When Things Fall Apart, Hindsight Helps
Lately, there’s a saying that keeps coming to mind, and it won’t let me go: “When things fall apart, they may actually be falling into place.” It’s clearly a variation of the classic: “When a door is closed, somewhere a window is opened.”
Then the other day I got a song stuck in my head, one that I haven’t heard in years but have always thought of as happy and upbeat… “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO.
Could it be that my subconscious mind (or maybe it’s my guardian angel!) is trying to cheer me up?
It’s certainly possible. Recently, I’ve encountered a lot of what looks like hardship and failure. Deals falling through for this person, plans falling through for that person. In the span of one week, I referred two individuals to a counselor because they’re dealing with depression and alcoholism. And then there’s the fact that some of my ongoing work includes supporting people who’ve lost their jobs.
All this has made me remember a short, powerful awareness exercise that I developed last summer for the OMTimes Magazine 30-Day Conscious Living Challenge. It’s called “Hit Rewind.”
I’m a big advocate of reflecting and reframing past situations so you can see what you’ve learned from those experiences, but I think it’s helpful to notice the synchronicity too. What you learned might be the synchronicity, or there might be something else that you can consider.
Through a hindsight analysis, you can see how one thing led to another, which led to the next thing. And if that next thing hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t have landed in a place where you really needed to be. In the “Hit Rewind” exercise, your task is to look at each situation and find the blessing or synchronicity.
“Hit Rewind” Exercise
1. Hit Rewind… on a past event. Choose a past situation that didn’t feel good as it was happening. See how many good things you can find that came from this experience and list them below:
2. Hit Rewind… from a future vantage point. Look at a current situation that on the surface seems purely unpleasant. Stretch your imagination and see if you can find at least one thing that you might count as a mixed blessing in the future from this experience. List this one thing and anything else you can think of:
Next time you’re trying to make sense of the setbacks you’re experiencing, try this exercise. It might just help you rise above the fray, gain some useful perspective and reduce your stress!
Angela Loëb helps people bring who they really are to what they do in life. More at http://about.me/angelarloeb