When You're Being Told You’re on The Path To Ruin

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He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus

Sometimes life feels like a series of detours that lead to even more treacherous detours that lead nowhere.

 And when you get fired from your job, your woman/man betrays you, your house goes into foreclosure,  your car is repossessed, a loved one is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and that root canal that you put off for a year because of  dwindling finances is destroying your once beautiful smile. And than your cat dies.  You feel worse than that poor homeless guy who hides out in the Port Authority bus terminal on very cold winter evenings.

 And when you cannot feel any worse  you get that obligatory phone call from a family member wanting to know why your life is a never ending series of sh*t storms and why you cannot be successful like (fill in the blank) at the same time making you feel like you are on the path to ruin.

Many of us have been there. And then when you think you cannot take anymore tragedy something wonderful happens. You get quiet. You stop fighting the London bridges falling around you. You stop hyperventilating and freaking out about the mess you or circumstances have created. You learn how to breathe again. Slow breaths. And then you begin listening to the sound of the breath. And in between the inhale and exhale of your breath you experience a flicker here and a flicker there of hope. And although it takes time you start to climb your way out of the abyss of despair and hopelessness.

 I have just described what most successful people endure. It is about learning how to dance in the rain even when it seems like it will never stop raining.

And some of the most successful people on the planet have weathered more sh*t storms than any mortal could handle. It is not about how many millions you have in the bank  (although it helps) that defines a successful life.

It is about learning how to truly quiet the chaos within. Only then can you climb your way out of the mess you are in.

Editor's PicksJeanne Verger