Recently a client shared the following with me:
“I used to be someone who loved life, and believed it was possible to go for your dreams. I was a real positive thinker and a real go-getter. However, ever since I learned that my husband cheated on me, I’ve found it impossible to be that kind of person. I know it sounds negative, but I just can’t believe good things will ever happen to me again. Do you have any insights you could share?”
Let me start by saying that I’m really sorry this has happened to you. It’s not the life you wanted, and it’s not the life you deserved either. This should never have been your story.
However, I would also say that where you are right now is absolutely normal when you’ve been so deeply betrayed. Almost anyone who found themselves in your situation would find it hard to hope and dream … because … “What if it all goes wrong again?”
That is an understandable fear.
My guess is that you still have a lot of grieving to do. That you still need to spend time processing what you’ve gone through, and you still need work on slowly recovering and healing.
I would also suggest bearing the following in mind:
1. Although we all wish that bad things wouldn’t happen, the fact is there are no guarantees in life. That means it’s impossible to dodge all of life’s bullets. That’s difficult to hear, and accept … I know.
However, I would also say that – on the whole – terrible things occur less frequently than we expect them to/ or think they will.
2. When something really painful and unexpected happens, it dominates our thinking, and distorts our expectations. It affects our confidence, and how we feel, as well.
It’s easy for our life to be over-run by fear, and to find we are ruled by anxiety. That is something we should fight to overcome.
3. It is stressful to always be on high alert, and to always be waiting for the next shoes to drop. It will drive us crazy; it is truly torturous. It’s debilitating, and it drains our energy.
4. For every bad thing that happens, there are likely to be another 20 good things that happen. Of course, when we weigh the good and bad together, we might feel that one really bad thing equals 18 relatively good things. I get that.
However, over time the good usually does out weigh the bad; and knowing this is true, can help us focus on the good. So, try to notice what is good, and what goes well.
5. Although trauma and heartache can feel unbearable, in reality we usually survive, and make it through. This doesn’t have to be the end. They don’t have to wreak our life.
Also, it’s in the bad times that we tend to get in touch with hidden strengths. We find that we’re resilient. We learn what matters most. It’s also when we find out who our true friends are.
6. My guess is, there are still some really good things in your life. Some things that give life meaning. Those are worth remembering. Because … those are the things that really matter the most.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light, despite all the darkness.”