I have a friend who's going through a pretty tough time, after life as they knew it was recently turned on its head. Right now they're immersed in a storm they can’t see through to the other side of, and no matter which way you look at it, the pain and chaos surrounding them seems inescapable. I can tell they're putting on a brave face and acting like they're ‘ok’, but deep down I can see the sadness and anxiety simmering just below the surface, as they try to navigate their way through the mess and contemplate the fear of the unknown journey that lies ahead.
So what do you do when life throws you a curve ball that knocks you side ways? We’re all on the end of one or more at some point in our life, its part of the good and the bad, the yin and the yang, the black and the white that makes up lifes journey. In my view it's what you do with that pain and suffering that determines how you weather the storm and come out the other side. Trying to bury or turn your back on the pain and fear, rather than facing it, will only delay the inevitable and prolong the suffering.
The reality is, nothing lasts forever, not even the good times. When we fall for the illusion that life is meant to be a bed of roses, or ignore our truth, we often fall the hardest when a storm rips through and tears it to shreds. But the truth is, that bed of roses that makes life beautiful, can and will grow back in time, often more beautiful and lush than before it was devastated by the storm. But when we’re immersed in the middle of the carnage, it can be impossible to imagine we can be put back together, or that perhaps something even more amazing and meaningful may lie just around the corner.
The only thing delaying the process of rebuilding and healing is the time it takes us to accept the situation and our part in it, followed by our ability to sit with the pain rather than trying to escape or deny it. There are no rules as to how long the process of healing should, or will take, but the moment you're able to reach a place of acceptance and feel the fear that comes with the pain and step into it, you can start to move past it and then it's simply a case of putting one foot in front of the other - each and every day - better known as 'living in the present'.
The journey through life is not always easy or straightforward and it often has an uncanny knack for sending us lessons when we need them most - as unfair and unjust as they may seem at the time. Life even has a way of forcefully removing us from a situation that no longer serves us, especially if we have chosen to ignore the red flags and fail to take action ourselves - usually out of fear - fear of change or fear of the unknown. Once the dust has settled and the storm has passed, it's important to take the time to contemplate the lesson we can take from the challenging event we've experienced, and think about what we need to do grow and evolve as a person - in the hope that lesson never repeats. Being able to do this can also help us to turn a seemingly negative and unbearable experience, into a blessing in disguise - helping us to grow and evolve in a way that we would never have if we had been spared the trauma.
Finding gratitude in challenging and painful times may seem like an impossible thing to do, but if we can muster up the strength to look for the smallest thing to be grateful for during difficult times, it will often turn out to be the difference between fully healing and being able to move forward from the situation, vs staying stuck with it and being controlled by it.
So if the sh*# has hit the fan in your life recently, remember to look beneath the surface of what appears to be happening and go deeper with it, reflecting inwards vs just looking outwards at what may be going on in your external world, because if the lesson can be learned it's likely never to return.