When life sweeps the carpet out from your feet, what do you do? I mean who ever sees it coming? You might have had an inkling or intuitive thought, or maybe even a fear but so often the part of you that clings to your comfortable idea of the norm, stops you from ever taking the idea too seriously.
Then life strikes.
You’re up for too long. You’ve won too many games. Things have gone too well and you’ve forgotten what hardship even means, let alone feels like. The old saying goes, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”, but try comprehending that in the midst of heaven. You become so entwined with your perfect bubble, you think it will never end. You draw comparisons from past dark times and perhaps think this is your reward…..finally life is fair.
If we look at this for what it is we’ll see we’re dealing with over attachment to current circumstances. Right now the pain of things changing is blunting your ability to see it. But with time comes perspective. With perspective comes healing. You will feel like you would give anything for a fast forward button; something to get you back to some form of normality. But who defined normal anyway?
When life shits on you from great heights a choir could sing these facts of life at you 24 hours per day and still……still you wouldn’t grasp it.
Emotion & feeling
You’re too engrossed in the pain. Maybe you’re not even feeling pain and actually you don’t know what you’re feeling. Trauma has different stages:
Stage one: Bombshell dropped and life as you know it is now not the same.
Stage two: Constant thinking about how said situation came about and all the second guessing kicks in……
Maybe if I had done……..we’d be ok…….
That one moment made all the difference. How? Surely if things can change that quick, they can be changed back that quick?
What am I going to do now; how will I get through this? Is it even possible?
Stage three: Perspective. Surrounding yourself with the best people you can and seeking honest opinions and advice, which allows you to start slowly seeing things for what they are.
Stage four: Grieving and adjusting to life with the new changes forced upon you. Usually a time game but things will get better and this is a true test of your spirit.
Stage five: Moving on. More than likely realising that you’re better off now than you were. Time has allowed you to start doing all the things you vowed to do but couldn’t because of your past circumstances. This should result in a stronger you and one that knows what you will, or won’t, stand for next time. You know what to watch out for. You know attachment is good to a certain degree but as we said earlier, over attachment to anything/anyone is a dangerous zone.
Initially you won’t want to do anything. All the projects you yearned for are no longer exciting. The things you love are still there but they’re not calling as loud at the moment. You forgive yourself for eating crap and struggle to even stay on top of daily tasks. At the time you’ll question if this is the new you – what happened to that gritty and motivated fighter? How did you get reduced to this emotional mess?
Talking to others about your issues? That’s not you. You deal with it on your own, yet somehow, someway, you’re now opening up because your soul needs to. Your worst fears were realised and now suddenly opening up isn’t hard anymore. If anything it’s a natural process. The judgement isn’t there, they understand and value your honesty. They tell you where you went wrong and what they think is your best next step – often based off very similar experiences.
This is the grief stage and one that takes as long as it takes. You’ll find this will really tell you how affected you are. If you find as the days go by things get easier, then maybe you weren’t as in love with the situation as you thought you were? Maybe you were just attached to current circumstances? As we’ve seen, emotional attachment is so common and in truth, humans can get attached to anything and everything.
Until you’ve grieved properly you’ll want the world to know hurt you are. You’ll want revenge. You’ll want to make sure everyone knows your side. You’ll feel unfairly treated and not know what to believe.
Resist the urge to act on these feelings. Look at the bigger picture. Will it really help? Will you really feel better? Is there any dignity in this behaviour? This isn’t to deny your feelings but always pause and take a deep breath……..have someone in your corner, anyone, who will talk to you when you need and keep you in check. Because believe me, you’ll have many ebbs and flows where you feel great and what’s happened can’t hurt you again. And then BAM……you feel like you’ve had your heart ripped out and someone has drove a bus over it.
When these moments hit, stay around good people and keep the accountability high. Leave no room for slipping. This will maintain your dignity and in times of loss it’s all you really have until the dust clears.
Out of nowhere the drive will come back. Your spirit will be rekindled and you’ll have ideas for projects. You’ll throw yourself into work, getting better, travelling, whatever it is that makes you tick. You may even find new things you never knew! You’re still breathing after what was considered your worst nightmare coming true. How can this not make you tougher going forward?!
To quote Elliott Hulse………
Be Thankful for heartbreak. Be thankful for such a wonderful opportunity to grow STRONGER.
You learned you can withstand ultimate horror and take it better than you thought. You learned who has your back and who doesn’t. You learned what you love and what you truly want without anyone else’s influence. And most of all you learned it’s OK to talk about it. To be open is to truly live and connect. Friendships and relationships are only improved with openness and if you find yourself softening, then this is a sign of growth within itself. This happened to teach you vulnerability is fine. Feelings are fine – good or bad. Mourning is fine. Grief is fine. Frustration is fine.
IT’S ALL FINE IN THE END.
You’re worth more than to let attachments determine your success in this world. Find a cause and go after it. Jump in the water without armbands and fight the sharks. You’ll find your way to the shore. Why? Because you want to. Your heart is still full of life and desire.
Step by step, bit by bit, things get better and you become stronger. Live life because you’re never dead until you stop breathing.
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.