There is a living story being created in every single one of us that incorporates all of our joy, expectations, sadness, dreams, failures and accomplishments into what we call “self”. It is living because it is constantly changing and creating the new improved “self”. As a Life Coach, the problem I find most often with clients is that when something dramatic happens in their lives they simply can’t accept that it is possible for their story to keep going. Take for instance a lay-off, divorce or a broken friendship, there’s no automatic alternative direction mapped out for their story to continue. They’re left with picking up the pieces and creating a “new normal” in the next chapter of their life. It’s time for Plan B. Seldom do we find that everything in our life works out exactly how we thought it would in our teens, twenties and thirties (not to mention the next three decades). The process of growth we are experiencing takes no prisoners. We must move forward at times leaving behind a spouse, friend or a failed opportunity that we thought would always be in the forefront of our story. Allow me to use the Colorado River in front of my house as an analogy. The strongest flow of the current is found in the middle of the river. If your goal were to float down the river to the Gulf in the shortest amount of time, floating in the middle would be your optimal choice. If you’re sidetracked and caught in the brush and limbs on the side of the river, your speed and distance is greatly reduced. When circumstances in life sidetrack you emotionally, self-preservation becomes key. Take care of your immediate needs and focus on yourself. Gradually return to your goal of finding the least resistance to your destination, happiness. You won’t experience happiness when you’re facing roadblocks in your life, but it’s still ahead of you if you keep the faith and work your way back to the middle of the flow. There’s a good chance that those left behind in your life were never capable of giving you the amount of happiness you can expect waiting just ahead of you in your story.
Originally printed in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, April 3, 2016.