How to Cope When Life Changes Instantly

life | life changes instantly | positive thinking | silver lining | coping

One of the major lessons I learned at a very young age is that life changes instantly. It literally takes a split second for your entire world to spin ‘round and flip upside down—before you can even blink an eye, nothing will ever be the same again.

When I was 7-years old I lost my mother in a car accident. When you’re a kid, you don’t expect that life changes instantly, but it does. I didn’t quite understand where she went, or the extend in which it would affect me, but it changed my life in more ways than I could have ever fathomed at that point in my development. Yes, I still had my father and my sisters, but the childhood that I had—the childhood that I knew—didn’t exist anymore.

Over the years I struggled with how unfair life was. How could this happen? How is it that life changes instantly? It used to kill me to think of what life could have been like if she was still alive. It would hurt to even remember moments I had with her.

Overtime, however, the anger dwindled. Even though I didn’t understand why my mother was taken from me for so many years, I realized that it was better to embrace her memory. To remember the things she taught me. To remember her laugh. To remember the sparkle in her eyes. I tried to remember the person she would want me to become. I tried to remember that she would want me to be happy…

While visiting with family a few weeks ago, we decided to look at old photos. I opened the first album, and there was her face. She had a smile on in every single picture. She held us tight in every photo. She was living her best life. She embraced every single moment, even though she had no idea her life would end sooner than it should have.

Along with several other incidents that have happened over the last few months, seeing my mom smile in those pictures reminded me that every single moment we are alive and breathing is precious. I have learned that it is possible to find something good in every situation. I have learned that sometimes it’s those awful things that happen that teach us the most about ourselves, as well as how we choose to view the world.

After devastating, catastrophic events, one has the choice to perceive life as a taker rather than a giver, but is that what life is actually about? We are what we make of things—we are how we choose to face adversity—we are who decides which perspective to take. The choice is between light and darkness—which will you choose?

Despite of the setbacks and barriers, smile, be grateful, and don’t take anything for granted. Our lives are delicate, and extremely valuable. The slightest thing can create chaos. Regardless of the situation, remember that things could be worse.

Here’s how to cope when life changes instantly:

Breathe 

Stop. Breathe. Take a second to think about what’s happening.

Wait

Don’t make any decisions until you are calm and have had adequate time to process the situation.

Count on others

Turn to people in your life that you love and trust. You don’t have to go through whatever is happening alone—lean on others and accept their help.

Feel what you need to feel

It’s okay to be angry and feel the million other emotions rushing through your body and mind, but don’t let it take over. Anger and other feelings can sometimes consume us, so be cautious…

Focus on the positive 

No matter how bad things can possibly get, there is still good to be found. Look for the silver lining. Try to focus on the positive aspects, even if it seems impossible…

Forgive 

When things go sour it’s usually because something bad has happened. Whether because of something done independently, or something done by another person, choose to forgive. Forgive so that you can move on. Forgive so that you no longer hold on to negative feelings. Let go of the hurt. Let go of resentment.

Acceptance

Eventually you’ll learn to accept, or try to accept, the new. Do your best to adjust to the changes, and remember that over time everything to be okay. Remember to breathe…

life | life changes instantly | positive thinking | silver lining | coping

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xx,

Paula

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