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When Things Fall Apart

As many as you know, many years ago now, I went through a few years of falling apart. I experienced profound loss. It was intensely difficult and I hardly recognized myself.

 

At the same time, even in my darkest hour, I knew in my gut that I would somehow get through it.

 

After decades of committed inner-growth, spiritual work and therapy, it was so hard to feel like pieces of myself were scattered all over the place. The person I knew myself to be before the losses just felt totally out of reach.

I questioned everything and worried I would never find the answers. But, looking back now, I know it served an important purpose in my life. I had to completely break down into my emotional fragility to break through completely.

 

And I did, but it took four years.

 

I’m sharing this because if you’ve experienced great loss, if you feel like your life is falling apart, if you’re in a crazy transition that feels scary, even terrifying—I need  to tell you—no, PROMISE you—you can and will get through this.

 

Now you may be thinking to yourself, “this girl thinks she’s above it all now.” And I have to say, “HELL YEAH I AM!”

 

I am just  so thrilled, so elated, so AMAZED by my new life and yet, even if it may be hard for you to believe this right now, I’ve been exactly where you are. I know that  you have great beauty and joy in store for you on the other side of whatever it is you might be struggling with right now.

 

(Cue: This is when I give you a big hug, look you lovingly in the eye, offer a gentle smile and say, it’s all going to be okay. Truly.)

 

But, in order to overcome, I believe wholeheartedly that you have to TOTALLY fall apart. Not only is it necessary, but it will bring you much greater reward.

 

Here’s my advice for your greatest success in overcoming loss and grief based on my own experience:

 

1.) BE A MESS.  Don’t try to be spiritual, look for the bright side, avoid your struggle, or judge it as wrong or bad. Be a total, committed mess. Tell all your friends and yourself, This is what I am right now. I’m a mess.

 

2.) BE HUMAN. Don’t put unfair expectations of yourself to have it all figured out, to fix yourself, your relationships, or the person who is no longer interested in your help. Give it up. Let everything be uncomfortable. Be alive in that adversity.

 

3.) CREATE. Journal, write, paint, dance, discover your own life passions, focus on anything that ignites you and gives you purpose, drive, and life. This is what will get you through and this is what will carry you to the next level.

 

4.) FOCUS ON YOUR VISION: What do you want your life to look like? Write down where you want to be in five years. Imagine your life exactly how you want it.

 

There’s a lot of power in this. I held out for five years with a vision that I would meet my life partner, have a family, and create a life of happiness and bliss, and it came true. I was miserable. Depressed. But I trusted my vision would eventually come to me and it did—and it was even more wildly amazing than I thought it ever would be.

 

5.) MAKE DECISIONS. Don’t underestimate the power of making decisions and how they can transform your life. When we make a decision we follow it by taking massive action. This saves a lot of time that could be  lost in confusion, fear, self-pity, and trepidation. Don’t sit with the uncertainty too long. Take your life back, take a risk, jump, and do something radical.

 

Key: Don’t do this for at least a year after a loss. Let yourself grieve. But decide when is the right time and then do it. Whatever it is—leave the relationship, move, take the new job, start up your own business—dive into a new passionate direction. You can always change course but the ultimate way to claim your life is by taking massive action. This action will cause even more incredible new experiences. Follow them and believe.

 

Wishing you a life full of purpose and happiness!

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Lynn Newman