I call them “touch points”.
Those times in life where we suddenly come to a fork in the road.
Or a barrier that requires a change of direction we didn’t anticipate. Those moments when the bottom drops out of what we thought was well-oiled; greased and on the right track.
The “touch point” of what I speak is more like a gut-blow than the light touch of someone; or something that loves us deeply!
My “Touch Point”. . .
I had one of those days today. After almost 2 years of working with a local group to revitalize and renew our home community, and making progress towards collaboration and cooperation; the bottom fell out. Not with our local group. . . but another. Seems turfism looms large and egos just as large.
While this post isn’t me just commiserating by telling you every nitty-gritty detail; it is about how to navigate the feelings that come when life ‘touches’ us in ways we don’t want it to.
So what did I do after the phone call that took the wind out of my sails? I called the head of the new nominating committee and said. . . “I need a break!” She understood totally without even knowing the details. Instead of waiting 4 to 5 months before putting new leadership in place; I asked the committee to do it now. I’ll help the folks get started and then return to my safe place as consultant and member of one of our groups.
I hung up the phone, heaving a sigh of relief having just made a decision I had been ruminating about for months.
Touch Points Come In All Sizes & Shapes!
Life can throw us curves personally, professionally or spiritually. In fact, life can throw us curves in all areas of our lives. . . at the same time. Or it can be something as small as the straw that broke a camel’s back that becomes the “last straw”. My “last straw” may seem like a speck on the wall to you.
Two things I’ve noticed about Christian women in business; or some aspect of public or community life:
- We most often have tender spots that other women don’t have. I’m a woman in business who is not comfortable with self-promotion. I shudder when some women are always promoting themselves; their book or new project. It irritates me; probably because I wish I could be a bit more comfortable promoting our dedication to Christian business women. But it simply isn’t me.
- The other thing I’ve observed is that Christian business women don’t want to appear “snarky”. Snarky is an attitude that says “I’m jealous of your success or the honor you just won”. Or silently angry because large egos take captive all the air in the room at every event. We just don’t think that bodes well for us who are supposedly growing in the image and likeness of our Lord.
That may not be your reaction; but it certainly is mine. And that of many of my friends as well! I don’t want to give the Lord a black eye or hold Him up to ridicule because I don’t always behave in ways the world thinks is the way Christian women ought behave. And that’s a subject for another blog post. . . or more!
Navigating Touch Points!
So how do we handle these potentially life-altering/life-changing moments? Here’s my thoughts on the matter.
- I cry. That’s my first reaction. The “touch point” may not be much of anything; but it is a last straw that brings on the tears; sometimes of relief!
- Touch points are emotional events. We are emotional beings; so whatever is our initial reaction to emotional events will be our first reaction.
- It’s okay to own the emotions. In the case of tears; best to let them flow. If the emotion is anger; best to count to 10 or 110 until that emotion subsides. But saying with the gusto, “I’m angry” is certainly an appropriate way to navigate the initial emotion of a life-altering event.
- Pray! Literally talk to the Lord – preferably out loud. As if He is standing right next to you prepared to listen and give His wisdom. And be totally honest with Him, because honesty in prayer is part of the healing process.
- Wait for the emotion to pass and our ‘out loud’ words in prayer to bring rational thought and a plan of action that has the Will of the Father in its midst!
- Once rational thought and a plan of action produces peace in our spirit; it’s time to take action.
Whatever is required of us; once we move, it is amazing that the angst of our personal ‘touch point’ begins to subside.
It’s like sitting at a fork in the road we didn’t expect to encounter. Once emotion subsides, confusion and doubt fade from view and we have assurance about which fork to take; peace returns. And it’s that peace that we must let rule in our hearts.
It occurs to me that this response to life’s touch points sets Christian business women apart from others. In that way; we are bringing the image and likeness of our Lord for others to see!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of and for Christian Business Women
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