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Monday, September 25, 2017

When the Excrement Hits the Fan--Use Those Negative Experiences

One of the reliable facts of life is that stuff happens. Bad stuff. Negative stuff. No matter how smart you are, or how capable you are, things will occur over which we have no control. This has seemed especially true lately, where we’re been ravaged by hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, crime, civil unrest, threat of war, and political divisiveness, to name just a few.
Even if those events haven’t touched you personally, most of us have smaller negative things happen more often than we’d like. Whether negative things happen to you daily, monthly, yearly, or only occasionally, each of us will at some point be challenged to handle some sort of negative experience.

Whether that experience is big, small, or life-changing, we must each be able to figure out how to handle it when it comes. Because it will come. At some point, you or someone you love will get sick. You’ll suffer damage to your house or your car or your prized possession. Someone you care about will die. 

I don’t remind you of this to bring you down. Having negative things happen now and then is a universal given. The challenge is what you do about it. 

Obviously, big negative things like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, or war do damage that is especially hard to handle. The challenge is so BIG that it overwhelms those in the middle of it. Something like that requires a huge influx of resources. If it is happening to you, reach out. Ask for help. In these situations, survival becomes the key. Rebuilding comes later. If it isn’t happening to you and you have the capability, reach out to help. Give of your time, your money, supplies. If you can’t go to help personally, help spread the word about what is needed.

Certainly, the big stuff gets our attention. But how many people struggle along privately, dealing with negative circumstances in their own lives? If that is you, I hope you’ll reach out. To friends, to professionals who can help with your situation, to your community.
When we’re dealing with that excrement that hits the fan, I think the key is in finding a way to deal with it. There are a lot of possibilities. 

  • Step away from the fan. Get out of range of people and situations that bring you negative experiences. Step away from their drama. You don’t need it, and it doesn’t serve you well.
  • Use those negative experiences to turn yourself into a warrior. When someone puts you down, or tells you that you can’t, decide to prove them wrong. Do it in spite of what others think. Get their opinions out of your head. What someone else believes is true says more about them than it does about you.
  • Trust yourself and your intuition. Although things may seem hopeless or grim, they won’t always be that way. Especially if you decide that you’re going to turn things around.
  • Reach out for support from others. One of the toughest things about dealing with negative situations is doing it alone. Don’t have anyone you can turn to? Call your United Way. They’ll know of local resources that can help you. Reach out to people who have helped you in the past. Although you may find support on social media, be cautious about who you bare your soul to. Not everybody out there wants to be supportive. Cull out the ones who aren’t by blocking them. You don’t need more negativity.
  • Believe that this situation will pass. Know that it won’t last forever. Look for small signs that things are getting better. Ask yourself, “What’s the first small sign I’ll notice that will tell me things are getting better?” Listen to the answer that rises up from your subconscious. Watch for it.
  • Give up the idea or belief that you deserve bad things. Most likely, it isn’t true. If you aren’t sure, talk with someone who knows. If you’ve done some bad things in your life, look for ways to make amends. You may not be able to undo what you’ve done in the past, but you can certainly make sure that the present and future are different. 
  • Speak kindly to others. Even though you’re going through a difficult time, it doesn’t mean you have to take it out on others. Give them a hand when you can.

We all have negative things happen to us at some time or another. What speaks to our character is how we handle them. If this is an issue for you or has been an issue in the past, put a plan in place to handle it differently the next time something happens.

If you want some help with moving beyond negative experiences from the past or present so that they don’t ruin your future, feel free to reach out to me. Email me at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com or call me at 865-983-7544. I’ll be happy to talk with you to help you plan your strategy for moving on. I’ve got some tools that help people move away from negative experiences quickly, or I can help you plan your own strategy.

I believe in reaching out to others. I want people to create their own happily ever after and to know what to do if negative events threaten it. I believe that we’re here to help each other, to live with meaning and authenticity. One of the key elements in living your life’s purpose is to overcome the obstacles that life sometimes throws in your way. Step by step. Become a warrior for your own life. You can do it; I know you can.

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