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The secret to handling those curve balls …

November 27th, 2006 · No Comments

There is a difference between change you instigate because you want something to improve or grow… and change forced upon you by outside forces.

And with all the talk lately about the power of attraction, and noticing miracles, and The Secret – one could be forgiven for thinking that if we think the right things then nothing bad should ever happen. 

Only, now and then (hopefully VERY infrequently) life does throw us a curve ball out of left field.  Indeed, it is often when we are at our very busiest, and trying to keep life and soul together (and all those juggling balls up in the air) that the curve ball arrives. 

It could be anything.  A diagnosis.  A loss.  An accident.  A separation.  An argument.  A decision. A pain. A failure.

And all of a sudden, it’s like we don’t know which way is up anymore, and therefore it is nearly impossible to keep juggling the balls in the air.

My thoughts on ten ways to handle those curve balls:

  1. Allow yourself time to adapt.  Allow time for the full impact of the news to sink in.  It wont happen in an instant, and your initial reaction may only be the tip of the iceberg.
  2. Be kind to yourself, and understand that you will have horrible I-can’t-cope days.  Accept these days as part of the process and don’t beat yourself up because of the way you feel.  And, however strong you are, depending on the strength and velocity of the curve ball, you must expect them. 
  3. Enlist support.  Don’t let your pride get in the way of asking for help.  People WANT to help, want to be there as a shoulder for you to cry on.  And your friends Do Not expect you to be strong when you cannot be.
  4. Get the full facts – you need them in order to move forward.  Don’t assume you’re being told everything.
  5. Don’t make any major life changing decisions when in the midst of the fall-out from a curve ball.  Even if it is something you’ve been toying with, mulling over, now is not the time to make the final decision.  Once the dust has settled and you’re emotionally more stable, then you may still make the same decision, but then again, maybe you wont.
  6. Candles_2
    Wrap yourself
    in a cocoon of comfort.  Self-care has never been more important.  In order to keep going, and meet your commitments, you need to be capable of doing so.  If you don’t take care of yourself as number one priority, you’re going to fall in a heap sooner or later.  Do whatever it takes to fit in some ‘me-time’.  Even just a soak in the bathtub, with some beautiful relaxing oils and a small candle can mean the difference between coping and not coping (and can help you sleep, which is also a top priority right now!)
  7. Remember your family, your spouse and kids, and show them not only the strong side of you, but let them know when you’re not coping and why.  They will see the not-coping, but they wont know whether they have caused it unless you share with them.  At horrible times, bunker down and spend some quality time doing something you love.  Watch funny movies, play board games, spend time on the beach, have a big bake-up…
  8. Allow the rubber balls to bounce, and hand off all the commitments you can until you’re back to full strength.  Dont take on any more than you can cope with. 
  9. Remember the saying "What doesnt kill you will make you stronger"… I firmly believe that there is always a silver lining in every dark cloud – it may just take time and patience for the benefits to come to light.
  10. Try and maintain a positive outlook wherever possible.  Look for the positives.  Is the situation strengthening some of your relationships as you draw together?  Is the situation paving the way to a new door, a new beginning, the start of something great?  It may be very hard to see the positives when you’re in the midst of dealing with the curve ball, but maybe seeking them can help you cope?

How do you handle life’s curve balls?   And, remember:

Without the night, could we know the day?
Without the storm, could we know the calm?
If we knew not pain, what could we know of bliss?

(I’ve carried this quote around since I was a teen and don’t know where it came from.  If you know, I would love you to let me know!)

Tags: Watch Out for Those Potholes

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