Thursday, April 25, 2019

Soul Sustenance: Overcoming Life's Challenges

Life is a period of ups and downs.  People face an array of challenges from personal to professional.  It seems that with technology we face more challenges than ever before.  Studies show Americans are more depressed than ever before with many despairing of ever overcoming the challenges. I had a chance to interview Dr. Feyi Obamehinti, author of the critically acclaimed book, Crushed To Restored.  Dr. Feyi offers a clear and easy step-by-step approach to overcome life’s challenges. 

1. What elements of our daily life contribute to persistent negative emotions?
There are many elements of our daily life that contribute to persistent negative emotions. Two of these elements that I want to highlight as a mother are media and relationship. Most children were born in the technological age and have grown up with all kinds of gadgets all round them. Though there are positive use of these technological advances, the constant and immediate access to media influences on these devices sometimes contribute to persistent negative emotions. A family with two working parents will find it a challenge balancing their work schedules with adequate healthy monitoring for their child or children. I remember last month, I was training educators at a campus in our area (this was an inner city campus) and participants started “venting” about how powerless some of them feel to help their students. In particular they were making reference to the 5thgrade student that was bullied by fellow students and got into a fight. This beautiful precious 5th grade student eventually died after this fight at her elementary school in South Carolina. No student should ever have to face the fear of going to school- a place of learning, safety and acceptance. Fear is a negative emotion that should not govern our lives as humans. However, the constant and immediate access to media influences tend to find its way to human thought life which invariably impacts actions and behaviors. The other element is relationship. A loving and nurturing family is a gift to a child. However, there are many children without this basic human need of a loving family. Within a loving family are a child’s first introduction to what relationships are, what they look like and how relationships works. For many children that live in abusive situations; these toxic relationships tend to be what they are exposed to at a young age. The abuse then contributes to persistent negative emotions and if these emotions are not taken care of properly, these children grow up carrying unprocessed trauma into their adulthood.

2. How can people face challenges with a more positive outlook?
Challenges are part of our human experiences while here on earth. Which means we all go through challenges in life; it is just a matter of when we go through them. Because I have lived life on two spectrums, one without an active faith in Christ and now with an active faith in Christ, my focus on overcoming life challenges is from a spiritual perspective. People can face challenges with a more positive outlook by: (i) having faith in a loving God. This reality makes challenges less of a burden because there is the solid belief that a loving God watches over those He loves and gives daily strength to face whatever life brings. This faith in God encompasses daily Bible reading, prayer, meditation and living life in community with fellow faith minded people. In a 2007 research conducted by Barna, it was discovered that faith plays a role in what people do. This is a revelation to the impact faith has in facing challenges with a more positive outlook. (ii). Healthy relationships. The reality of having healthy relationships is a great buffer for life’s challenges. From core family members to friends that make life enriching with a cross pollination approach, we can face any life challenge with a more positive outlook. Toxic relationships are exactly that- toxic and drains strength, joy and life out of people.

3. How can people support each other through challenges?
Humans were created to live life in community. Whether that community is a family, neighborhood, church, school, network or work colleagues; we all need a tribe to live life with and thrive in it. People can support each other through life challenges by being part of a tribe. With all the advantages that technology provides us in this age, we still need that face-to-face support when life challenges come along. The therapy and healing that a simple “hug” provides is huge within a tribe. Furthermore, within this tribe we can receive varied support to face life challenges. From prayer, to financial assistance, wisdom, etc. the list of support people can receive is inexhaustible.

4. Tell us about your book?
My new book, Crushed to Restored: Principles of Restoration from the Book of Nehemiah teaches core principles for emotional, mental and spiritual restoration. I talk about how experiencing loss is something that everyone can relate to, whether it be from death, illness, miscarriage, rejection, bankruptcy or estrangement. Using the divine wisdom found in the Book of Nehemiah from the Bible, I equip people to confidently face any life situation sharing my own journey of healing from emotional and psychological abuse. I use a conversational approach to clearly explain the principles that will help people break free and grow in their relationship with God and others. The book demonstrates that with faith, prayer, integrity and God’s help, we can successfully overcome any type of life challenge be it abuse or loss. We all can come out stronger, better and richer in our emotions and health.

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