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When We Feel Knocked Down

Updated on June 5, 2018
denise.w.anderson profile image

An Education Specialist, Denise teaches the principles of Emotional Health for the establishment and maintenance of high quality families.

When we feel knocked down, we perceive that others are looking down on us. It is  embarrassing, and we don't like  it.
When we feel knocked down, we perceive that others are looking down on us. It is embarrassing, and we don't like it. | Source

Life is unfair

it doesn't seem right. We did everything we could to make things work, and yet we still ended up on the bottom of the dog pile. We were knocked down, perhaps even kicked, laughed at, and scorned. We did what we thought was right. Why are we being punished?

Bad things happen to good people. It is a fallacy to believe that we will receive a reward for doing good. Although Christian doctrine is replete with warnings that evil will be punished and good will triumph in the end, there is irony in the way this plays out in our everyday lives. The results are not immediate, in fact, we may not see them at all!

We may work all of our lives for a cause that is just, and never receive any thanks for it. We may give all that we have to the poor, and then end up poor ourselves. Life has a way of reminding us that things are not necessarily what we expect them to be. Even though our choices seem right and good, something bad can still happen. If the response was immediate, it is natural to connect it as a consequence for our choice.

We fall into this trap when we have the following irrational beliefs*:

  • those who sacrifice for and do good will receive a reward
  • we will be happy when those around us change their behavior
  • things must be equal to be fair

These are discussed in the paragraphs that follow, along with ways to change them to more rational beliefs that lead us to a positive sense of well-being.

There is a battle going on for our souls. Will we choose to do good even when it appears that we are being punished for doing so?
There is a battle going on for our souls. Will we choose to do good even when it appears that we are being punished for doing so? | Source

ANYWAY

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered!

LOVE THEM ANYWAY!

If you do good, people will accuse you of ulterior motives.

DO GOOD ANYWAY!

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

SUCCEED ANYWAY!

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

DO GOOD ANYWAY!

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY!

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

FIGHT FOR SOME UNDERDOGS!

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight!

BUILD ANYWAY!

People really need help but may attack you if you help them.

HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY!

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.

GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU'VE GOT ANYWAY!

by Anonymous

Those who sacrifice for and do good receive a reward

Logic tells us that because good triumphs in the end, it will also triumph in our lives. Unfortunately, this may not necessarily be so. It does happen, however, and when we see it, we are reinforced in our belief that it will.

We wait on God, thinking that if we could just have something good happen, we will know that we are loved, cared for, and important. We forget that Christ, Himself, went about doing good all of his life, and yet He was rejected, scorned, beaten, and eventually crucified.

We think that somehow, we will be the exception, that our faith in Jesus Christ will protect us from negative experiences. Since it does not, we must be doing something wrong. We look back at our lives, and find all of the mistakes that we have made and end up feeling guilty for not being good enough!

In reality, God loves us unconditionally and has prepared a place for us. We show our love for Him by following His commandments. As we do so, we are blessed in countless ways. His love surrounds us just like the sunshine. All we have to do to feel it is to look up. It is His grace that saves us, after all we do.

The song "Blessings" by Laura Story tells us that there are many ways He shares His love.

We will be happy with those around us change their behavior

Faith leads us to ask God for help in our lives. Our prayers are replete with requests for safety and protection, understanding of the problems we face, and assistance in making our finances stretch to the end of the month.

One of the most frequent prayers we utter is for assistance in our relationships. A large portion of our lives is spent trying to figure out people, their needs, wants, and behaviors. Many people even see conflict as sinful, and pray that it can be avoided at all costs.

There is a story told of a row of trees planted in a sheltered location. They grew tall and very beautiful, yet when a strong wind came, they toppled like toothpicks. The reason being that their roots were not deep enough to hold them steady. We are like those trees. In order for our roots to reach down deep into gospel soil, the winds of adversity must swirl about us. We grow as we learn and look to God for assistance.

Expecting God to change others for us to be happy is an unrealistic expectation. We cannot change others, and God will not. We are all human beings with freedom to act for ourselves, and God will force no-one. When we realize and accept this fact, we come face to face with our own selves and realize that if anything needs to change for us to be happy, it is us!

