Saturday, July 5, 2014

Potholes and Pitfalls

Rebounding from unexpected twists and turns in life has been the topic of the day at my house. We live under the illusion that we have a modicum of control over the events of our lives.  Then, with a flick of its fickle finger, Life can turn our world upside down and send our reality spinning out of its orbit.

Through my work I have witnessed my clients heal, recover and embrace life again by delving into their inner source of courage and strength. How do they do it? How does one heal? How does one steady oneself after being knocked off ones feet? The road to recovery is often initiated through small and steady steps rather than broad strides and bold leaps. Over time, tentative steps can evolve to ultimately establish a new level of thriving and self expression.

Numerous potholes litter the path to healing and one to keep an eye out for is the “Yeah but.”  “Yeah but” will paralyze. When you visualize failure before you take the initial step you undermine any chance of success. The journey to healing can feel like you are playing blind man’s bluff. You can stumble around like a toddler learning how to walk. But after a few unsteady steps you may discover  that you are moving more securely and confidently toward a new vision of you.

You may twist your ankle in the pothole of wondering “Why?”.  “Why?” will leave you spinning on your own personal hamster wheel feeling like a victim.  Life hasn’t shared her secret of “Why?” with me as of yet but she does encourage asking the question “What?” “What have I learned?” “What can I do to change?”

A dangerous pitfall on the road to rebounding from unexpected challenges is thinking that you have to get it right the first time. Believing that you must be perfect from the start dooms you to failure.  Imagine a child learning to stand on her own. She falls on her bottom numerous times but never gives up. Eventually through trial and error she develops her strength and can stand on her own two feet.

A seminal component to healing is reaching out for something outside of ourselves. It can be as simple as changing a routine or spending time with a friend. But more often the path to renewal is to do something for someone else. Giving of oneself is a beautiful way to ease the pain of suffering.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

As we take those brave first steps to move beyond pain and sorrow we begin to see that we are regaining our footing on the journey of life and are readied in a deeper more meaningful way for the next unexpected surprise life will offer.

Love and light,