One question we all have to consider is how we handle life when the really bad times happen: when we get that reprimand at work that puts our job at risk, when we lose our job, when our spouse tells us they’re thinking of leaving us, or when they walk out the door.
As you likely know, life is not only about what happens to us, it’s about learning how to engage with what happens in a way that allows us to continue to move forward with our naturalness and our integrity intact.
So, what should you do when these hard moments hit?
First, don’t act impulsively when difficult situations or bad news comes your way. Give yourself time to get care and reassurance from the people that love you, to get guidance and support from people that can guide you.
Benefit from relationship as a place where you can share what happened again and again. Just telling your story changes the feel and quality of it, and of how you relate to it.
It becomes a story you can understand, and feel less overwhelmed by.
Second, create structure. Either structure how to move forward, or a structure of how to survive something hard and difficult.
Because the very act of having a structure in hand that we can detail and grow into and fall back on, creates a certain calm and confidence for us as we move forward.
Third, lean back out on those very same people and share your plan. Sharing your plan with others who might help you implement the plan, and sharing with those who might just offer support and care when you lay it out.
You see, when bad things happen, one tendency is to react in a way that is emotionally overstimulating. Having our feelings get out of hand, and then in our anxiety, trying to push things toward quick resolution.
But how many times have we spoken out of our anxiety or anger only to regret that we acted so impulsively.
The work here is to use relationship and structure to soothe.
Because, at the end of the day, it’s always best to get through this world thoughtfully, and together.