Sometimes life just sucks.
I don’t care who you are, what you have done to shield yourself from pain and loss; sometimes, no matter how awesome you are- Life is gonna suck.
It’s gonna throw you a curve ball, for a loop or bare it’s nasty yellow teeth at you to see what you are gonna do about it. How you live your life before the challenge will likely determine how you manage the unwanted.
If you live in a bubble, never allowing yourself room to stretch, grow and fall flat on your face, chances are you will have a tougher time managing the unmanageable. If you have opened up to the idea that bad things happen to good people with the same frequency that good things happen to bad people, you might come out the others side a little less bitter and more emotionally intact.
Here are some things to consider about life and some life hacks to better prepare you for the inevitable suck fest….
- First world problems aren’t that big of a life suck- Chances are, what you think is a life suck is nothing comparatively to most of the world as a whole. Even if you lost your job, your home, your spouse or your reputation, you remain miles ahead of most of the world who lives in extreme poverty, with untreated preventable disease and literally nothing to their names. Take a deep breath and use social media to explore the wold vs. venting about the inconveniences of your first world life-sucks.
- Things seem worse than they ever are- Most of the time, we exaggerate the experiences we are having when life sucks. We overemphasize the pain and under report the blessings within it. As a coach who deals with a spectrum of issues, I have seen people face extreme loss with dignity and grit and people face minimal loss with tantruming. Sometimes our biggest set backs offer us the opportunity to grow the most. Being unable to control what is happening in our lives strips away the silly illusion that we orchestrate our outcomes. We certainly can affect them or influence them, but the only thing we can control is how we live with our situations.
- Bad things happen to good people- I said this above and it bears repeating. The feeling that you didn’t deserve what is happening is a common springboard for depression. Everyone wants to know why things happen. Sometimes there is no why. There is zero explanation in the moment because you haven’t searched for any meaning. It is as if we expect crappy things to happen to people who deserve it. Well, what constitutes deserving to be raped, having a family member murdered, losing your home, a baby or your spouse? What horrible things must you have done to be visited by the karma bus in any way? This isn’t eye-for-an-eye… This is much bigger and when the bad comes, it comes with two grand invitations to lose it or become SUCKcessful.
- Time brings healing, perspective and choices- In the moment, you will be many things: petrified, angry, sad, isolated and more. I’m not going to sugar coat anything and tell you there is a magic pill that makes it better. Time makes it better. Time gives you the space you need to grieve. Time gives you the ability to get used to what has happened. Time gives you the opportunity to grow or atrophy. Give yourself time. Give yourself the opportunity to ride things out for a bit and see what happens.
- Crisis will make you a better person- Before I suffered my biggest crisis, I was a judgmental beotch. My frame of reference was so narrow and self-centered that I had no clue what true grace and compassion were. Sure, I felt sorry for people who had been abused like me, divorced like me or treated in ways I personally resonated with but aside from that, I had all sorts of opinions about others and the situations they were in and none of those thoughts took into consideration what I know now. Crisis made me a better person. It stripped away my arrogance and exposed my inner a-hole by showing me the nature of others and how much it hurt to receive their rejections. One of the things I am most proud of taking out of my experience is my true sense of compassion and genuine curiosity about the plights that others face.
- Crisis will up your game and improve your quality of life- When you manage crisis and allow it to do a big work in you, your whole life improves. Yes, you faced loss and pain but after the dust settles opportunities come. Opportunities to pay it forward, be a leader and help someone else. The moment you are out of your own head; the moment you are of value to others, you are able to help someone else manage their crisis too. The more you use what you have been through to ease the suffering of someone else, the more at peace you become with all that has happened.
You can make yourself SUCKcessful in the face of crisis. You are not doomed to a life of lack and loss. You have choices in your moments of shame, pain or discomfort.