”The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to take the turn” - Unknown
Bad things will happen in life:
Often, we have no control over the things that happen in life. You talked to your mother yesterday and today, she’s gone. After a long illness, you lost your husband. You thought that you were prepared; but, the sense of loss is greater than you ever imagined. Often these events are so painful that we don’t know how we are going to go on.
Well, what is in our control is how we respond to the event and the pain. What we do next will determine the quality of our lives “after”.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE EVENT AND THE PAIN:
It‘s not healthy for us to walk around and pretend that nothing happened. We must acknowledge what happened and the pain that it’s causing. This doesn’t mean to wallow in the sadness and depression; but, it means that you should deal with the pain. Journal about what happened and your feelings. For example, “since her death, I miss talking to my mother on the phone.” Or “I it is hard for me to imagine my life without my husband.” It is very important that you deal with and let out some of you pain, because it will stay with you until you do. The pain will not magically go away when you work through it; but, it will decrease to the point where you can function. Also, often the pain is what is going to give you the strength to take the next step.
START YOUR JOURNEY
Forever your life will be divided into two sections-your life before the “event” and your life after. Often when you think back on things you will relate them to the loss, or the illness. This was before I lost my mother, or that was after I lost my husband. But you must realize that this event was not the end of your story-there is life “after”. It may have been the end of a chapter; but, now it is time to start a new one. Each day that you wake up is a new opportunity to write more in your book of life.
So what’s going to be the theme of this new chapter? Is it going to be sad and depressed? Or is it going to be an exciting adventure that has a happy ending despite the trials and tribulations of the previous chapter? IT’S YOUR CHOICE!!! You have the power to decide and determine how the rest of your life will play out. YOU DETERMINE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR JOURNEY. Now this doesn’t mean that other bad stuff won’t happen or that your road is going to be easy; but, you will be better able to cope with whatever happens and not let it derail your life.
LOOK AT THE POSSIBILITIES
Often new possibilities are available in these situations. There’s a saying that “when a door closes a window opens”. You need to find the open windows in your life. Tyler Perry stated that he took his first breath after his mother took her last. While she was alive he wouldn’t talk about being sexually molested as a child because he didn’t want to hurt her. But after her death he was able to discuss and deal with how this traumatic event affected his life. This is a very extreme example; but, if you think about it there are some possibilities that are now available to you “after” that were not possible before. Please take the time now to really think about what new opportunities are available to you-no guilt-just possibilities.
These are three steps to help you with life “after”. Remember, your perspective and the choices you make will make the biggest difference in the next chapter of your life. You can choose to suffer, be sad and depressed, or you can choose to acknowledge the pain, start your journey and look at the possibilities. The choice is yours.