No matter how positive we try to be in life or what our beliefs are, we can still experience setbacks at times. A setback can be defined as an unanticipated or sudden check in progress; a change from better to worse. Some setbacks that come to mind are ones in our health, our finances, and in our relationships. I added that last one because it can set us back emotionally. We can become resentful toward a loved one who we feel has wronged us in some way, and if we are hurt deeply, it can cause us to remain in a state of anger, resentment, or sadness that’s hard to overcome.
Fortunately, I haven’t had any major health problems in my life. And although, like many people these days, I could certainly use more money, I haven’t had any financial setbacks. I have, however, experienced a few emotional setbacks, one in particular came from being hurt by a family member. But since that time, I’ve learned to look at them more as emotional struggles, and call them spiritual plateaus.
One definition of plateau is a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress. In other words, even though I have made progress in my spiritual growth over the years, any anger, resentment, or sadness I felt from being hurt by someone, caused me to feel like I stopped growing spiritually. I was eventually able to get over the way I felt, and in the instance where a family member was involved, I came to the understanding that there are some people we don’t need to be around, family or not, and all we can do is to try to forgive from a distance.
Now in order to get over any negative emotions I felt, I had to do a few things like talking to someone about how I was feeling and fighting any temptation I felt to get back at the people involved, and I reminded myself that it was perfectly normal to feel the way I did. Although I’m not religious, I also used prayer to help me. I found that a simple request for help from whatever god there may be, often speeds up the process of forgiveness.
Most of us will never experience major setbacks in our health or finances, but many of us have and will experience problems in our relationships. The important thing to remember is that whether we call them emotional setbacks or spiritual plateaus, we should never be afraid to talk about our emotions, and depending on our beliefs, pray for help.
Doing so has never failed me to once again start making progress in my spiritual growth, and if needed, to help others through my experiences.