Why falling apart is good for you

Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on March 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Failure is an opportunity.
If you blame someone else,
there is no end to the blame. -Lao-tzu

Things are always falling apart – that’s one of the truisms you have to learn to accept about life. No matter how hard you work at it and how many preventive measures you take, sooner or later, everything – the best laid plans, the best intentions, the best inspiration, the best-lived life, the best mission – comes to an end. That’s just how it is and the earlier in life you get used to this idea, the better off you will be.

When you learn to take life lightly with all its ups and downs and uncertainties, you will no longer waste time and energy getting upset and trying to find someone to blame for the failures that occur on this tricky path. You will move through them with relative ease and get on to the next big idea or plan.

But while you are in the middle of the brokenness, feeling the pain and struggling to put the pieces back together, it is possible, I have learned, to be grateful for the falling apart. There are many benefits that can only be acquired at the end of the rope or the bottom of the barrel or when you’re up a certain creek without a paddle. Here is my list of silver linings that I found inside a black cloud:  

  • Falling apart forces you to try new things or to do old things in a new way. When you are unable to complete your plans as you expected, you have to get creative in order to solve the problem you are facing. This gives you an opportunity to get out of an old rut and find new and better paths to follow.

  • You have to reevaluate your priorities and renew your commitments. In the midst of a crisis you must focus in on what is most important to you because there is no time to waste. This process helps you clarify your values and goals as you take your next steps to solve your current situation.

  • Crashing and burning allows you an opportunity to throw out old behaviors that don’t really serve you well any more. You can let those old habits “burn up” along with everything else that has been torched. 

  • Reaching the pit of despair gives you a new appreciation for wholeness. When you emerge from this difficult situation you will no longer take for granted the blessing of good health or steady employment or solid relationships. 

  • You discover hidden or seldom-used coping skills when you are between a rock and a hard place. Whatever gets you through this tough time to the other side might be exactly the skill you are going to need in the future to succeed at a new project.

So when that inevitable time in your life arrives and you must face the fires of destruction, take a deep breath and hold on. There are hidden rewards inside every tragedy and previously unseen opportunities at the end of every detour. Keep an open mind and move forward to the best of your ability. Slowly and gradually you will begin to see how this situation will unfold in its own manifestation of perfection. Don’t forget that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.

Categories: Suffering, Spiritual Practice, Transformation

Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

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