How to Triumph Over Tragedy
Life is not without its disappointments. Job loss, financial troubles, the loss of a relationship or the loss of a loved one can all be devastating and even depressing. It’s not unusual in these circumstances to experience great pain and devastation or even to feel like you’ve hit rock bottom—those feelings are all perfectly natural. But we can’t stay in that negative space forever. We can’t let the circumstances of the moment control us for the rest of our lives. If you’ve seen your life as it once was suddenly dismantled, then it’s time to reinvent yourself and start a new life. You have to figure out what to do when your dreams fall apart; otherwise you’re not really living.
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You’re Stronger Than Before
Trials and tribulations can actually make us stronger. That may be hard to see in the beginning of putting your life back together, but it is true. Something good always comes out of something bad. You don’t have to be an über-optimist, but being a pessimist doesn’t get you anything but more misery. It’s not always easy to know what to do when your dreams fall apart, but when you learn to triumph over tragedy, it has a way of making you feel like you can handle almost anything that comes your way. Taking the first step is the hardest part; from there on it gets a little easier over time.
Don’t Ignore Your Emotions
People often think that showing emotion makes them appear weak, but there’s no denying what and who we are—we’re human beings and expressing emotions is a huge part of our existence. In her book, “The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart,” Daphne Rose Kingma says: “What differentiates us from stones and butterflies is the degree to which what happens to us affects us on an emotional level. We don’t just experience things […] we have feelings about these events.” Emotions must be expressed in one way or another, and if you hold back the need to cry, for instance, you may wind up expressing yourself in anger instead. Besides, having a good cry can be cathartic and cleansing.
Understand How Your Life Has Changed and Begin to Accept It
It may not be easy, but it is for the best. If you’ve lost a job, maybe the Universe was saying, “It’s time for a change.” If your savings were depleted or lost, take it as a sign that maybe it’s the simpler things in life that really matter—like supportive family and friends. Of course, losing a loved one is a terrible thing, and no one is saying it’s not, but would they want to see you lying in bed forever and not living your own life? No. They would say, “Hey, you’ve still got life to live so live it. Let me see what you can do.” As long as we’re alive, life will continually try to move us forward, so don’t fight against any urge you have to pick up the pieces and continue on.
Embrace Your New Way of Living
It’s not like you really have a choice—it’s either wallow in sorrow, pity, shame and defeat or be grateful that you’ve gotten a new lease on life, even if it’s not the same life you lived before. Not only does embracing your new life bring you more joy because you’re not fighting against it, but it serves as a positive example to others—whether it be family, friends or your own children. Later when they are facing life-changing decisions or when their own dreams fall apart, they will remember how you faired during your own struggle and be inspired.
You Can Inspire Others
Your first duty should be to yourself—people may want to help you, but most importantly you have to want to help yourself. It’s a choice, and choosing to move onward and upward, even when at first you’re not sure what to do when your dreams fall apart, is the most wonderful gift you could ever give yourself. And it bears repeating—if your own triumph over tragedy can inspire others, you’ll see positive evidence that the gift you gave yourself just keeps on giving to others.