Share & Connect
Everyone experiences tragedy in life. Some experience more than others. The cold hard truth is no one can escape disappointments, life altering events or unfortunate circumstances. Tragedies may include the death of a loved one, loss of a job, fire, other acts of nature such as hurricanes or earthquakes, and the list goes on. What is a tragic event in one person’s life is a part of life to another. And how we deal with the event helps to establish who we are and grow us as a human.
Don’t let people tell you to “get over it”
Getting over a tragedy is a pat clique that people simply say to make themselves feel better when they don’t know what else to say. Time heals, they remark. And like many other good-intentioned comments, they’re the farthest thing from the truth. Yes, as time goes by, we learn to cope with whatever has happened to us. That’s simply our survival instincts kicking in. However, if we “get over” something huge in our lives, then the lesson we could have learned from it and the growth we could have gained are wasted. We need to live through, feel honestly and embrace everything that the tragedy has allowed us to feel. You can’t change or undo whatever has happened, so try to learn all you can about the circumstances and see how you can move on in a positive way from here.
Pay it forward
Perhaps the best way to move past tragedy is to let it strengthen you and help the world. If you’ve lived through, perhaps, the loss of a child, reach out to others as you gain strength from your loss, to help a person newly dealing with this situation. Talking to someone who can say “I felt that”, “I know what you mean” and honestly 100% know what they are talking about is invaluable. If your situation involved bullying, speak to a school or youth group. Go to a town ravaged by a storm if you’ve had help bouncing back after a natural tragedy of your own. All of these types of things will help you gain strength from your own life altering situation and help you to turn the bad into good. Even if it’s simply blogging your thoughts after a horrible incident, this proactive work will help you to regain your power and perhaps prevent it from happening to others.
Examine your priorities
When tragedy strikes, many take stock of their own lives. This is healthy – it helps you to will re-evaluate their priorities, remember what you have to be thankful for, and get back on track to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Make it an ongoing project. We all have “to do” lists, but very seldom do we include the really important stuff. We’ll schedule in going to the store, the gym, work, buying new tennis shoes, but we very seldom put on the list “Read a Story to My Child”. Use this tragedy as a reminder about what’s important, and how you fill your time. The most important part of this is to keep up the examination. Many times after something big happens, we’re gung ho about changing things in our lives. After a few months, we’re likely to slip back into our old patterns. Be diligent – you don’t want to live with regrets. Use the bad to actively pursue the good.
Ailyn Saymore writes all about mental health and happiness. A caseworker at an urban youth center, her recent work is on The 10 Best Campus Based Social Work Schools.