Is It a Breaking Point or a Turning Point?

Joyce Shafer

Joyce L. Shafer

There are crossroad moments in life when you need to make a choice between (usually) two somethings or paths to follow. But there are also moments that have a stronger dynamic than that. These are moments when you face major decisions about giving up or going forward in life.

“A crisis only becomes a breaking point when we fail to use it as a turning point.” ~ Guy Finley.

Most of us have had a moment when we faced, or may now face, a more life-altering choice. Depending on what the particular situation is, and circumstances involved, we can feel weakened, either momentarily or for longer. We may have to dig deep for the courage to head toward a balance or restoration point that makes sense. Along with this, it takes courage to reach out to others when we feel weakened so that we can get strong again, as author and motivational speaker Les Brown reminded us. That’s not always easy or comfortable to do, especially if you have issues about your deservedness or a belief that you have to be perceived as perfect, which means you believe you must never have or demonstrate feelings other than those of a person who has it all together. FYI: No one—no one—has it all together.

Sometimes, what gets us to feel we’re approaching a breaking point is one particular event or perhaps two or more piled up on us at once, which has been my, and likely your, experience at one time or another. Either scenario can make us feel that we’re going to break open or break apart. I’ve had to reach out to certain others in order to stay strong during a particularly challenging time, as I’m sure you’ve had to. I’ve also had to look at what my role in the dynamics was and own it, which can be painful but transforming.

What we may face at the time, might be viewed as a problem (breaking point) or as an impetus (turning point) to do something that’s needed doing for quite a while. Often, it’s a signal asking us to turn and aim our life in a direction that’s more appropriate for us, as though we can hear the words, “Your life is calling you,”  whispered on the wind. Along with the emotions experienced, we fare better in the short-run and long-run if we allow ourselves to see the blessings and the hand of God our Father at work for our best interest and that of others.

It’s somewhat frightening and exhilarating to stand in that place, on the edge of change. Like that phrase that refers to leaping and finding you can fly, especially when God is the one giving you wings. With Him, all things are possible.

Although we wish we did, we don’t always pop back into positive-emotions mode right away after a trying time, nor should we put that unrealistic demand or burden on ourselves. More often than not, there are still things to resolve and healing work to be done. Nor will staying in an agitated state fix anything, and is potentially damaging to the body, as well as every area of life.

Einstein’s words are worth keeping in mind: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” We can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. And you may have noticed in your own life that making specific changes has, at times, not been received well by one and all, though support for needed changes may come from others, usually by those not directly affected. However, that support shouldn’t be required in order for any of us to take strength in any choice we make that’s in the best interest for ourselves and others, also known as the bigger picture.

Why is it that we sometimes feel compelled to wait to make changes until we have to? I can think of lots of reasons we might do that. Sometimes the reasons include our wanting to be a kind, caring person who doesn’t like to give up. This means we might also have difficulty recognizing that necessary endings are natural and, well, necessary, whether that’s a complete ending or ending only what doesn’t work. Sometimes endings are needed because a co-dependent (toxic) relationship has been formed, whether personal or professional. Any number of fears can get in the way, preventing a needed adjustment from happening. Sometimes it’s because we live from the outside in (worldly ways), rather than from the inside out (spirit), which puts the quality of our life into the hands of numerous others instead of in God’s loving hands, the one who knows us better than we know ourselves.

If you experience a moment or are in one now, that feels like a breaking point, what might you do to make it your turning point? The first thing I’d suggest is to talk it over with God. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.

© Joyce L. Shafer

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