The story from last post’s pop quiz can be custom-designed to fit any life. You can make it job-related (getting fired) or home related (getting evicted) or even health related. It’s not the situation that matters. It’s how you handle the situation.
In the first post, I wrote about how upheaval can be a catalyst for and an indicator of deep personal growth. But how do you move through the emotions and discomfort to gain some perspective? How can you genuinely answer “C” to the pop quiz?
Here are five ideas for getting through upheaval. When you incorporate these ideas into your daily existence, you won’t need upheavals as growth catalysts. Your shifts will happen more smoothly and peacefully. You will be in alignment with the present moment.
If you’re deeply mucked in upheaval – you will most likely not be able to hold onto these perspectives continuously. Just keep reminding yourself of them when you have clear moments…
Idea #1: See Yourself as Powerful
I have a mentor who would take one look at our pop-quiz situation and say, “Wow! Look at how powerful you are! Look at the shift you manifested in your life!” She would love you and be compassionate, but there’s no way she would see you as a victim. Nor would she see the ex as a perpetrator.
Some people get very triggered by this approach. They see it as cold-hearted. I see it as bold and liberating. If you were powerful enough to create the situation (even unconsciously) – then you are powerful enough to grow through it. And you are powerful enough to create something even better. Approach upheaval from the perspective that you created it – no blame, fault, guilt or shame allowed.
Idea #2: Avoid Asking “Why?”
“Why did this happen to me?” is not an empowering question. It implies that there is some overseeing force that plays you like the shoe in Monopoly. No outside entity is choreographing your life so that you can be in pain. Most likely, the “perpetrator” in this situation was doing the very best that he/she could in the moment. “Why” rarely brings answers. Maybe, in time, you can answer the question yourself. Maybe you’ll arrive at a place where you can translate the situation. But avoid “Why” when you’re freshly upheaval-ed.
Idea #3: Ask Empowering Questions
There are five questions to ask yourself when you’re experiencing upheaval.
1 – What have I been praying for?
We don’t have to be on our knees to pray. Like many, I believe that every thought we think is a prayer. Our intents are prayers.
So, then, what have you been wishing for, desiring, or intending? Sometimes you’ll find that upheaval is actually the answer to the very thing you said you wanted. Sometimes answers come in paradox.
2 – What was my role in this? (How did I bring it about? What messages have I been ignoring?)
Maybe you haven’t prayed at all. Maybe question #1 feels stupid because the upheaval you’re experiencing has nothing to do with anything you want. Maybe you are insisting that you had no role in it. Maybe it came completely out of nowhere and blind-sided you.
Remember that asking about your role in the situation is not the same thing as “finding fault” or “blaming yourself.” This question is designed to help you to find your blind spots, your unconsciousness, the ways you “check out” of situations, the ways you ignore your intuition or live on auto-pilot.
3 – How can I grow from this?
There are always ways to grow from any upheaval. Life is never static or stuck.
4 – How could I stay stuck if I let myself?
It’s good to know your temptations and your tendencies to revert to old mindsets for two reasons.
The first is so that you can simply be aware of your resistance. When this voice speaks up, you don’t have to be afraid that it’s the absolute truth. You can see it for what it is.
The second is that you can figure out ways to take care of this part of you. If you simply try to stuff this voice, then it might show up and try to manifest itself in unhealthy ways. However, if you let it have a voice, then you can recognize it when it arises. On a bad day, you can rent movies or head to the batting cages to blow off steam. Self-care is an important part of healing.
5 – If my life is speaking to me, what is it saying?
In Oprah Winfrey’s “Live Your Best Life” Journal, she says,
“There is a real pattern to the way your life is speaking to you. A whisper becomes a message. The message becomes a lesson. Unheeded, that lesson turns into a problem. And if you let it, that problem will likely become a full-blown crisis.”
So, if you’re experiencing upheaval, what is your life saying to you? Only you can answer this question, and it might take some time to find that answer.
Idea #4 – Reaffirm your intent often
Use your intent like a compass. Let it point you in your intended direction, rather than staying stuck in the muck. Keep reminding yourself of your desired outcome – whether it is clarity, happiness, peace, abundance, self-love. Remember that energy flows where attention goes. Keep your attention on your intention.
Idea #5 – Have Faith
Probably the most challenging thing about going through a life change is to have faith that there is some design, that things will move towards healing, and that good will come out of this. It’s easy to think, “Maybe I was better off in that unhealthy situation. At least I had something! Now I don’t know what I have!” This is where you learn to have faith. In the same way that you build courage by doing courageous things, you build faith by living from faith.