It has happened to all of us; we’re cruising along the boulevard of life, one elbow out the window, our favorite happy tunes playing on the radio, hand tapping the wheel in time with the tempo. Everything is grand, and we’re having a great time. So great we miss the warning sign; “Bump Ahead’. Then BAM-BAM, we’re suddenly careening along, barely hanging on as we try to slow down and get off to the shoulder so we can assess the damage.
It’s never fun to feel like the wheels have been ripped out from under you, but when it sneaks up on you suddenly, out of the blue is especially devastating. What can you do? How do you proceed from here?
Every situation will be different depending on the person’s circumstances and what happened, so I must proceed in general terms. Returning to our analogy; first gather your wits and make sure you are strong enough to stand up. Then inspect the vehicle for damage; are any tires flat, and pieces knocked off or fluids leaking out? If not, you can probably proceed, cautiously. If severe damage is noted, you will need help, trying to press on will only make things worse.
What does that mean in real life? If the speed-bump was a major disappointment; an engagement that was called off or a job offer you counted on that fizzled, a friend who betrays you, something like that, you will be able to carry on. You just need to focus on the road ahead and not on what is behind you. You can not change what has happened and there is no point in being consumed by thoughts of “If I had only…” Learn from the mistake, and press on. If you are convinced that there was no fault on your part (“what warning sign, there was NO warning sign, I’m sure of it!”) you may need a dispassionate outside opinion. But in either case, it won’t change what happened. If someone has wronged you the best revenge is living well, not striking back. Retaliation just takes you down to their level.
If damage is done; the death of someone dear to you, loss of your home or livelihood, major illness, cheating spouse, etc, you will need to seek help to tow the wreck in, assess the damage and make repairs. Depending on the situation, a marriage counselor, a Pastor, a therapist, or a support group could be your answer. Don’t get all prideful and think you can get it to the next town on your own. Call for help. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to make repairs and get back out on the roadway.
It may be a while before you are confident enough to go cruising again, but at least you will be getting where you need to go instead of being broken down on the shoulder watching life pass you by.