How do you pick yourself up when you have been felled by Life?

The only way forward from a crisis is to get up, gather yourself and move on. 
Many a time, Life deals with you in the most brutal ways. And before you know it you have been socked and have been left devastated with the turn of events. How do you pick yourself up when you have been felled by Life? Well, there are no easy ways in such a situation. You have to take Life as it comes, one day at a time, one step at a time.
When a tragedy or a crisis strikes you – death of a loved one, loss of business or money, a serious health challenge, a heart-wrenching break-up – you feel numbed by the event. All you are asking repeatedly is “why” and “why me”? But there are no answers to any questions in Life. So, you can spend time mourning and grieving – and feeling miserable – or you can move on. Now, there is no problem really with grief. It is after all a normal emotion that follows a loss. In fact, when you encounter grief, don’t try to suppress it. Allow it to rise within you. Feel the grief, hold it, let it hang around and watch it as it first rises and then recedes. When you suppress it, when you resist it, it will persist. But if you let it be, it will fade away. In the aftermath of a crisis, when the grief begins to subside, be aware and pick yourself up again. It will appear to be difficult initially. But when you choose to move on, it will happen more seamlessly than you can imagine.
For instance, just to cheer you up, when someone asks you out for a coffee or suggests a book or watching a movie, don’t say no. In the beginning it may appear that you are “indulging in being happy” while you need to be “clinging on to grief”. But allow yourself that indulgence. Don’t feel guilty. The truth is that your feeling sad is not going to undo your Life. In fact, nothing in Life can be undone. So, to move on, after you have been dealt a Life-changing blow, you must first be ready and willing, and then you must actually, physically, move. Moving on is not a feel-good philosophy, it involves a lot of practical, doable, must-do, actions.

But it all begins with believing that there is a lot of Life after a crisis. What you think is the end of the road, almost always, is the beginning of a new journey.  When you move on, when the scenery changes, as Life goes on, you will find that there is much more to Life than just clinging on to the dead past. 

Your lifetime is counting down…

I met someone briefly yesterday who is young and who has recently lost her two-and-a-half month old baby. She came across as someone who is stoic and who is learning to cope with her loss. Yet there, naturally, was a tinge of sadness in her eyes. I reflected on the brief conversation I had had with her as I sit down to write this morning. How can you console a mother who has lost a child?
The truth is you can’t. And you mustn’t. Not about this mother and her loss. But also about any loss, any crisis, any tragedy in Life. Life’s realities have to be faced. They can’t be justified or reasoned with.
In this mother’s case, she has to realize__and accept__that death is an integral part of Life. If you are born, you will die. You know this. But it is your expectation that Life last longer. This expectation is the one that causes you grief. The moment you drop that expectation, you will be able to deal with any loss__including death__better. A friend of mine lost his grandson within a few hours of the child’s birth. The child was born in San Jose, California. Everything was normal: the pre-delivery medical reports, the delivery itself and the baby’s condition post-delivery. Apparently the baby had suffered a heart attack as his heart was weaker than that of most infants at birth. So, one minute, my friend wrote to me over mail sharing his joy at being elevated to grandfather status. And within a few hours he wrote to inform that they had lost their grandchild. A line he wrote in his mail is worth reflecting over: “We are all still coming to terms with this. But I guess each of us has a role to fulfil in creation. Our little fellow’s was to remind us that, at the end of the day, Life is fleeting and fragile. He taught us, through his brief stay with us, to celebrate each moment of it and not to ever waste it!”
To be sure, we lose a bit of our lifetime every single day – 24 hours daily to be precise. None of us knows when we will have to depart. But know for sure that you__and I__have to depart. Someday. Our expiry dates are already set. Except, unlike in all the products that we consume, that date is not visible to us. So, here’s the choice we have to make: we can live our lives pining for all that we have lost or we can live celebrating what we still have left with us – even as our clocks keep counting down to our own ends.