My dad almost died at my wedding - what is great about horrible experiences
"I'll go get everyone for a group photo" the photographer said. Me and my now husband took a deep breath, happy that the photo session was almost over and soon we would be able to eat. Then I heard the sound of shattering glass and a few people screaming. I specifically remember the moment I realised that it wasn't a kid tripping - it was my father having an epileptic seizure for the first time in his life.
Of course, the doctors later informed us that an epileptic seizure looks bad, but it is not that dangerous. That it is the best thing that could have happened, compared to heart attack or a stroke. But at the time we didn't know that. At the time, the thought "At least he walked me down the aisle" set a nest in my head and didn't leave until I saw him breathing again.
After making sure he was alright, the wedding continued, and so did my life. I took some meditation classes to deal with the stress, and he took some pills and doesn't smoke or drink anymore. Everything's back to normal. Actually, it is even better than before.
Clients often share traumatic experiences, that have left them fearful and distressed. It is difficult to say any words of consolation, but anyhow, they would not help. The truth is we choose what to take with us from each event in our life - the stress, or the lesson. It could be challenging to see something drastically negative as positive, and it is common that you may feel guilty if you try. As difficult as it may be, challenging that feeling is what will get you where you want to be emotionally.
I challenged it, chose to take the lesson and there was a huge shift in the way I think after that horrible experience that I wish no one would ever have. A shift for the better, that is worth sharing with everyone, who has gone through a similar event, and everyone who hasn't.
What is great about horrible experiences:
1. It makes you appreciate what really matters - people. Things are useless and perishable, but people make a difference in our life - our families, friends, neighbors or the woman selling you your coffee every morning. Call the ones you love often, spend time with them, tell them how much they mean to you. They should be a priority before your job, money or success.
2. It keeps you grounded in the present. Before this accident I was constantly living in the future. I was seeking this feeling of impatience - "can't wait for our honeymoon"; "can't wait for us to buy a new car"; "can't wait for us to move in our new house". Guess what - I can wait now. In fact, I would be happy to. Take your time, life, let me enjoy you!
3. It inspires you to give. I recently read that the feeling of helplessness, often acquired after traumatic experience, is best concurred by helping others. It gives you the illusion of certainty, power and control over your life. I have never been more willing to help people around me, volunteer and give to charities.
4. It eventually makes you happier. Because you enjoy the little things, like the fact everyone you love are healthy and around you, once the stress of a horrible experience is gone, you feel energised and alive. You realise everything is truly alright and little daily hassles do not bug you any longer.
Do not wait for a horrible experience to appreciate the beauty of life. Smile to that annoying colleague of yours, call someone and tell them you love them and enjoy the rainy, windy season approaching us - for without it, would we value the sun?