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Have you ever felt like your world was crashing in around you? Like everything that was good in your life is all of a sudden not so good? And then you start to wonder if things could get any worse, and then they do. Yeah, that’s definitely happened to me before, and I’m sure it’s happened to you too, and that’s because life doesn’t always end up working out in the way that we want it to work out. Sometimes things happen that we have no control over, and sometimes these things make it seem like our life is heading in a direction that we don’t want it to head towards. When you lose a job that you worked your butt off to get, or when you get out of a relationship that you thought was going to last forever, or when you get hit with some pretty bad health news, you may think that your life as you know it is over. And to be perfectly honest with you, your life as you knew it is over, but just because your old life is over doesn’t mean that your new life has to be a bad one.

When bad things happen to us, we may be devastated in that moment and that’s a natural response. When things don’t go our way, we don’t feel like we should be happy. Instead, the opposite happens. We become unhappy. We can’t see past the darkness because the darkness is all around us, but that darkness doesn’t go on forever. There’s light somewhere, you just may not be able to see it yet.

You can think of unexpected pain like this…

Let’s say you’re driving on a road trip. Your music is blaring and you’re singing along off-key to your favorite tunes as your best friends also sing along in voices that are equally off-key. You’ve got one hand on the steering wheel of your big black Escalade and the other hand is hanging out of the side window as the wind whips your hair around freely and rhythmically. Everything’s going well as far as you can tell. There’s no traffic and you’re the only car on the road for miles, the roads are smooth, and the weather is perfect for taking a cross-country road trip. All of a sudden the music dies down and you hear the robotic voice of your Waze navigation app telling you to make an exit in one mile. Automatically you put on your signal, but since you haven’t seen any other car on the freeway for miles, you start to merge over one lane without checking your blind spot.

“Stop there’s a motorcycle there,” your friend yells at the top of her lungs as you make a sharp and dramatic movement to turn your wheel to left in order for you to avoid the motorcyclist.

You hear the motorcyclist honk his horn as your Escalade starts to spin out of control off to the left side of the freeway. Luckily for you, the freeway is still unoccupied by any other cars, so when you go over the side of the freeway and into the grassy land next to freeway you don’t hit any other cars. The airbags deploy when your car comes to a head first stop into a ditch, and as you pull your aching head back away from the steering wheel you look around you. Your friends are physically fine for the most part as far as you can tell. Everyone is shaken up, but that makes complete sense considering what has just happened. As you stiffly get out the car to assess the damages, you outwardly groan as you think about how much it’s going to cost to get your car fixed. The entire front of your car, including the tires, are torn to shreds and your car is so deep in the ditch that you wouldn’t be able to get it out without being towed. Reaching in your pocket, you pull out your phone and find the contact for AAA. When someone finally answers the phone, she lets you know that someone won’t be able to get to you for at least another hour. You sigh, thank the woman for her help, and get back into the car to tell your friends that you guys are stuck there for an hour. Nobody’s happy about it, but you all get back out of the car in silence and wait on the side of the road, away from your smoking car, for the tow truck to come and pick you up.

When you were driving, you didn’t see the driver in your blind spot because you were too focused on the road in front of you, but your friend saw it, and because she did, you and everybody else ended up safe and sound. In the moment after the accident you started to dread the fact that you’d be out of a few thousand dollars in order to fix your car, and you started thinking about the pain that had started to creep up on you, but that’s because you could only see the darkness in that moment. Later on down the road, once you’re out of that situation, those things would eventually start to not matter that much to you anymore. Yes your car was banged up, and yes you had to wait on the side of the road until a tow truck came to pick you up, and yes your trip was delayed, but you’re also alive and everyone in your car is alive too, and after awhile you’ll start to see that your friend’s warning ended up helping you out more than it hurt you.

Positive thinker, sometimes your life is heading in a certain direction, but you’re so focused on only seeing what’s right in front of you that you are unable to see something bad that is headed your way. Sometimes you need someone or something to change your course so that you don’t end up getting hurt more than you need to. Yes your life during those moments of pain might not be how you want your life to be, but your life could’ve ended up being a lot worse if you had continued down the road that you were going on. And don’t worry because that pain you feel in that moment of turmoil will go away once you see that the situation you’re going through is taking you to where you’re supposed to be.

If you don’t believe me, try thinking back to another point in your life when it seemed like all hope was lost. You probably felt like you were never going to come up out of that situation. You might have thought that you were going to be feeling down and out forever, but do you feel that way now? Is that situation still consuming you? Did you come out of that situation? Chances are that you did, and if you’re still going through something chances are that you aren’t going to go through it forever. All pain and suffering will come to an end. It may not come how or when you want it to, but an end to that pain will come one day.

So next time you find your life not going the way that you want it to positive thinker try thinking of that car crash scenario. This unanticipated mishap is just your friend in the backs seat helping you to avoid the unbearable pain that you would have gone through if you had stayed on your original path. This unexpected new course may just be God, Buddha, Allah, the Universe, or whatever entity you believe in telling you that your life right now isn’t as good as how it will be once it gets done with you.

Remember, “Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed, and rearranged to relocate us to the place we’re meant to be.”

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