Where something appears to go ‘wrong’.
You miss a train, forget to call someone, miss a deadline?
Or something even worse happens…someone steals something from you, you get ill at a really inconvenient time, or someone breaks your heart.
In the moment, when it happens you feel sick.
Your stomach lurches, you get angry, or upset, or both.
Frustration bubbles to the surface and a raft of thoughts pass through your mind:
“How could this happen?”
“This is awful”
“It’s happened again”
“This is the worst timing ever”
Things haven’t worked out the way that we planned them, wanted them to or expected them to…and we react.
Look at 2012 for me.
At various times this year it felt like the bottom was falling out of my world.
The man who I expected to build a future with left unexpectedly the day before Valentine’s day.
This left me with several technical aspects of my business that I didn’t know anything about, which I now had to handle on my own.
I was diagnosed with Labarynthitis, which left me unable to leave the house for a significant period of time.
My Grandmother suffered a heart attack.
Two of my closest friends left the country.
However, each of these moments has brought a beautiful gift.
Becoming single again gave me some amazing time and space to focus on me, it allowed me to help so many other women who were in the same position as me and even led to the creation of the free webinars that I’m running next week on “Femininity for the Single Woman” (click here for the details).
I have learned how to do virtually all of the technical aspects of my business myself, which means that I’m no longer reliant or dependent on someone else. I can get someone else to do the work for me, but if I need to or want to I am perfectly capable of taking care of it.
My stint of Labarynthitis gave my body the much needed time and space to rest, recuperate and replenish itself. The beginning of this year took it’s toll on me physically and this was just what I needed to build my health back up. It also prompted me to improve my diet, which has led to an improvement of some life-long food allergies.
My grandmother’s heart attack, while awful, led to me having some beautiful moments with her that I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience. She has always had the very British “just get on with it” attitude to life and has quite a tough personality as a result…but we shared some very touching, heartfelt moments together that would never have happened had she not been through that experience.
And as for my friends leaving the country, with modern technology it feels like they’re not too far away…plus I have the offer of a holiday in Spain or Beijing any time I want it! 🙂
You see, the thing that I have learned through many heartbreaks, momentary disappointments, plans going up in smoke, unexpected bumps in the road, apparent problems, challenges, disasters and tragedies is that it’s all happening perfectly…even when it feels like it couldn’t be going more wrong.
As Steve Jobs said in his Stanford address…you can only join the dots backwards. It’s only when you look at the path in reverse that you can see the reasons for the various challenges along the way.
Today was a great example.
Today I missed my train twice. Once by 30 seconds, once by 5 seconds.
But if I’d caught my first train I wouldn’t have been able to get the week long train pass…which would have cost me an awful lot more. I ended up having to cancel a meeting and move another…I’ve no idea why…chances are it’ll become apparent at some point.
The second missed train I have no clue about…it has meant that I’m not going to get home until about midnight, having still got work to do and needing to leave home again at around 5am to make my morning appointment back in London…but I am absolutely convinced that it is all happening perfectly. I may not know how, or why, but I am sure it’s working out for the best.
There have been too many occasions where it felt like things were going wrong (but in reality they were working in my best interest for me) not to believe that’s true.
So I’d like to invite you today to think back to some of the moments in your life that felt like they were awful, and see if you can see the gift in them.
What happened as a result?
Who did you meet?
Where did you go?
What decision did you make?
What did you learn?
…and when that moment comes where you say “Oh Cr*p”…just remember to take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s all happening perfectly…and if you’re anything like me, grab a chocolate bar to take your mind off things… ;o)