Life is hard.
Sometimes, life will throw you a curve.
When it does, the solution is easy; you just learn to hit a curve.
But what do you do when life throws you a grenade instead?
One that goes off and disrupts or destroys nearly every aspect of your life.
Death, a divorce, a diagnosis – a random act of violence.
You wake up one day, and your current life is no reflection of the life you once knew.
If this happens, I’m not going to tell you everything is going to be alright – because I don’t know.
That is going to be up to you.
The term ‘alright’ is going to take on a new meaning to you.
What I will tell you is to buckle up – because it is going to hurt like hell – for that I do know.
It is going to hurt more intensely than you can ever imagine.
Enough to paralyze you.
And when you do learn how to move again, you will be moved to your breaking point.
Many times over.
The pain will be enough to fill your every thought with quitting and throwing in the towel.
When you get pushed to the edge, to your breaking point, instead of using a period in your life, use a semi-colon.
There is more story to write.
More life to live.
More love to feel.
Hang in there.
Tread water for as long as you can.
And even longer if you have to.
Kindness will find you.
The best day in your life hasn’t been lived as of yet.
The goal is to believe that.
As you sit there, looking around at the destruction in your life, what you do not yet realize is the adversity you have experienced, although devastating, has secretly given you a gift.
A gift so valuable, you will never want to relinquish it.
Although this gift is available to everyone, nearly everyone is too busy to recognize it.
They say “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
You are now ready.
Look around you, at first, you may not see anything at all.
But I can assure you the teacher is present.
Buckle up, because you are going to go on the ride of your life.
From the depths of despair to the heights of euphoria.
Right now you can only see the ways your life has changed for the worse.
Those changes are quite obvious.
The good news, and yes there is good news, is your life has the possibility to change for the better.
It is a universal law when the universe takes something of value from you, it must give you the gift of the seed of something greater in return.
One day, I don’t know when probably sometime after all your human emotions have run their course, you will come face to face with ‘your gift of the seed of something greater.’
What you do with that seed will be totally up to you.
You could plant and nourish the seed and experience the miracle of its growth, or you could pay it no attention and allow it’s fruit to die even before they get to the vine.
Make your choice wisely.
The seed is the greatest gift you will ever be given in your life.
You don’t know that as of yet.
But you will in time.
If there is anything you ever trust again – trust in the fact that the seed, if planted, will produce boundless fruit in your life.
The fruit you never knew existed.
The fruit that will nurture you back to health.
You have paid the full price for the gift.
You might as well open it.
I will not insult you and say the gift is in any way a fair exchange for what you lost.
Or even that you should be grateful for the exchange.
And I know it is not an exchange you sought, and one if given the choice, you would undue.
But when all is said and done, you have two choices.
You can open the gift.
That is up to you.
The exchange may not be what you want in your life right now.
But it is what you have.
And it is much more valuable than you know.
I have never met a person who experienced a life-changing event who ever wanted to give back their new found perspective of life.
I know you do not believe that to be true, in time you will.
Inside the gift lives what you lost.
Opening the gift is the only way to keep it alive.
Rebuilding your life makes it’s spirit flourish.
I know right now you want to lie down amongst the rubble in your life, to just blend into the destruction.
They say the greatest mistake is in giving up.
It is your duty to build again.
The normal reaction will be to try to rebuild a life exactly as the one you had before the grenade went off.
That will prove futile.
As you rebuild, if you attempt to replicate your past life you will realize if you rely on the pieces the grenade destroyed, you will come up short in comparison, as gaps and holes will emerge in your new structure, and the result will look nothing like your life before the grenade hit.
The key is to rebuild, not to replicate.
Obviously, there are pieces of your life that are missing.
You are going to need to be resourceful; to do more, with less.
As you rebuild, you will need to get more from your new found perspective of life.
When you do, the rubble will miraculously transform into a foundation on which you will build a new life.
No, it will not be the same.
It can’t be.
There are pieces missing.
But it will make this moment matter.
And it does.
Do not attempt to make answers to your unanswerable questions the prerequisite to your happiness.
Believe, what you do not currently understand, one day you will.
Rather, concentrate your focus on your new-found perspective and live and be alive.
Here are 111 ways to start to recover from a life-changing event.
- Believe more
- Doubt less
- Trust more
- Fear less
- Live more
- Exist less
- Find gratitude
- Don’t compare
- Always be in the moment
- Find compassion
- Have empathy
- Seek understanding
- Pay attention
- Allow yourself to heal, to grieve, to cry, to feel
- Love again
- Love deeper
- Fight like hell
- Have confidence
- Exude enthusiasm
- Be amazed
- Live in awe
- Be an asset to everyone you know
- Have passion
- Be thankful
- Say thank you
- Be resourceful
- Earn your keep
- Have a vision
- Passionately pursue your purpose in life
- Find your life’s passion and diligently pursue it
- Do something good for someone who has no chance of ever being able to repay you.
- Be happy when others find happiness
- Appreciate the miracle of a new day
- Find extraordinary in the ordinary
- Listen to your inner self
- Be still and allow the answers you seek to find you
- Touch someone’s soul at every given opportunity
- Recognize the divine in everything
- Reacquaint with an old friend
- Allow family and friends to help you
- Be a good friend yourself
- Be an integral part of your family
- Enjoy every aspect of your life – even failure
- Embrace your age
- Be intimate with your loved one
- Be held
- Hug someone an extra second longer than you usually would
- Seek to understand others plight
- Learn your parent’s life’s story – you will understand and appreciate it more now
- Learn a strangers life story
- Make a new friend
- Listen to your inner self
- Trust your soul
- Tap into a universal higher power.
- Follow your life’s inner compass
- Trust yourself – especially when it doesn’t make sense to do so.
- Compliment others
- Improve the quality of other people’s lives
- Help a lost soul find their way
- Mentor a child
- Keep a person down on their luck company
- Get one with nature
- Care for animals
- Value each increment of time
- Communicate more with everyone who matters to you
- Reacquaint with old friends
- Pick up the phone
- Send the email
- Mail the letter
- Send the thank you note
- Run into the person in the grocery isle instead of dodging them
- Be the difference
- Seek solutions
- Leave time in your life – to be kind
- Pass along a positive outlook on life to your children
- Keep your marriage sacred
- Be fun to be around
- See the miracle in everything
- Help others without their asking
- Detect fake smiles in others and decipher what pain they are hiding – then do something to make the fake smile turn real
- Hear those who are silently crying out for help and share in and absorb some of their pain
- Surprise someone – For no other reason other than because you can
- Do more than what is expected from you no matter how much is expected from you
- Strive to be the “best you,” you have ever been
- Challenge yourself
- If there is one more thing that you can do – do it
- Be there for someone
- Eliminate distance in your relationships
- Show up unexpectedly
- Say hello
- Say goodbye
- Say I’m sorry
- Say I don’t know
- Say I love you
- Solve problems with love
- Add love to everything you do, with everyone you see
- Give love freely
- Give love first
- Look forward to tomorrow
- Open all of your gifts
111 Ways to Recover from a Life-Changing Event
Is an excerpt from
In the Eye of the Storm
In the Eye of the Storm is a collection of inspirational stories, poems, and thoughts on converting adversity, loss, and grief into a newfound perspective on life.