Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Expecting The Unexpected -- Embracing Unpredictability

The Boy Scouts have a mantra: Be prepared.

While much of the beauty of life lies in the unexpected -- finding $20 on the street or meeting someone who turns out to be the love of your life -- there are some things you just can't prepare for -- like going through a break-up, losing your job, or being diagnosed with cancer.

We go from feeling elated to feeling deflated.
Photo Courtesy Google Images
Photo Courtesy Google Images

This is what happens when life throws us a curveball. When it hits, it can be a challenge to face. Turns of fortune, both positive and negative, require us to be flexible and to reconsider our plans and priorities, sometimes in the blink of an eye.

The ability to accept what is happening and let go of our original expectations is key when dealing with these unexpected turns.

We have a tendency to get stuck in our own heads. We cling to ideas of how we think life should go, and when things don't go as planned, we find it difficult accepting anything that does not comply with those ideas.

Curveballs are the Universe's way of keeping us on our toes; it doesn't want our lives to stagnate or to lose purpose and meaning.

What can be done?

Expect the unexpected. Things will happen out of the blue and we can't predict when they will happen. Life is unpredictable, and no one is immune. This does not mean to live in a state of fear or dread. Things happen, and it is up to us to create a context for meaning, if we so choose. We can fear it, or we can embrace it.

This too shall pass. It's okay not to be okay...for now. Feelings of despair are natural when difficult situations unexpectedly occur. Know that these feelings are temporary as is the situation you're in. Give yourself time to grieve and process.

You're not alone. Tough times affect people from all walks of life. We all find ourselves in situations we did not expect and are unsure of how to deal with them. Talk with others who have faced similar situations. Having a support system and coping mechanisms in place will help you grow through this.

Drop back and punt. This is a time-out from what was originally expected or planned. Take this time to reassess the situation. This is not a time to cry, "Why me?" No one is exempt from life's unpredictability. Reevaluate your expectations. Many times we allow our expectations to interfere with the joy a natural flow offers.

Change your course of thinking and you change your course of action. So, your party wasn't the success you had expected. Do you fret over those who did not show? Or do you enjoy quality time with those few who did show?

Acknowledge what happened and keep on living. Take each day at a time, and in that day, take it hour by hour, moment by moment. Time is the best healer, especially in a situation you wish were different. What happened, happened, and you can't change what happened. You can only move forward. Remember that you are in control of your life, and you can choose how to live in the aftermath.

Look for the "blesson." Some would call this the silver lining in those clouds that sometimes overshadow our days. As a friend of mine says, "There's a blesson in it -- a lesson with a blessin' -- and it's for your highest good. Learn from it and then use it to bless others who are hurting."

Curveballs are not seemingly random events in our lives. Something led up to it. There is an order to the Universe of which we are a part, whether we realize it or not. We may not always understand the reason for certain unexpected things happening, but we can draw strength from knowing that there is a greater plan in play. Things happen for our highest good, and when we align our thinking to this, then there really is nothing to fear. The "good" will be revealed, if not on our timetable, on the Divine's.

We always get (attract) what is best or right for us. Sometimes we may need to duck or dodge or alter our game plan when a curveball comes into our lives. The rules change and so do our expectations. We get to see and approach things differently. The next time one comes your way, take a deep breath, say thank you, and open your mind to a new opportunity.

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