Life Been Turned Upside Down? 4 Things You Can Do to Turn it Around

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A few weeks ago as I walked into my house, I was trying to juggle a bunch of stuff in my arms and as I walked through the door, I stumbled and fell. Go ahead and laugh. I did. As I began to gather all of the stuff that was in my arms, I realized everything had fallen out of my work bag. And there was a lot of stuff!

Once I finished laughing at myself, I decided to sort through all the stuff I’d dropped. First I started throwing away all the junk that I’d accumulated: Gum wrappers, old receipts, and even a broken pair of sunglasses. While I was going through the junk, I came across a few treasures! I found the office key I’d been looking for, a $10 bill and the brand new eyeliner I’d forgotten about! Finally as I pulled myself off the floor, I made a promise to myself: I will stop trying to juggle that much stuff at one time!

Fast forward a few weeks as I talked to a client who’d recently had the rug pulled from underneath them in their life. I immediately thought back to my fall and realized there was a lesson in it! I shared the lesson with my client and now I want to share it with you.

Here are 4 things I want you to do if your life has been turned upside down:

1. Be still.

Don’t move right away. If you fell down, stay down. But just for a moment.

I know. This is literally the exact opposite of what we’ve been taught. We’ve been told “when you get knocked down, get right back up”. And you should get up. Eventually. But at first, I want to encourage you to be right where you are…for a moment.

The length of your ‘moment’ depends on the severity of your situation. Some of you may need to be still for 24 hours and some of you need to give yourself a month. Maybe two.

Why is this important? In order to ensure that you rebound in the healthiest manner, you need to take a moment and take stock of your situation. Our human response is to run from uncomfortable emotions, but you need to give yourself a chance to feel what you feel.

Remember when I fell I sat there for a moment and laughed at myself? It was my first reaction to my embarrassing situation! But for some of you, your situation is no laughing matter. Recently I was working with a client whose son was murdered a few short months before our session. My client was fussing herself out because she couldn’t get herself together! I gently encouraged her to give herself a moment to feel what she has to feel. As I shared with my client, and now with you, you must allow yourself to grieve the loss (or feel the pain…no matter what it is)…It’s a part of the process.

Answer this: What are three words you can use to describe how you feel (felt) after your life was turned upside down?

2. While you are down, get rid of some junk

Since we are in full spring mode, I’ve been talking a lot about Spring Cleaning our lives (and relationships. Check out this worksheet!). One of the first steps in spring cleaning is getting rid of the junk.

As you are trying to get back on track after a major life upheaval, it is important that you take time to rid yourself of anything that does not help to facilitate your healing and growth.

Do you have “Stinking Thinking” that clouds your ability to see your situation positively (“I will never get over this”; “This is just the way my life will always be”; “I should have known this would happen”)? If so…it’s time to get rid of that way of thinking!

Are you holding on to someone who you know is going to continue to hurt you?

Are you staying in a situation that is no longer beneficial to where you are trying to go?

Remember, when you are in an emergency situation you can’t be exposed to anything that will make the situation worse. Since you are down anyway, go ahead and rid yourself of any access mess!

Answer this: What do you need to get rid of immediately and who can hold you accountable to doing it!

3. Keep your eye out for old & new treasures

Many times when our life has taken an unexpected turn it is easy to get caught up in all that is wrong. But remember all things really do work together for your good! It is up to you to adjust your perspective so that you can discover hidden treasures in the midst of your situation.

About 3.5 years ago our home was flooded and we lost nearly everything we owned, including 2 cars! Yes…both of our cars were damaged beyond repair! You can imagine that I literally felt paralyzed at the thought of trying to rebuild after that type of loss.

But in the midst of that situation, as devastating as it was, I can remember so many blessings that came from it! My family and I were able to see how much we were loved as people showered us with support, as we went through the items we could salvage I found memorabilia that I’d forgotten about because it was buried in all of our clutter, and I discovered how resilient my family is as we got through that situation together.

I am not sure what your story is. I don’t know what has happened that has taken you for a loop, but if you keep your mind open to new possibilities, dreams and never before considered options, you may find that this situation was a blessing in disguise.

Answer this: What strengths have you discovered about yourself during this situation?

4. Figure out how you got here and vow never to return

Here is the last step to turning things back around after your life has been turned upside down. Take a moment to figure out how you got in this situation in the first place.

Remember when I fell walking into the garage. The problem was that I was carrying way too much junk (is that the same for you? Are you carrying too much junk?)! Because I was carrying so much stuff, I couldn’t see that there was a doll on the floor as I walked in and so I tripped! (Lesson: make sure your children put their toys up…! Another blog for another time).

Your turn! Take some time and evaluate how you ended up in this situation. And wait. Before you shift the blame to someone else (he hurt me; she did me wrong; they lied on me), take responsibility for your role in the situation.

Let’s use my real life fall again. Yes…the doll should not have been in the middle of the floor…BUT…if I wasn’t carrying so much junk I would have seen it!

Many times we have a hard time taking responsibility for our situation because it feels like we are giving the other person (people) involved a pass. But that’s not true. What is true is that we all contribute to the chaos in our own lives. And it is your responsibility to own up to your role FIRST!

And in those very rare occasions where we didn’t actively contribute to the situation we find ourselves in, even still you can do step # 4. Pay attention to the road that led you right where you are…and if you don’t like your location, commit to not traveling that road again.

Answer this: How did I contribute to this situation and what can I do to ensure that this doesn’t happen again?

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Whew! I know that was a lot! I want you to try these steps and then let me hear from you! We are on this journey together! Here is your recap:

When your life has been turned upside down:

1. Take time to just be still

2. Get rid of the junk

3. Find treasures in the midst of your situation

4. Figure out how you got here and vow never to return

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