With a single sentence, life can knock you down. Here’s how to get back up and keep swinging…
Have you ever noticed how a single sentence can feel as if a bomb exploded and life as you know it is irrevocably transformed?
A single sentence like:
- “It’s cancer.”
- “You’re fired.”
- “I’m pregnant.”
- “I’m leaving you and filing for divorce.”
Suddenly that single sentence, uttered by someone you love or care about, changes your life — derailing your sense of purpose and direction — in an instant.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and take yourself back to the moment those words came slamming in. See if you can recall the very next question or statement that popped into your head. Now, hold on to that answer for a minute; I want to compare notes.
Here’s what happened to me:
It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m rushing around preparing for the 150+ guests scheduled to arrive in less than 6 hours. My husband walks in and drops the bombshell: “I’m leaving you now and filing for divorce tomorrow.”
For an instant my mind went blank. Then, three questions popped into my head.
- “Why me?”
- “Why now?”
- “Why didn’t I…?”
What I know now that I didn’t know then is this: those three simple questions will cause you to walk straight into a shame-blame-shitstorm of epic proportions, which may last for months or years, and can cause you to lose yourself and your sense of purpose in life.
Don’t ask yourself those questions just because you can. Why? Because there is absolutely no way you will find an answer to those questions. There is NO answer; “the answer” is simply a story you decide to tell yourself.
The problem with this is that your story and his/her story will never, ever match. That’s exactly why he/she dropped the DIVORCE bomb.
Trust me; almost everyone I know who has been through divorce made the same mistake I made and asked themselves (and others) those three questions over and over again, almost to a point where finding answers became their obsession in life.
What I know now (that I didn’t know or believe back on that fateful New Year’s Eve) is that adding three simple words to those inevitable questions will change the trajectory of your life if/when you find yourself in a “Why Me and Why Now?” moment.
By asking yourself, “Why NOT me?” “Why NOT now?” and “Why DON’T I do … ?” you will instantly stop looking for answers you’ll never find. In less than a heartbeat, you will align your head and heart, and begin the process of reinventing yourself and designing the life of your dreams.
Those simple questions allow you to shift your focus from the unnecessary shame-blame-shitstorm swirling inside, to nourishing yourself, planting seeds of possibility, and blooming in the moment. In addition, they will open you up to a new opportunity for finding a NEW purpose and allowing any situation to become part of the new life unfolding before you.
I recommend this 3-step plan I use when those “Why me/Why now” moments threaten you:
Step 1: Take 5 deep breaths and ask yourself, “Why not me?”
Step 2: Continue breathing deeply and ask yourself, “Why not now?”
Step 3: Now ask yourself, “Why don’t I do…?”
Listen carefully for the answers that come from your heart.
That New Year’s Eve, I implemented this 3-step plan and decided to reinvent and redesign my life. I found new joy, new purpose, and a truer version of me. In fact, it’s the reason you’re reading this now
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: When Life HURTS: 3 Questions To Help You Feel Strong Again, FAST.