Life happens. It doesn't matter how positive or balanced and centred you are, there are going to be times when you are knocked sideways. Times when your carefully organised life is turned upside down and you get knocked for six. Life happens!
You may be challenged with any number of situations that will leave you feeling like you were kicked in the stomach. It may be the loss of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of a job.
Let's face it. Things happen. They're part of life and although "everything happens for a reason," things still hurt. And they hurt a lot! They hurt at the very core of your being. The pain begins in your heart and radiates throughout your entire being.
At times like these, you may feel down, possibly depressed. You may feel anger or some other manifestation of your pain. Whatever you're feeling, it's ok. It's ok to feel hurt, sad, angry or whatever your true feelings are. You cannot deny pain any more than you can deny fear. The only way through this is to give yourself permission to feel the feeling.
The question is not whether or not you will feel down. The question is for how long will you stay in this state?
The difference between people who get through life's challenging moments, regardless of the seriousness, and those who are immobilised by the events is their ability to bounce back.
How quickly can you bounce back? Of course, the severity of the event will have a lot to do with the time it will take you to get past the pain and on with your life.
Take the example of two people being downsized from their job, something that is becoming a common occurrence these days. One is floored by the news of his dismissal. He expresses his pain by becoming angry at his employers, his colleagues and the system in general. He spends his days telling anyone who'll listen, about his "problem." And usually from a bar stool!
As he sees it, his life is ruined and he's blaming everyone for his troubles. People who react like this spend weeks, even months, wallowing in despair until, if they're fortunate, someone close to them convinces them to seek professional help.
On the other hand, the other person reacts very differently. Although they have gone through the same experience and have pretty much the same issues like living expenses, etc., they choose to react differently.
After a brief period of feeling a loss of self-esteem, self-pity and anger (quite naturally), they decide to get back in the game. They begin contacting their network of colleagues and friends, avail themselves of courses and other services their former employer offered everyone and starts actively looking for a new position. In a short time they find their "dream job" with an exciting new company.
While both people in our hypothetical example had the same experience and both went through a period of hurting, the time each allowed themselves to remain in that dis-empowering state was vastly different. While one remained "stuck" in their problem, the other handled their loss and moved on with their life.
This is the key. It's not whether life occasionally puts you into a tailspin, it's how long you choose to remain there.
When something devastating happens to you, allow yourself some time to grieve your loss, however, don't allow yourself to get stuck there. Take some action. Join a support group, talk about your feelings with a trusted friend or a professional.
In the case of a job loss, perhaps you might want to take some time to re-evaluate your career goals. You may even consider a change in career altogether. When you're ready, you can begin networking and making new contacts. Attend social or networking events. Call people you know. Do something!
One of the most important things to remember in high stress situations is not to allow yourself to become isolated. While spending some time alone is normal, even necessary, isolation can be dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Get out and be with people as soon as possible.
Remember "life is for the living." It's important to get back to your life. In time, the pain will pass.