What to do when things fall apart

Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on March 26, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Life is tough, there’s no question about that. Sooner or later nearly everyone finds a time when nothing seems to make sense any more, life is going nowhere and there’s no clear path to follow. Maybe you hate your job or the relationship you’re in or you are just tired of it all, but you don’t know what to do.

These dark times in life are actually opportunities – fertile ground for growth and change. But you need to have a game plan in order to make the most of the situation. If you spend too much time feeling hopeless and trapped you might end up getting sick or having an accident. When you refuse to change, life has its own way of forcing you to grow.

Here is a simple little plan of attack for those times when you feel stuck and need to get moving. Focus your attention on these things to help get yourself back in a more creative mode and figure out what changes you need to make:  

  1. Get a journal and start writing in it every day if possible. You need to get your thoughts organized and have a place to ventilate your emotions.  
  2. Spend some time in quiet meditation and contemplation every day about what's going on in your life so you can begin to make sense of things.  
  3. Give up your anger at other people and especially at yourself. Anger is just a waste of energy and time and you can't afford to squander either one. Recognize that anger is a state of mind that can be changed instantly. As soon as you become aware of it, choose to let it go.  
  4. Accept that life doesn't follow your plans - it has its own path and timing and is a mystery much of the time. Give up trying to control your situation to make it turn out the way you want.  
  5. Be grateful for everything. Your life could be so much worse than it is right now. Look for the good things in all aspects of your life and spend a little time every day reminding yourself of them. If you can't see anything good in your life then you need to go visit a homeless shelter or a long-term care facility and spend some time with people who have nothing - not even their health.  
  6. Live all aspects of your life with integrity. Take a look at how you spend your free time and decide if your activities reflect the highest part of yourself. Be honest about it and make changes if necessary. 
  7. Live within your means. If you have to give up something now remember that it is only temporary - when your situation changes you may be able to expand your lifestyle again. This is hard but it is important to demonstrate that you can be responsible for the resources you have and live with discipline.

Remember the old saying “This too shall pass,” meaning that everything, both bad and good, eventually comes to an end. Someday this difficult time will become just a memory. Hopefully you will have made the most of this opportunity and learned some valuable lessons from it that will help you in the future. That’s how we grow: one failure and one recovery at a time.

Categories: Suffering, Transformation, Spirituality

Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

This website is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your personal healthcare provider before using any treatment for a health problem.