Life begins at your darkest dawn. Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? But ..if that statement resonates with you, please believe that with faith, family, and friends, you can – and will – climb back up to the heavenly hill you were once on.
When your career is soaring, the kids are doing well, friends are abundant for dinners and social hours, and your health is being kind to you, it feels like there’s nothing you can’t do. Cheers and drinks for everyone! Then, in an instant, something happens that turns your joy to gloom. Like the fires burning in the summer heat, ravishing hillsides and homes along the way, your happiness factor is destroyed… at least temporarily.
In those moments of tragedy can come clarity unmatched by anything else you will ever experience. Only those who have dug themselves out of the fiery ditches will know how that wretched climb actually helped them find their hidden self, discover a different life, or become a better person. If you’re experiencing the aftermath of a devastating occurrence right now, that sinking feeling can overwhelm you. But if you grab on to that one branch in the raging fire that’s still standing, rooted strongly in the earth and beckoning to pull you back up (a friend, a family member, or even a four-legged confidante), then you’re one step ahead of devilish depression.
Take note when you see news videos of people who grabbed that one branch during a ravaging flood, or climbed that wall to avoid an attacking predator, or hung onto the top of that skinny tree swaying relentless through a tsunami. They did one thing intuitively: they fought for their life. There was no time for thought – only action.
Research shows that many who overcome extreme adversity to “start over” begin with a change of thinking, a thought process so out-of-the-box that it feels terrifying and uncomfortable – but in a good way. Some say they started thinking about all the things they can do, and stopped concentrating on what they cannot do, based on the misery that fell into their laps. Others say they set aside their own despair and threw themselves into helping others who were potentially approaching the same demise, or reflected on a cause that forced them to rise up and assist someone else who was suffering.
In essence, these change-makers really didn’t start over at all. Over time, they realized they were touching on something inside them that was there all along. In the unexpected life-changing turn of events, a door was opened to forces unknown, and they discovered something wonderful was just waiting to be awakened.
Soon, a new career is found; an unexpected person becomes a soulful friend; a talent they didn’t realize they had is revealed; or an entire world of wonder is opened by a trip to a faraway land.
Once the hurt of fate subsides, you can – and will – rise to control your life again. In the still of the night, in the lonely cocoon of your car, or during a misty shower, listen to your spirit and respond. Don’t ever give up. Fight for your life.
Then, as you wonder, “How can I pull myself out of this? I’m 50… or 60… or 25… or 30…” – whatever age you are… once you accept that catastrophes have no reason or rhyme as to who gets hit and when, then you can deal with how you plan to get back to cheers and drinks for everyone.
Abella Carroll is a freelance writer