But it doesn’t really feel that way when life gets off course, does it? When things go wrong, and I mean really wrong, feelings of fear, loneliness, and terror take over. These are all consuming feelings that never seem to be satiated by the clichés people offer like:
It’ll get better… No, it won’t
Years from now you’ll look back at this and laugh… Really, laugh?
It’s not the end of the world… Yes, it actually is.
I know how you feel…You think you do, but you don’t?
It’s not as bad as you think… Oh, yes it is.
And despite our best efforts, life happens! Plans fall through, mistakes are made, and the life we thought we were going to have changes, whether we want it to or not. Whether it be a minor mishap, major mistake, or failure of epic proportions the most common, typical, and totally normal responses are to:
2. Run and hide.
3. Pray (to whoever or whatever) that when you wake up it was just a dream.
4. Mope and over indulge in your favorite vice.
5. Attempt to deal with it on your own.
5. And repeat.
Have you checked them all off your “To Do” list?
While it may not be comforting, and even perhaps a cliché; mishaps, mistakes, and failures only happen to the living. That means all of us. Granted, some of us make bigger mistakes than others, but rest assured you are not alone. There were plenty of people who came before you whose life took an unplanned turn. You are surrounded by friends and families who have earned at least an Associate’s degree, if not a Masters, in bouncing back from disappointment and failure. Screwing up is embarrassing! But nothing is more embarrassing then watching things go from bad to worse. So how do you deal with the detours?
1. Accept responsibility for you part in it, however, large or small.
2. Believe that those who love will still love you.
3. Forgive yourself.
3. Ask for help; even if you just need someone to listen.
4. Accept help that is offered. If it isn’t the help you want, tell them what you want or need. Be specific about the help you need.
5. Make new plans.
Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns; life is a series of course corrections.
The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Robert Burns, To a Mouse (Poem, November, 1785)
We can plan for the future, but the only thing we know for sure is that change is gonna come. Learning to adapt and adjust, and accept our failures is the real key to success. Don’t be fooled to believe that all those people who you think have it so good, haven’t messed up. They’ve just learned to how to get back on course when detours are presented, and make it look good.
Now it’s your turn.