Suddenly everything familiar to you is gone. You are in free-fall, with nothing to cling to. You have no idea where you’re going to land. Everything is breaking down and you don’t know what to do.
Sometimes, the catalyst can be painfully humiliating. You made a mistake that cost you big, or suffered a self-shattering rejection of some kind. Other times, a redundancy comes out of the blue, a relationship collapses, you have a health scare, or experience financial difficulty. The ruination of one thing can precipitate the disintegration of another. For example, financial strain makes you realize your partner isn’t who you thought they were. Or the failure of a relationship is quickly followed by the loss of a job. Whatever has occurred, life, as you know it, is falling apart.
The world can seem an unkind place. I promise you it’s not. You are not being punished. You willsurvive this. You will thrive from this. If your life is falling apart and you don’t know what to do, know that it is happening for a reason. You will rise from this experience a stronger, wiser, more resilient person. You will discover a more fulfilling life. One that is richer, and deeper, than the one you’re currently shedding.
When life falls apart it’s the start of something bigger, and much, much better.
1) When everything falls apart life finally gets your attention!
In an article for the Huffington Post, Judith Rich (2012) writes, “[T]hese cosmic “time outs” can take many forms, but they’re all designed to stop us in our tracks and get our attention. It’s the soul’s wake up call”.
Have you heard about awakening? To be awake means to live life with conscious awareness – to stop drifting, and become an active participant in your own evolution. If you have been sleepwalking your way through life, everything falling apart will make you take notice.
Have you been ignoring a niggling voice? Were you trying to force, or control, an outcome that wasn’t working for you? Have you been squashing a sense of unease at work, or feeling unsure in your relationship? Were you ignoring any of your feelings?
How connected to life were you? How connected to yourself? When was the last time you were in the present moment? Had you zoned out – ticking things off your to do list, escaping into the television, barely noticing your loved ones around you?
Awakening means to become aware of yourself and your life. It is to notice where you shut down through fear, and practice opening your heart.
Have you heard the saying ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone?’ When your life falls apart, it’s just a new beginning.
2) When everything falls apart you get a chance to look at who you really are and what you need to make you happy
Just when you thought your life was going along fine — BAM! Life comes along and says, “Not so fast, my pretty! Listen up! You have some homework to do.”
Out of the rubble around us can come the best moments of our lives. This is what the universe wants for us. Life wants us to grow, expand, thrive – really be the big player we came here to be. Life is not content with you taking a bit part. Be brazen about your current circumstances. As Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron (2005) says, “[R]ather than letting our negativity get the better of us”, we must “not be squeamish about taking a good look.”
By taking a good look we can evaluate where we were not being ourselves, or honouring our desires. We can remember our core values and get back on track.
In her book Jump Nancy Levin (2014) describes finally leaving a dissatisfying marriage. She says, “[I]t’s only through facing the truth that you will be able to fulfil your potential and live the life you were meant to live. It’s only by jumping that you will be able to fly.” It was painful but until Nancy left her marriage, she was only living a half-life. She had to let everything fall apart in order to discover what she could do with the pieces. She now has a life beyond her wildest imaginings.
Have you been denying your truth?
When everything falls apart, you learn to be compassionate with yourself. You learn to listen to yourself, acknowledge and embrace your emotions, be non-rejecting of your feelings. It is from this place of softness, of recognizing that you have fallibility, (just like everyone else), that you can take crucial steps forward and change your life for the better.
3) When everything falls apart it is time to realign with your creative power
You are an infinitely powerful being. Yet do you use your power? You are infinitely loved, and loving, yet do you fully embrace the potential of this love? You are here to enjoy your life, to partake in the expansion of the universe, to grow! Have you been enjoying your life? Have you been changing, or stagnating?
We are born pure, positive potential and we all have purpose. However, as we adjust to our environments, we get off track. We internalize things we hear about ourselves from the outside world. We act according to these beliefs, rather than the knowing we are born with. We build defense mechanisms stopping other people from getting too close, or utilize ways to keep them close. We no longer listen to our deeper wisdom, just the inane chatter of our minds. We believe that in the having, and doing, of things outside ourselves, we will find peace and happiness. We put in too much effort, struggling and attempting, to control outcomes. We lose our way. Life pulls us back.
The universe will not let you give up on your soul’s growth. This is a good thing! You have the creative power, (through your thoughts and feelings), to have, and be, whatever you want. Are you using that power? You need to be tuned into yourself in order to create the life you came here to live. As Rhonda Byrne (2006) writes “[T]here is a truth deep down inside of you that has been waiting for you to discover it, and that truth is this: you deserve all good things life has to offer”.
4) When everything falls apart you are forced to surrender. When you let go, you discover what was supporting you all along
If your life is falling apart, embrace this. It is for your greatest good. The more you can welcome it, the easier it will be. Trust that this experience will serve you in some way.
Eckhart Tolle (1999) writes:
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
When life truly defeats you, you finally realize there is nothing you can do to change it. You surrender. You accept everything around you and you deal with things as they are. Finally accepting all that is, is a liberating experience. From this place of acceptance, you can become the phoenix who rises from the ashes.
Chodron (2005) teaches, “[W]ithout giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.”
When you accept things as they are, you relinquish trying to control. You stop trying to gain something solid beneath your feet. What remains when you finally say, “okay, you’ve got me, I give up, what would you have me do?” What is beyond all the stories of the mind? When there’s nothing left in your external world, what supports you from inside?
When you surrender, you notice how life supports you. You don’t have to do it all by yourself or try so hard. You are safe. You feel relieved and you begin to see how much you have to be grateful for. You become excited about the freshness of the future in front of you. Intriguing people come into your life, bringing new ideas and opportunities. Synchronicities guide you in interesting directions. You have a greater sense of who you are and what you want. Life begins to flow in a way you never knew possible.
Quick tips for when your life is falling apart
- Remind yourself that when life falls apart it creates space for the new to come in. It is a shedding of all that doesn’t serve you, and a redirecting to that which does. It is like being swept away to sea but washed up on unfamiliar but exhilarating shores.
- Learn to seek within. This means getting in touch with your wants and desires. Re-evaluate your core values. What is really important to you? What dreams have you let by the wayside? Who are you? Meditate, journal, spend time in nature – do whatever helps you to be in silence so that you can feel and hear the answers.
- Be thankful. List all the things each day you have to be grateful for. This will keep you mindful of all the ways that life is supporting you, even when things feel bleak. It will also keep you alert, and watchful, of any signs that may be coming your way, (people, or opportunities, which will help you).
- Surrender and let go. This means stop trying to control every outcome. Trying to control outcomes creates resistance and stops good things flowing towards you. Accept your circumstances for what they are. Spend time acknowledging your emotions. Feel them fully. Don’t try to run from them. Remain open to the idea that by surrendering to what has happened, the way forward will become clear to you.
- Listen to your mind. Make sure you are engaging in positive self-talk. Keep reassuring yourself. Strengthen your faith in a positive outcome. Praise yourself for everything you are overcoming. Praise yourself for everything you are learning. List the positive characteristics you are gaining from this experience: inner strength, compassion and humility to name a few.
- Keep in the day. Keep in the present moment. Don’t indulge in too much thinking about what has passed. It has passed. Don’t worry about what may come. It hasn’t come. All you have is the present moment. Look for the positives. “Always say “yes” to the present moment. “What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” (Tolle, 1999).