Jack pulled into his driveway like every other day and nothing looked unusual – until he opened his front door and found an empty house. No furniture. No Plants. Even the cat and fish were gone.
“And that was my damn cat!’ he thought to himself.
He knew he had not been robbed, because no self respecting burglar would take the cheap pictures off the wall. He had been having problems with his wife, but this… he never saw coming.
As devastation goes, it can’t get much worse than your wife of 14 years walking out on you- or can it?
I was surprised when Jack shared what happened next in one of our weekly sessions.
“I scratched my head and reasoned… Well she did leave me the house at least!”
With that, he proceeded to target to buy an air mattress , picked up a pizza, and came home to sort out his next moves- which , incidentally, included redecorating his house, inviting all of his friends and ex- girlfriends to a divorce party, and getting back into the best shape of his life.
The situation did bend him, but he was not broken by any means. The pain and humiliation he felt was very real. Somehow he had to make sense of what happened, and move on.
We all move on after the upsets of our lives in one way or another. It’s how we move on that makes a difference. I know a woman who is still angry, 20 years after a bitter divorce. Her ex husband has long since moved on, is remarried, and living on another continent; yet she can recall the pain of losing him as if it happened yesterday. Make no mistake, she has moved on … only in circles.
Life moves forward with or without us. If we choose to move in circles, we will do it alone.
Years and years and more years of research has revealed that the most resilient people on the planet see the world and move through it in a way that we can mimic and eventually learn to embrace as a way of life. I have. And you can too!
Start by practicing, then mastering three simple steps:
1. Get Curious By Asking Questions- If you have lost some of your child-like qualities, start watching cartoons and get them back! It’s a shame what adulthood does to some people. Don’t let growing older make you old. Begin to experiment with the pain and hurt. What really happened here? How can I look at this in a new way? What positive changes can I make as a result of this? Good questions lead to solutions. Everyday find three new questions to ask yourself until you’re over it… whatever it may be.
2. Flip the Script- Refuse to be broken by anything or anyone by learning to flip the script on EVERYTHING. If you lose your job, you can choose to lament the reality for a week or quickly reframe the situation by declaring, “I’m out of work, but I still have my health. I can use my health, mind, and positive attitude to secure employment. I am committed to doing what it takes to find a new job.” Now you tell me- with an attitude like that, how long are you going to be depressed?