While in the thick of a mistake or what seems like a wrong turn, all you can see is the wrong-ness. The mess.
You didn’t want this to happen. It wasn’t supposed to work out like this. You’re focusing on the problem.
It’s hard to see any good that could come of it. Maybe none will. But I often find, in retrospect, a silver thread. Something good that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone through the bad.
One thing I always say is “Things happen for a reason.” A phrase my best friend detests. She thinks some things are too terrible to be worth the reason. Maybe so. Or, maybe the reason is outside our grasp. Perhaps it’s foolish to see things this way.
But what’s the other option? Just see the shitty thing and think it’s all for nothing? What an ugly perspective to live in. I think I’ll keep my own perspective. Feel free to join me here.
So, how do you see things through a positive lens? Well, there’re several steps to getting there.
Step 1: Acknowledge What Went Wrong
Easy enough. Shit happens.
It might’ve been your fault. If it was, own it. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just use your eyes. See where you went wrong. Accept it.
If it’s someone else’s fault, don’t beat them up about it either. Accept that it was out of your control. Leave it there. What’s done is done.
Maybe the fault lies with you and another person together. Divorces or fights are often in that category. But see it for what it is. Words written of life cannot be erased.
Shine the light on the situation and just see it. Without judgement. No anger. Take an interest. Accept what’s been done. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with it or like it. It just means you’re seeing the reality of a situation you can’t change.
Step 2: Take Stock of Where You Are Now
In what ways can you be thankful for where you are now? Your life can’t be all bad. There’s always something to be thankful for.
Where are you now? How have things worked out for you?
Maybe you found a new love. Perhaps you got a better job. Did you meet a friend that changed your life, or discover a new perspective?
Good stuff comes back around.
No matter what you’ve gone through, no matter how horrendous, there’s always something to be thankful for.
Even people that have seen terrible trauma in their lives sometimes say they’re thankful for the strength they discovered within themselves. For the ability to help others having gone through something similar. They’re thankful for perspective that whatever life throws at them, they’ll make it through.
In the toughest of circumstances, there’s light to be found.
Step 3: Connect the Dots
If your boyfriend hadn’t shattered your heart, you’d have never met the man that’s now your husband. You’d have never let go of a man that was all wrong for you. But you needed to make room in your life to find someone better. And what seemed earth shattering at the time, was just a stepping stone to something better.
Had you never been wrongfully fired and humiliated in the process, you’d have never been hired for the job you have now. A job you enjoy going to. One that values your abilities. Work that pays better.
If you hadn’t screwed up and ended up in jail, you’d be dead or strung out on drugs. But in jail, you got a reality check. One that opened your eyes. You turned things around and now have a better life.
Once you start looking for these silver threads you’ll see them everywhere. Silver threads aren’t always easy to see them in the moment. Sometimes you have to trust the process. Have faith that the road is leading you somewhere better.
Step 4: Be Thankful
Try to start seeing things through this lens. Look back over your past. Check out the lowest times in your life. Evaluate them.
With a curious mind, start to ask what you learned from it? Where you ended up because of it? Who you are now that it’s done?
And then be thankful. Thank your lucky stars you know what you know and you have what you have. Be thankful you aren’t still in that past place.
Cherish your new ability to see the beauty within the mess.
Decide how you want to see your story. Choose to see nothing but the mess, or choose to see all the great things that happened because of it.
I prefer to see the good that came from it and be thankful for the lessons.
But only you get to decide that for your life.
Have a magical day.