When life hits you - POW! with a surprise

You’re going merrily along when POW! life hits you, buckles your knees, stops you in your tracks.


What’s next? Here’s some important things to remember:

Nothing Is So Consistent as Change

During a time of transition, people normally experience stress because our brains and entire beings seek homeostasis, a survival mechanism.  We want things to stay the same.

                 We can help others – and us – by doing three things:

1.  Normalize This Time – People are not crazy; it’s normal to feel a whole range of emotions during this time.  From depression, anger, sadness, & disappointment to confusion and triggers which remind us of previous trauma and loss; it’s all normal

2.  Grieving The Loss – We all go through the stages of grief because in transition, we always lose something.  As in the death of a loved one, the stages apply here as well:  Shock and denial, anger and depression come and go as we grieve.  Just when we think we’ve successfully navigated one stage, we find ourselves back in the same feelings.  Again, that’s normal.  Grieving is crazy-making!  We eventually  move to acceptance with sadness for the loss

3.  Process The Feelings – It’s important that people don’t stuff all that grief and emotions but rather have opportunity to process, or talk about, the change in a healthy manner.  We can help by using the following skills:

  • Create Safety – Provide confidentiality; knowing what they share with you won’t go any further.

  • Things NOT to say:

  • Just trust God

  • You need to just look on the bright side

  • I conquered it this way

  • You need to read and pray more

    Or any other “advice-giving” statements.  Unsolicited advice is like chopped liver – not appreciated. 

When life surprises you, and not in a good way, remember that first,  you’re not alone-it happens to us all. 2nd, take time to breathe, think and grieve. 3rd, list all options, look at pros and cons, then step into something new. Who knows what lies ahead? I’ve found that when you follow these steps, refrain from becoming bitter and instead wonder what could lie ahead, truly you’ll find that the next step will be even better.