Nella Coiro

Unexpected Road Blocks

“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this test and don't ask why. It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time.”  (Good Riddance – Time of Your Life ~  Green Day)

This week I want to talk about the unexpected roadblocks that we encounter in life. I chose to share the above lyrics because they eloquently capture the topic in this week’s blog. 

None of us can completely escape the occasional setbacks that jump in our path, sometimes without forewarning. When I was younger, I was overly concerned with analyzing and trying to understand the reasons why.

As I’ve matured, I began to realize that this was a futile waste of time, and I became better at accepting that often we have to live with unanswered questions. The mantra, “Why me?” will never take us to a good place or bring about a clear resolution. It will just frustrate us.

In the last few weeks, I have been bombarded with some unexpected and stressful health challenges that were quite unnerving. In hindsight, I took a closer look to see if I could identify any new insights. So, here goes…

If life is throwing stones at us, we have a few choices. We can see these stones as weapons, and allow them to assault and defeat us, or we can collect them and build a house. There’s a choice. We can choose to use them to our advantage rather than allowing them to cause our demise. 

Some health challenges force us to face the fact that we have zero control, and it can be frightening to come to terms with this reality. It might feel as if we’ve just been hit with a bucket of ice water. And then… suddenly… the world... and our place in it… looks completely different.

Once we’ve moved past the lament of “Life isn’t fair,” (and this might take a while), we can take a closer and clearer look at our circumstances and how we choose to interpret them.

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr.Viktor Frankl sums this up nicely, asserting these observations:

  • When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
  • Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
  • Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. 
  • In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

I am not suggesting that this is easy. In fact, you might vacillate back and forth for a while. In my experience, mindfulness helps.

What road blocks are you currently facing? How do you handle them? What insights have you gained? I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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