When everyone else has turned their back on us, are we being punished? Are we less of a person when things are not fair or equal?
When everyone else has turned their back on us, are we being punished? Are we less of a person when things are not fair or equal? | Source

Why choose good?

Choosing good leads to feelings of peace in our mind, heart and soul.

Does this mean that God will make good things happen? Perhaps, but not necessarily.

Choosing right and good leads to increased ability to recognize our conscious when it speaks.

Does this mean that we will always know what to do? Sometimes.

Doing good leads to integrity and strength of character.

Does this mean that others will be kind? Maybe.

Although good will triumph in the end, there will still be wars, confusion, strife, abuse, and malice in the world.

God does not stop bad things from happening, but as we look to Him in faith, we are able to understand what to do, and go forward with our lives.

Fair does not mean equal

The tug of war in our souls comes when we realize that fair does not necessarily mean equal. In fact, life is neither fair nor equal! In order for us to find happiness and peace, we have to accept that life is what it is, and we cannot make it into what we want it to be.

Part of the problem is that we are unable to recognize the blessings that we do receive. We think that because we experience trials and difficulties, that we are not in favor with God. When things are going well, we feel blessed, but when things are not, we think that we are being punished.

When this happens, our minds and hearts are filled with confusion and misunderstanding. We stop seeking God because we feel that He has stopped blessing us. We move further and further away from Him, not realizing that He can only help us when we ask for His assistance.

The way for us to stop feeling punished is to realize that we all experience difficulty. We are not less of a person for it, rather, it is the only equality there is.
The way for us to stop feeling punished is to realize that we all experience difficulty. We are not less of a person for it, rather, it is the only equality there is. | Source
Source

How does it really work?

We process the things that happen to us through our past experience. These experiences provide our world view. Our memories form a type of master filing system that gives us information. Just like the Internet or a computer matches words and phrases while searching in order to find a desired item, our brains look for memories that are similar in some way, whether it be in sight, sound, smell, or feeling.

The more similarities, the higher ranking the memory is during this search. Our automatic reaction is the direct result of the highest ranking memory from the results. Because negative experiences weigh heavily on the scale of our senses, they are more likely to come to the top of the search more frequently. This makes it seem as if they happen more often than they really do.

Negative experiences following positive choices become more significant to us, thus, they weigh more heavily on our experience scale. When we take our negative memories and derive learning experiences from them, setting goals and making commitments, we change the way they are stored in our brains. They are less likely to surface, coloring our current circumstance.

When we realize that we are all very similar in that we all experience difficulty, we are more likely to feel the approval of others, and find things we have in common.
When we realize that we are all very similar in that we all experience difficulty, we are more likely to feel the approval of others, and find things we have in common. | Source

Which thinking pattern seems to give you the most difficulty?

See results

If all of the trials and difficulties in the world were put in the same pile, and we each took our fair share, we would all come away with about the same number as we have now. Others have similar feelings and experiences as we do. Rather than internalizing and feeling sorry for ourselves, we find purpose and meaning when we reach out to help others. That way, we learn and grow from our negative experiences and are less likely to feel knocked down, or punished by them.

* Condensed from information provided by the Northwest Human Services Center in a handout titled "Fifteen Styles of Distorted Thinking."

We all have opportunity at our fingertips. What we do with it is our choice.
We all have opportunity at our fingertips. What we do with it is our choice. | Source

© 2014 Denise W Anderson

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    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are right, Doris, it is necessary to activate our faith in God to help us get through the tough times. As we do so, we are able to have the courage to go forward in spite of the difficulties that we experience. I know in my own life, I have had to learn some skills that have enabled me to put this into practice, including recognizing distorted thinking patterns, making wise decisions, and internalizing the messages in my environment that bolster my feelings of self-worth. I appreciate you reading and commenting!

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 

      4 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      I am a new hubber, and I love exploring and finding gems like the one you have written here. I think we just have to activate our faith and recognize that God blesses us with many positive things in our lives, and when the trials come we can move even closer to Him and learn even more. We all experience both good and bad, and I just depend on God when either of them is at hand. Thanks for sharing such an outstanding lesson.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Yes, midget38, we are what we think. Our thoughts sometimes get in the way of life, especially when the experiences of our past have been less than desirable! It is necessary for us to put them in a different perspective so that we can feel better about our future. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      4 years ago from Singapore

      As Ford said, whatever you think, you are right!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I feel the same way! It is a fitting benediction of what I wanted to say with this hub. So often, we feel that God is far away from us when in reality He is right there, ready and willing to comfort and heal us in our darkest hours. Thanks, thefedorows, for reading and commenting!

