“I never saw it coming. Maybe I was blind or working too hard to see what was going on in front of me. How could she have been having an affair for two years? And work, too? One minute you’re the top earner at the firm, and the next day they’re escorting you out the door. Maybe they knew I secretly hated it? I have nothing to show for 16 years of my life. What do I do now?” says my client.
“That’s exactly why I do this work,” I think to myself.
It wasn’t long ago that I lost my full-time job when the magazine I worked for closed overnight. A few weeks later, I lost the man who I thought I was marrying to another woman. Since we lived together, I ended up losing my home as well. I was left barely standing with $98 in my bank account. That was the worst time of my life, but yet it was also the best experience I ever had.
“How do you pick up the pieces?” my client asks.
You pick up the pieces and put them back together the best way you know how and keep going.
We want to cry because the pieces are on the ground, but in actuality, it’s a great opportunity to put the pieces back together in a completely new configuration—one that is better suited for you. We tend to get drawn into the drama of the pieces falling apart—“She left me, I lost my job, I’m not good enough, I’m not rich enough”—but we fail to realize that the pieces falling apart is a not punishment; it’s the ultimate opportunity.
You’re not being punished when your life falls apart. You are being rewarded.
If your life was perfect, it wouldn’t have fallen apart. Since certain aspects of your life have fallen apart, it’s important to realize that that foundation you’ve created for yourself can no longer support you. You’ve outgrown it. You need to create a stronger infrastructure, one that can support you and help you grow. So, your old, unsatisfactory foundation collapsing is the best thing that could have happened, because it affords you the unique opportunity to pick up the pieces and put them together into a new structure that better suits you.
“What if I don’t know what I want to do next?” my client asks.
“You don’t need to have all the answers. In fact, it’s preferable that you don’t have any, because then you don’t have any resistance,” I answer.
You don’t have to know what you’re doing before you move. You just have to move.
You don’t have to have all the answers. You just need to take one step. One step in any direction will open doors for you. It’s all about momentum. You can’t just wait for life to happen for you. You have to direct your energy into whatever it is you seek. Don’t worry about whether it’s the “right move” or not. Once you’re in motion, the universe can catch you and guide you to the path that’s awaiting you. But if you’re sitting it out on the bench, the universe cannot intervene in your free will and pull you up off that bench. You have to say, “I want to get up off this bench and change my life. I deserve better.” You do that by standing up and taking one step in any direction to start the momentum of change in your life. Once you are in your flow, you’ll be led to the people and situations that are naturally aligned with you.
The only mistake you can make is trying to avoid making a mistake.
In life, there are no mistakes. There are only different experiences. It doesn’t matter what you do to move forward, it only matters that you move forward in any direction. It’s the movement itself that will propel you forward—not the direction. But sometimes we procrastinate moving forward because we aren’t sure which direction to move in. And since we don’t want to make a mistake, we tend to not move anywhere. That’s the mistake.
“How do you know what you want to do next?” my client asks.
Cast some stones and see which ones float.
When you throw a stone into a lake, it usually sinks, but not every one of them will sink. Some stones that you cast will float, and those are the ones you want to go after. But you won’t know which stones float unless you cast all your them. When you’re talking about the next step in your career, the stones are all the possibilities. What are you interested in? What do you really want to do? What are your safe options and what are your reach options? Cast all of them. Throw all of them out there and see which ones float. By casting all your stones, you’re asking the universe to help you make this decision. The options will become clear for you.
It’s been two years since my client went through his breakdown. Throughout this process, he’s been completely transformed. He is currently a tech-entrepreneur heading up operations for an amazing new app that he founded. He has never been happier and has since attracted a beautiful and very successful partner who is his equal in every way.
He says, “I didn’t realize that my life wasn’t all I thought it was. I thought I had it all and didn’t realize that none of it was really me. I guess I had to lose everything to find myself.”
I smile to myself and respond, “Funny, how that happens.”
Here are three tips to help you pick up the pieces:
- Recognize that if it fell apart, it couldn’t hold you anymore. The last thing you want to do is rely on a faulty foundation that can’t support you. Whether that foundation was a person or a job, know that it fell apart because it could no longer be there for you. It was an acid test for you to show you that what you thought was right for you, wasn’t. Now, you can start to look for what’s right for you.
- Practice baby steps to happiness. You do not have to have all the answers. You just have to take one step in any direction. It’s the movement that the universe acknowledges, not the actual direction. Show the universe you are ready for change, and it will bring you the change you are ready for.
- Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Remember that in life, there are no mistakes; there are only different experiences. So, go on and live your life. Put it all out there—the good, the bad and the ugly. Just put it out there and let the universe bring you to the best option. Don’t fear making the mess. Make your life as messy as you can. At least you know you’ve lived it.
Based in New York City, Donnalynn is the Author of “Life Lessons, Everything You Ever Wished You Had Learned in Kindergarten.” She is also a Certified Intuitive Life Coach, Inspirational Blogger (etherealwellness.wordpress.com), Writer and Speaker. Her work has been featured in Glamour, the iHeart Radio Network and Princeton Television. Her website is ethereal-wellness.com. You can follower her on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.