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When Things Don't Go as Planned

We all have an "idea" of how life is supposed to flow. What happens when we're doing all the things for prevention and life goes sideways?

I'm writing this blog the week of Christmas when expectations are high and reality may throw us all a curve ball. Whether it's an unexpected death of a loved one or a medical diagnosis we weren't expecting, we tend to ask ourselves the biggest question of all: WHY?

Even when the answer doesn't come, it's a human response to ask the question. Why is this happening to me? I did everything right and yet, here I am faced with this really hard thing.

Let's go back to the three rules of life.

  1. Life is hard.

  2. Life has meaning.

  3. You have a choice.

No matter what age or stage you're in, life is H A R D. If you're shooting for a goal, the obstacles tend to match the difficulty of that target. Our challenge is to find the meaning in the "hard". I'm not asking you to see the good in the bad. Let's face it, sometimes there isn't any good. Here's the secret that no one ever tells you.....You're on no one's timeline but your own to find the meaning.

No one likes to sit in the hard. It's ugly and messy and full of tears. Most people want to console you and want you to feel better not knowing that we have to go through the hard. No one gets to skip a step and grieving is real. It's not just for a death of a loved one. Grieving is for losing the reality you had yesterday. It's for what you wished for in Plan A.

These can be difficult times. In the last few weeks I've heard devastating news from two close friends. I had a routine medical procedure of my own and was expecting a clear clean scan. It didn't happen. Of course, my first instinct for my friends and myself is to ask WHY. These are good people with big hearts doing amazing things in their lives. In my own case, I do my best to reduce my stress level, eat clean (mostly), exercise, and all the things. How can this be?

The sun comes up every morning and sets every night.

There's a high tide and a low tide. A natural cycle to life. To borrow a line from Jim Rohn...."I wouldn't read that book if I were you." In other words--things happen no matter how much we try to avoid it. Dealing with them can be heavy especially when there's no reasoning behind it.

Sometimes we have to take the detour, but it's in those detours that we find the sweet satisfaction of a life well lived. Our perception expands. Our capacity for stress and love expand. Our relationships grow deeper and the reality of what's truly important floats to the surface.

Plan B may be better than Plan A but we wouldn't know that until we walk through. Don't push against it! Open your heart and mind to the possibility that whatever is waiting for you on the other side of this hard time is creating depth and breadth for you to grow deeper than you ever knew was possible.

The Process

Rule number 3: You have a choice in how you're going to respond to rule number 1. Fall apart and let your brain process the news....yes! Pick yourself up off the floor and get on with the day to day of living while processing the new normal.....yes! Gather all the information to make an informed decision on Plan B, C, D and whatever needs to come next....yes! Integrate your new normal into every day life with purpose, meaning and passion.....yes!

Adulting is hard.

It's a P R O C E S S. These steps don't come at once and when we rush it--disaster strikes. Go at your own pace and know that they are not linear. One minute you may feel fine and the next you're back to the age old question: Why is this happening to me? All of it is OK. Stop being so hard on yourself. Do the best you can in this very moment. Sometimes we can only go from minute to minute. That's OK too.

If you've got it hard this holiday season, know that I'm in your corner, cheering you on! It's going to get better and you will find the meaning if you're looking for it. Your'e smart and capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for!

Now go make memories with people who love you and cherish those you love most.

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