I have a handful of loved ones going through really hard things right now. Each situation is, in a sense, completely different from that of the others. However, a common thread exists, and that is that none of them pictured themselves here, experiencing this moment. They are all dealing with things they’d never expected they would.

Things were not supposed to be this way. 

That’s the hardest part to get our heads around – reconciling what we thought would happen with what has happened or what is happening. We all have ideas of how our lives will be…our careers, our loves, our families, our health – and…

Maybe things haven’t fallen into place for us, or maybe they did – only to have them slip away in tiny increments, or so suddenly it took the wind right out of us.

A friend wrote to me that he “fell through a hole he never knew was there.”

What a powerful image. How many of us have experienced that moment when suddenly our legs came out from under us, and we found ourselves in a free fall? I bet most of us have experienced this to varying degrees…to various depths.

There have been a lot of surprises in my life over the past few years…ranking pretty high on the list of unexpected happenings was finding out my husband is gay…and then a year later finding out he has a girlfriend…and then a year after that, finding out he is a girlfriend.

Things like this loosen one’s attachment to things following a predictable course. I will always love him dearly, but this was not the marital trajectory I imagined when I put on that white dress and walked down the aisle. (It was a great dress, though.)

I think I have gotten better about not having expectations – or at least never imagining I know what will happen next.

Here’s what we know for sure…

When life is moving along beautifully, it will change. When life is really hard, it will change. The pace may be too fast or too slow for our tastes, but it will change.

What is it they say…

You can’t control what happens, you can only control how you react to it?

We can all practice operating at an even keel. We can work on not letting the small quakes rattle us. Life sure is less exhausting that way.

But…

What about the big ones? What about the life altering, foundation crumbling earthquakes?

When we fall into a hole we didn’t know was there –

What then?

Sometimes we have to reach up out of the hole, and grab a hand or two. We have to let people help.

The people who matter will never fault us for ending up down there…and they will celebrate us when we climb back out.

 

 

 

 

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