness will not soothe your sorrows. While it is normal to become angry with someone who hurts you, a wiser response would be to calm down, get the anger out of your system, and get over the hurt.

          But you can never get over it until you are willing to forgive the person who wronged you. Resentment hurts you, not the person you resent. Hatred chains you to the person you hate. The only way ever to be free is to forgive. Forgiveness breaks the chain and sets you free. I like what Joan Lunden said: “Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.”

          If you are nursing a hurt, disappointment or failure, admit that you need to get over it. Forgive yourself and forgive anyone who has wronged you. Get over it and you can move on with your life. Life will not be perfect, but it will be sweeter, and you will be able to share with your friends: “Thank God! I’m over it!”

         The next time life falls apart, say to yourself, “Get over it!” Take a deep breath, two aspirin, and get over it! Then you can move on with your life. This plan will work. I know it will because it has worked for me several times. Oh, one other thing. You don’t have to struggle alone to make this plan work. The Living Christ will help you the minute you call on Him for help. He loves to give you and me the strength to get over our failures! + + +