Much like I did, you probably grew up hearing this when things go wrong initially and then something better comes, making every chaos that has happened seemingly worth it.
And almost always, it's true right?
So through the years, I think I have mustered the art of looking for silver linings even before Catriona Gray made it trending in 2018 during Miss Universe. Haha!
Seriously though, I have come into terms with the fact that no amount of worrying, anxiety and anger can resolve our concerns on hand, whatever they may be. After all, change is inevitable and transitioning in life need not be a terrifying experience.
However, admittedly, that's easier said and done. Going head on with all the curve balls life throws at you can be such a stressful experience. It requires a whole lot of commitment, faith and love for yourself -- sometimes harder to give to ourselves during difficult days. Chill, it's ok. We're only human.
The key here though is to take time to embrace the seemingly overwhelming situation as is, without panicking or resisting it, to fully understand its value.
Take this time to inquire within and recall any unfortunate event you may have experienced recently that caused you so much stress and anxiety.
This time around though, do this:
Breathe. Release. Reflect. Recalibrate. Repeat.
That 5-second gap. That beautiful pause allowed you to ground yourself and shift perspective. Never underestimate the power of staying still.
A cancelled booking. A moved media guesting. A rescheduled meeting. And the list goes on. Oftentimes we look at what opportunity we lost that we forget that we have bigger opportunities on hand that we have yet to maximize. I have always believed that if one thing is meant to be, it will be. So see this as a form of redirection towards a new opportunity: what do you have on hand that you must focus on? Resting perhaps? Preparing more? Entertaining another opportunity that you set aside before? Do away with the resentment and regrets and you will eventually find out the purpose of it. In my case, when an appointment gets cancelled, I see it as an opportunity for me to practice self-care always. Whether I get my facial, a massage or just enjoy my iced coffee in my favorite space, I still enjoy the moment just as much while remembering that it's actually a preparation for something far greater.
2. A failed relationship
Lost a dear friend? Had a bad break up? It might seem so painful now but know that eventually, it will come to pass. Failed relationships teach you beautiful lessons about self-love, boundaries and self-worth. Embrace those fully as you move on and forward towards your next chapter, not coming from scratch but coming from experience, while knowing what's best for you and what you truly want and deserve in a relationship, whatever kind it may be. This year, I lost a friend whom I initially thought was worth keeping because I have known this person for quite some time now. However, reflecting on the kind of relationship we had before, it made me realize how I was taken for granted and how many times my boundaries were crossed. Now, I am very much at peace with cutting ties with that person because I allowed myself to meet and be with new people who truly value me as a person. One of the best decisions ever to make room for people who genuinely deserve to share spaces with me.
3. A failure
Lost a competition? Did not get that promotion? Rejected application? It's ok. It's not the end of the world. Take it as a sign that there's still room for improvement. You don't have to nail everything immediately after a single try. Take your time. Work on yourself. Figure out what you really want. And be great at it. Let your results do the talking for you. I remember being shortlisted for an international award this year but ended up not being part of the winner's circle. At first I was heartbroken but then I realized maybe it wasn't really for me at this point in time. I remember focusing all my efforts into improving myself and my craft and lo and behold, my hard work did pay off. Yes, another award, took its place. But the best reward: seeing myself grow in the process, with or without any award at stake. Just my commitment to myself as I become my own #bestmeever .
4. Getting sick
Ok, don't get me wrong: I am definitely not wishing this on anybody. What I am saying is that sometimes we get sick because we need to be reminded that we also have to take care of our own needs and wants as we realize what really matters in the long run. When I got sick before and totally bed ridden for two weeks due to over fatigue because I was totally gungho at work, it's when I realized the importance of my health and the people who truly value me beyond our working relationship. It was such an eye opener that after I healed (thank God or else I wouldn't be writing this as of this moment), the first thing I did was schedule mandatory work cut offs, vacation leaves and choose the people who I surround myself with, making sure that they genuinely look after my overall wellbeing. By living life fully each day and not letting work define how I should live --- I have never been this happy.
5. Feeling stuck or lost
It's not easy finding yourself at the crossroads of your life. Well to be candid about it, anything that's unfamiliar can be so uncomfortable to begin with. The key here is to embrace the space you're in and see it as an opportunity to finally go for what you want. Have you been stopping yourself for the longest time? Are you secretly wishing for something new in your life? Want to reinvent yourself? This seemingly dark space allows you to fulfill whatever it is you desire . It's a matter of being clear with what you really want and need as of the moment that will make you feel genuinely happy, complete and fulfilled. I remember hitting a road block during my mid-30s when I no longer feel inspired by my work as an advertising and marketing executive after 15 years. Feeling lost and confused, I allowed myself to explore: learn a new skill, teach antigravity yoga, teach in graduate school among others which eventually led me to discovering my calling: life coaching. Looking back, that period of confusion redirected me to where I am meant to be. And I am, to this day, beyond grateful.
I hope the next time you encounter any of these, you will have a different take on them as you see the real blessings underneath.