Have you ever had an incident, a situation, an event or a shock that has left you feeling like, everything has just changed in a flash moment? A event that left you with a feeling like my life will never be the same. You might have received a Wake up Call. A Wake Up Call stops you in the tracks. You don’t know how to continue but you know that you cannot continue in the direction that you were going.
There are many different experiences that can cause a Wake Up Call. For example, your life partner announces that he/she has changed their mind and want out of the relationship. Or the start-up that you started is failing. Or your boss informs you that the company is downsizing and you don’t need to come in for work on Monday. A Wake Up Call could come from the sudden death of a loved one, or a terminal illness diagnosis from a doctor. A Wake Up Call is usually not something that you want to embrace because it inevitably involves change that was unwanted and generated by you.
What to do when a Wake Up Call comes?
When a Wake Up Call comes it can bring with it grief, trauma, sadness, shame, and/or psychological and possibly physical pain. Our human desire to control change can cause feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted and isolated. The concept of letting go seems ridiculous because what you want is to hold onto the way things have been.
5 Things to do when a Wake Up Call comes:
1) Breathe. This sounds simplistic but calming yourself down will go a long way in reducing stress.
2) Space. Give yourself some space to process what is happening with people in your inner circle who you trust and who you know care about you.
3) Journal. Write everything that you are feeling in a journal, in a stream of consciousness sort of way. Don’t filter and don’t judge your feeling. Don’t share your journal with anyone, unless you are in therapy.
4) Reflect. Explore the meaning that emerges from the event that have taken place. What do you feel now? Take ownership of authentic feelings, knowing that they will evolve and change over time.
5) Additional change. Don’t make any additional changes until your life has calmed down, unless additional change is necessary for safety. If you must make additional changes, keep them to a minimum.
These 5 steps will help get cope with the initial stages of a A Wake Up Call.
NEXT: What is the purpose of a A Wake Up Call?
Prior to my son’s sudden death, he was fascinated by the Long Island Medium. He and his wife watched the show often. My son was a creative guy, meaning, he approached life with an openness to possibility. He had never gone to a medium but he was curious and open to energy from the other side.
Soon after his sudden death, my daughter-in-law and I went to see a psychic medium who channeled my son’s energy. She shared details of a spirit who was making his energy present to her. I knew that if it was possible, my son would make himself known with both my daughter-in-law and myself in the audience. The information was specific to his death. The strength of his communication, through her, helped us to recognize him and spoke of his larger than life personality.
The sudden death of my loved one cracked me open and caused me to questioning everything, including life itself, why things happen, and how to move on through pain and suffering my worst nightmare.
My take-away from that reading was that the medium perceived energy and trusted enough in what she perceived to share it with a room full of people who were hoping to make connection with their loved one on the other side. Not everyone left with a connection that evening. But those who did, we got some relief where there had only been pain. I left with hope where there had been silence.
Prior to the reading, I had been journal writing and meditating daily. As an Art Therapy Consultant and Life Coach who has been in the helping profession for 20 years, I knew that I needed a place to work through strong feelings and emotions that I was experiencing several times a day. Journaling gave me a place to express everything, the hurt, the anger, the frustration, the longing, and the love…the love that I feared I was loosing because he was gone. I have since felt encouraged to dialogue with my son directly.
That dialogue and connection has been life sustaining.
The tragic, sudden death of a loved one is so hard to bear. It can feel like you are cracked open, left with your heart hanging outside of yourself. Sorry, for the graphic nature of the description but that’s what it can feel like to lose someone you love very much.
When my son died this past September, I was besides myself. I felt and feel sometimes like my worst nightmare has actually happened. The questions that usually follow in my mind, are, What now? What’s next? How will I ever recover from this and move on in my life? Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this?
Other questions that surface are in the realm of: What is this life all about? If there is a God I don’t feel like speaking with him/her/it right now and maybe never. Did my son experience pain and suffering? How can I live with those types of thoughts? Where is my son now? Where is his spirit now?
Life is a journey. Working with what life gives you creates a path. Resisting what life gives you feels like depression and anxiety. It takes an enormous amount of energy to resist life. To somehow try to control it. I am not suggesting that working with what life gives you is easy or that it creates a smooth path. It doesn’t. But opening to possibility feels better than pain and suffering.
Months after my son died, I realized that right next to the crack in my heart where the pain resides is enormous love that I have for him. When things get tough, I ask myself what am I focused on…the pain or the love?