Archive for June, 2010

Disasters and Doors to a Better Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2010 by dredslack

Disasters and Doors to a Better Life

This may sound a bit Pollyanna (unrealistically positive), particularly if you’re currently enduring one of life’s bone crushingly hard phases, but its true: If we learn from the disasters we survive we can use what we’ve experienced as doors to a better way of life. Perhaps a lot better and possibly in ways we couldn’t have gotten to without the rough bits.

Your disaster might be a random chance disaster, like a brick falling on you as you’re walking downtown or some unexpected (and undeserved) disease. It could be a disaster of your own making, like a cell phone jabbering auto accident or a last second decision to go ‘all in’. Often it’s a combination of both; sure he was charming, intelligent and oh so attractive but you didn’t let yourself see his two legged snake signals of showing up late too often, being secretive about his past and you forgave him faster than the blink of an eye when he told you he had an STD after you had sex.

Whatever the cause, when disaster strikes all the emotional stages show up; denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. We’ll do our ‘laps’ with them, in our own personal style, until the reactive emotion subsides & we start putting the pieces of our lives back together. If we’re going to turn this disaster into a doorway to a better, more informed, wiser way of living we’re going to have to look at what happened as honestly as possible, while not expecting ourselves to be perfect, wallowing in self pity or finding a goat to scape. We need to strive to understand what happened from a non-judgmental (‘it’s not good or bad, this is just what happened’) perspective and ask ourselves what this pain filled experience has taught us. Take your time, this is a big event; give yourself all the space you need to process it properly. Writing things out from all sorts of perspectives can be a good idea and can give you other angles to process your experience from. Be wary of the counsel of friends. They may be well intended and sometimes wise but my experience has been that much better results are achieved when this type of journey is held in a more personal light.

Disasters big and small befall all of us and even really, really good people aren’t excluded. If you learn from your disasters and open a door to a better life you’ve taken a bad situation and made something good come out of it. I can’t think of a better way to deal with it, can you?

Dr. Ed Slack // 2010

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