Something BETTER is on its way.
My husband and I had a lifelong dream: to buy land and build our family home. We pictured our entire clan — kids, grandkids, in-laws — gathered around the huge dining room table with a massive turkey rising at the center.
Finally, last year, we did it; we bought the land! Mostly hillside, but still enough for our dream home.
We hired a team of people to assist us in bringing our dream project to life — architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors.
We got approval from the city’s building department and were told that there was only one small formality left: To finalize our blueprints, we needed to appear in front of the city council with our entire team and present our case. (I don’t know if you’ve ever attended a city council meeting, but after enduring this one, I decided to never, ever do it again.)
First, we had to sit for three hours and listen to dozens of citizens angrily attacking one of the council members, accusing him of stealing money, even though there was no concrete evidence and the city attorney had pretty strong arguments against the accusations. Then, when we finally got to speak. Our project got crushed for a variety of outrageous reasons and we were denied moving our building site to a flat area, which made our entire lot basically un-buildable. All despite the mayor’s full support, but even he was outvoted by his own council.
The whole thing was loud and messy.
After it was all over, my husband and I walked out of there like two ghosts who’d just disembarked from a time machine journey back to our native Soviet Russia.
We were denied the right to pursue our goals and dreams without reason or common sense.
It reminded me of when I was 18-years old and applied to medical school, something I’d dreamed of and worked hard for all through my teens. That dream was crushed by the bureaucratic medical committee because I was Jewish and they didn’t want to educate people like me. “What’s the point?” they told me. “You’ll only leave Mother Russia for capitalistic America anyway.”
Strangely enough, as I recall this experience, I realize that I’ve never really been a victim of life’s harsh circumstances. Rather, I’ve always been guided by Life (in moments when I thought my dreams were gone) toward something better — way better — for me; something I truly want and deserve.
Two months after failing to get into med school, I met my future husband. And two years after that, we took a leap of faith and escaped to America with our young son, in search of a better life.
And it is definitely better; we made sure of that.
Just a few days after the city’s denial, one of my sons started having trouble at school, and I decided to pull him out and put him in a scholastic system called Waldorf that’s unorthodox and holistic (a better fit for his intense, artistic personality). And yet, this new school was too far from the land we’d bought years ago, where we were going to build our dream home. It’s as if Life knew that we couldn’t stay in that location and needed to move closer to my son’s new school.
Six months later, we sold the hillside land and purchased an amazing new property in a supreme location that’s close to family, work ... and our son's school.
And so, even though I hate when things don’t go as planned, looking back — I’m so glad things DIDN'T (at first) go my way.
So, thank you medical committee with your corroded vodka faces, and thank you lifeless political figures of the city council for denying me mediocrity and pointing me toward something grand.
Today, as a medical hypnotherapist, I understand the importance of not getting stuck in a victim mentality when things don’t go as planned.
Because, if we feel sorry for ourselves and blame others for a prolonged period of time, we create a lifestyle out of it, stalling our progress forward.
When unexpected events take us down, what we decide about life and about who we are in that moment affects our future experiences — that’s how powerful our minds are. So, why not tell ourselves stories that lead us out of a breakdown and into a juicy breakthrough?
Here are some of my mindset-shifting mantras when things don't go my way:
- The fact that it didn’t happen means it was not meant to happen.
- Something better is obviously on the way.
- Things will unfold in perfect timing, when I am ready and comfortable about receiving what I want.
- I deserve to have what I want, and I have faith that life is on my side.
- I am super excited about what life has in store for me and I'm looking toward a bright, happy future.
Feel free to create your own positive stories or affirmations, then lose yourself in your desired outcome: daydream, fantasize about it; draw pictures of it; journal about it—get all your emotional juices flowing.
Turn away from the unfortunate past and make your soon-to-come future powerful, vivid and alive.
Do this first in your imagination, and watch greater happiness gradually materialize in your reality.
Katherine Agranovich, Ph.D., is a Holistic Consultant , and the Author of Tales of My Large, loud, Spiritual family -- How to Find Peace, Purpose and Healing in the Chaos of Daily Life.