    • thefedorows profile image

      thefedorows 

      4 years ago from the Midwest

      Every time I hear Laura Story's "Blessings" song I feel a tear welling up. Blessings are all around us, they may seem good or bad, but we believe God uses all things for the good of those who love him! As always, a beautiful hub, Denise.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You have discovered a great truth, Teaches. Our ability to realize and affect change in our own lives brings much greater peace than we realize. Only then, do others change. Thanks for your encouraging words.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      Denise, I discovered long ago that in order to love others fully I had change first. Your message tells this truth so well. I love the Blessings song, very beautiful. May your day be complete in God today.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are right, ChitrangadaSharan. We all have these feelings. In order for us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, we have to make something purposeful and meaningful out of our negative experiences. As we turn the baggage into building blocks, we have a foundation to build upon as we move forward. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice and well done hub on improving our emotional health.

      Most of us have had such feelings, sometime in life. It is only when we stop having self pity, that we can feel confident and face challenges of life. By removing the baggage of negative thoughts, we can be happy and move forward.

      Wise thoughts shared by you in this article. Voted up and thanks for sharing!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I'm glad you brought that up, catgypsy. We all experience pain and heartache in life. Because of this, we have more in common than we realize. Our feelings of desperation often are the result of thinking that God no longer loves us when bad things happen. When we perceive that God is far away, our feelings of loneliness increase. Our ability to reach out to others in our loneliness allows us to feel God's love through others, in spite of our difficulty. Our faith increases, both in God, and in humanity.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Glenn, this is an important principle for all of us to remember. Our memories make up a big part of our present reality. Our emotional state is the direct result of what we have chosen to do with our past. Life is a conglomerate of how we perceive our past, the affect this has on our present, and the choices we make in preparation for our future. The more we are able to turn difficult experiences around to our benefit, the more prepared we are to make a better life for ourselves in the future.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 

      4 years ago from the South

      I think we are all feeling a bit vulnerable these days and we need to remember that we all have our struggles. Sometimes it's hard to keep faith when you feel so desperate, but it helps us through and we have to keep believing. I love the song. Such a great hub!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      It goes to show that the way we feel with the trials and tribulations of life has a lot to do with how we let it effect us. I found it interesting how you explained that the way we remember past experiences has a direct relationship to how we allow ourselves to be effected with future issues. This is all so very true.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Yes, Alise-Evon, as we align ourselves with God's word, we begin to feel His unconditional love for us. It is amazing how much more we love Him when we have gone through difficult experiences! We are able to see firsthand what He went through for us, and we appreciate Him more. Giving Him the burden of our memories and difficulties enables Him to carry them for and with us. Our loneliness and discouragement are lifted, just knowing that He is there. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 

      4 years ago

      Well-written hub, Denise. I have done a bit of study on how our memories influence how we "re"-act to our current situation. Part of growing/healing certainly does involve a renewing of our minds to be in alignment with the true word of God and our true relationship with him.

      Love the Anonymous quote- I'm going to copy that and post it somewhere where I can see it frequently.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I appreciate you sharing that, MsDora. Many people, including myself and members of my own family, have this very issue. We are so busy trying to make something of our lives, working to pay the bills and take care of the necessities, that we don't recognize God's hand when it does move in our behalf. It takes pausing and looking around us at the beauty and bounty that there is for us to realize that we are truly blessed! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      "Part of the problem is that we are unable to recognize the blessings that we do receive." So true! I've had my share of the knocked-down feeling, but at the end of the day I have to admit that God is faithful, that He loves and He cares. Just last night, I realized His awesomeness in a way that encourages me to trust Him. Thank you for this timely message.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, Billy! I appreciate all that I have learned from you in this regard. We never know when things will go up or down. The best thing we can do is learn to enjoy the ride with those we meet along the way!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course I love this message. Life is what it is...neither fair nor unfair...and we either learn to deal with it, and rejoice with it...or we wallow in self-pity. Yes indeed, I love this message. :)

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