Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Disaster or Opportunity

Recently, when I learned of Al and Tipper Gore's separation I was glad to read that it's agreeable to both parties. But it brought to mind the perception we sometimes have of major disruptions and painful changes in our life. Our emotional response is usually one of helpless confusion, fear and dread. It may even seem as if our life is over--we have no worthwhile future. But, given time, these experiences can become catalysts for a wonderful, new episode on our journey.

I know someone who had been married for 26 years when her husband suddenly decided to divorce her. Her familiar world crumbled, and there was nothing she could do. For months, she suffered all kinds of emotional pain until she finally decided to get up and search for her own way. She went back to school and now works with children in the medical field. She's also happy with a new man in her life. She discovered talents she didn't know she had, she found joy in her own efforts, and she found a more fulfilling life she would have missed had it not been for the divorce.

When a catastrophe knocks us off our feet, we have two choices. We can either choose to live or to die. This doesn't necessarily mean existence versus non-existence. It can mean the difference between emotionally dying inside or finding a new way to live a more purposeful and meaningful life. Yes, we may have to go through a time experiencing the pain, but there always comes a time for choice.

Each of us has the potential to be more than we are now, and those traumatic invasions of our status quo are opportunities to express more of what we can become. Status quo can be comfortable, but when we get thrown into deep water, it's better to swim than to drown. And when we swim to shore, we may find treasures we didn't know existed.

I wish you positive choices in life's unexpected storms.

Marilyn

3 comments:

  1. It's the getting back up that is so hard to do, isn't it?
    Everything looks different from that perspective. Like everything else it is the first step that is often the hardest.

    I used to liken my depression/recovery to climbing a mountain. At the bottom, looking up I never thought I'd plant my flag on the top. I kept plodding along, made many backwards tumbles but eventually got to where I wanted to be. I hadn't thought about that in a long time.
    Thanks for the reminder!

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