While change and transitions are inevitable, their timing is rarely “spot on.” Besides attributing them to “that’s life,” there are often 2 other reasons why that might be the case.
1 - We are truly blindsided. Crises happen: there is a sudden illness, accident, or unexpected death. It’s not a morbid way to think - it’s just pragmatic and realistic. However, there is another possible reason we may be caught unawares, too.
2 - We may have become complacent. Or ignorant. Or stubborn. We failed to “read the room,” to see what’s going on and how we should, or at least could, be responding to a situation or activity.
But no matter why we didn’t see something coming, once it’s here, we do have a choice about how to deal with it!
This is a 3-step process that I’ve developed for myself that may be helpful to you, too.
1 - Accept how you’re feeling right now. This isn’t as simple as you may think, either! We aren’t generally taught or accustomed to identifying and embracing our feelings. Thankfully, thought leaders like Brené Brown, Kenny Weiss, Mel Robbins, and others are becoming very vocal about this and offer lots of teaching, books, and videos, to help us grow and develop our emotional intelligence.
2 - Don’t look too far behind…or too far ahead… practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of the present.
3 - Listen to your self-talk, and adjust accordingly. Perhaps talk to yourself out loud, so you can actually hear the messages you’re telling yourself. Or start journaling. Or enlist the services of a counselor, coach, or - at the very least - an accountability partner, who will listen non-judgementally as you walk through your feelings and emotions and figure out how to move forward.
The most important thing is that you don’t judge yourself for how you are handling, or not handling, the situation. There is absolutely no good that comes out of harsh self-judgment - ask me how I know. Once you have come to terms with your emotions and are able to settle down and look at your “new reality” somewhat rationally, you’ll be able to think through your options (and you always have options!) and work out whatever you need to do to keep moving forward. Everyone does this in a different way and at a different pace, tho, so give yourself the grace and compassion you’d be willing to extend to someone else you love…
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