No seriously, how do you survive a personal crisis?
Life is funny. Isn’t it? Maybe not funny ha-ha. Maybe more like funny-weird. Or funny-morbid. Here I am at the grand culmination of the inaugural Bloblessness Project – a year-long commitment to introspection, goal setting, and self-improvement – yet my life is completely, totally, 180-degrees upside-down. I’ve heard that life is what happens when you’re busy making plans, and I have to say that phrase chafes my very being. It’s more like: “Life is the punch in the gut you get when you’re busy reaching for the stars.” Ok, that’s a little heavy-handed, I’ll admit. But really, why do bad things happen to good people?
Why Bad Things Happen to Good People
They don’t. Bad things don’t happen, and there are no good people. Things are things, and people are people. I’m becoming convinced more every day that things happen to people. (Profound.)
to me in my life was not a bad thing. I can’t decide if typing that makes me enlightened or delusional. I also can’t decide if enlightened IS delusional, but that’s the topic of my wouldn’t-be doctoral psychology thesis, not this post. I read something cheesy on Pinterest’s Prints and Posters (oh come on, you read it, too.) that said bad things are just miracles that couldn’t get to you in any other way. It grosses me out, too, to turn every cloud into a rainbow. But what I can get out of sappy Pintrisms is that as between good, bad, and indifferent, the worst is indifferent. It is not that a bad thing has happened, and it is not that a bad thing that happened is really a good thing. It is that a thing happened, and that is good.
Which brings me to “good people.” There’s just no such thing. And I’m not saying that in a misanthropic un-savable from the bottom of the well in the Ring drinking whiskey with Hemingway kind of depressed way. I’m just saying there is no such thing as a categorically good person. Something that is categorically good is not human; it’s coffee. Or beer. Or a loaded french fry. Not people.
So, how do you survive when a thing happens to a person?
Stop. Drop. Roll. (Knows my profundity no end?) From the depths of my wallowing and floundering confusion I’ve distilled my approach going forward to these three familiar steps. Today I’m thinking about stopping. I’ll drop, then roll, later.
Part 1: Stop.
- Stop asking, “Why me?” It’s like asking “Why Everest?” Because it’s there.
- Stop obsessing. Evaluate, of course. Re-evaluate, probably prudent. Re-re-re-re-re-to-the-Nth-degreevaluate? Skip it. Life is too short . . . AND too long.
- Stop putting off doing things you think are going to hurt. They are going to hurt. But not doing them is going to hurt more. Don’t atrophy. Ever.
- Stop wondering how this is all going to play out in the end. This is not going to play out as something from without affecting you within. You are the player, so how it plays out is entirely up to you. Not much left to wonder about what’s going to happen; wonder instead about what you want to make happen. Also, what is the end? There is no end. At least no end that you will be around to appreciate.
- Stop making lists about the things you don’t want. The law of attraction is as powerful a force as the universe can exercise, and it is true that the mind can hold exactly one thought at any given instant. Make it a positive one.