What To Do When Your Life Suddenly Blows Up

If you’re like everyone else on the planet, there will have been times that you’ve found yourself dealing with some Big Unexpected Bit of Ugliness that blew your life apart just as surely as if you’d stepped on a land mine.

It can happen in an instant.  A phone call loaded with the worst news delivered in just a few, painful words. An innocent conversation that inadvertently rips open a festering wound that just won’t heal. An event that destroys everything you’ve worked so hard to build, and leaves you feeling devastated.

It can take days, weeks — even  months  to absorb the gigantic shock. In the meantime, it leaves you feeling like someone kicked you squarely in the guts with a steel-toed boot.

You might be there right now, and I sincerely hope you’re not. But sadly, it seems to be an inevitable part of life. And it isn’t just once. You can be slammed with incidents and terrible moments like this many times throughout your years on this planet. Without warning, without the slightest hint or suggestion, they show up with a sinister agenda: Rip your life to shreds and bring you to your knees.

Some days it’s like walking on tiny shards of glass in bare feet

Other days it’s like scrambling over boulders, climbing up the side of a mountain and shredding the skin off your hands, knees, elbows and shins.

And despite the fact that you keep moving through one day after another, you feel like  you’re absolutely stuck in the same miserable place . Time seems to stand still and there you are, feeling like you’re standing in mile-deep quicksand. You can’t help but wonder if you’ll ever see the light at the end of the tunnel again without it being the train coming at you.

You might even feel like you’re cursed , or that the Universe hates you. I know  I’ve  certainly felt like that — more than once. It’s a dark, horrible, hopeless place to be.  I felt completely broken.

Photo of artwork by author during a dark time

Meanwhile, as you’re trying to absorb all of that, you’re painfully aware that you have absolutely no control over the situation whatsoever.

None. Zip. Nada. Not even a little bit.

Your life has been blown to smithereens and there you stand, holding the charred scraps of it in scorched hands while wondering what on earth you should do now.

It’s bad enough when Life lobs stuff at you that you can fix, even if it’s going to take a while. But sometimes, a solution — or resolution — is beyond your control.

What if It’s All Out of Your Hands?

You wait. You feel powerless.   Helpless . It’s agonising. But it’s all you can do, so you wait.

I’ve certainly been there, and if you’ve ever drawn a breath I’m sure you’ve been there, too.

You know what I’m talking about.  You’ve been floating along on a happy little lake with its smooth bits and its ripply bits. The odd strong wind blows in and whips up a little wave here and there. Or some much bigger waves when howling winds and driving rain get to be bad enough to bend trees.

But those storms always pass  and the surface of the water calms as it seeks to find its level, and balance is restored. Always a blessed relief, isn’t it, when that happens. Really, it was just a nasty blip and all is well. Clear skies again, lots of smiles, you’re floating along and enjoying the sun. Yay. Life is grand.

And then one day,  something tears into your life , just like a meteorite thundering through the heavens and crashing into that lake, causing an almighty great disturbance. The enormous splash creates violent waves that scatter and unsettle everything in their path, both above and below the water line.

And when that happens, heaven only knows where everything will land.

What Can You Do in the Meantime?

As devastating as that meteorite might have been, in time the shock does pass. The traumatic waves subside, naturally seeking their level again, seeking balance as they make their way to the shore, gradually becoming smaller, ever softening, gently rolling, until they are mere ripples that reach out and tenderly caress the shore before dissolving into the sand.

And so it is with the great shocks and disturbances of Life. It just takes time. Time to adjust. Time for the shock to wear off. Time for you to catch your breath and comprehend what has happened.

And amidst a load of tumbling and changing emotions, eventually you find acceptance. You come to a place where you can begin to move forward again, one careful step at a time.

It’s extremely important to remember that there is no time limit for any of this. And even more important for you to  remember not to beat yourself up  about how long it’s taking for you to find your feet again, or how hard it’s hit you.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about how long it should or shouldn’t take, or how you should be feeling. This is your experience. Only  you  can process it in a way that works for you with your history, your perceptions, and your unique way of “being” in this world.

It is essential for you to be gentle with yourself.  Trust that you will get through this and you will be okay, that things will work out. That you will come to terms with whatever has caused you such devastation.

How Do You Get From Here to There?

I know that seems quite daunting. It might not feel like it’s even possible while you’re still in the thick of things. I mean, there you were, minding your own business, floating along on the surface of that pretty lake and enjoying a sunny day.

And wham! You just happened to be right smack in the spot where that meteorite came thundering into your soul and turned you inside out.

To say you were caught off guard is a massive understatement. It’s no surprise that you feel overwhelmed and you’re struggling to believe things will ever be okay again…that  you  will ever be okay again.

But I can absolutely promise you that  your spirit will survive it  even if sometimes, it feels like it won’t. Just imagine yourself being like water. It seeks the path of least resistance. You will find balance; you will find your level again. Those difficult early moments, those horrible ones that slam into you one after another, intense and frequent like ominous, rolling, tidal waves, they will gradually dissolve into the gentle ripples of easier days.

And one day, the last little ripple caused by that initial, thunderous shock, will quietly tickle its way onto the sand and  balance will once again be restored.  It will happen so gradually, so quietly, that you won’t even notice it.

You’ll only notice that you’re floating along on that smooth, glass lake again. You’ve got your shades on and you’re enjoying the sun, sipping a Margarita or a lemonade or whatever else strikes your fancy.

And you’re so grateful that life is good.

Keep Your Eye on the Shore

In the meantime, wherever you are in that lake right now, whether you’re fighting to keep your head above water in those horrible first waves, or whether you’re somewhere along the more gently bobbing ones that occasionally make your stomach roll, just keep your eye on the shore and know that you are a little closer to it today than you were yesterday.

I can promise you that this, too, shall pass  and one way or another, you will move on from this place. It is inevitable. Life keeps moving us along, even when we feel terribly, horribly stuck.

Every moment that passes, you are a little closer to finding your way back to the light, to a life that will make you smile again. No matter how lost you might feel right now, you really aren’t.  You’re right here. You’re not alone. And you are loved.

Spiritual Arts Mentor and Master Teacher, Liberty Forrest, guides you in discovering who you are, why you’re here, and how to follow that path. Click here for more information

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