One night I got a call from a friend/family member who was in the hospital after badly cutting two of his fingers. He was very upset and while waiting for the surgeon he reached out to me. He is a master wood worker and while accidents do happen, he is positive this mishap was the result of being distracted by a personal problem. He began to cry and said, “I know this happened as a wakeup call because I can’t live this way anymore.” While in pain from his hand, he confessed the greatest hurt was inside, and asked for my help to find and release the source of his anguish.
When we are traveling down the wrong path in life we get lots of wake up calls. Sometimes they begin gently, like a nudge from the Universe. If we don’t listen they become stronger. If we still don’t listen the wake up calls become painful. I completely understand because I had to lose almost everything before I woke up and began to pay attention.
I was downsized from an executive position right before 9/11. Without any prospect of a job in the city where I’d lived for twenty years I had to move away. I was forced to sell the new home I’d moved into only two years before. I had to leave the beautiful English cottage garden I’d built stone by stone and plant by plant. I lost my relationship. It seemed overnight I was involuntarily removed from the familiar, from friends, from the life I knew. But it was far from overnight. I’d received and ignored signs for a very long time. Until one day the life I was living was literally taken from me. Today I realize how fortunate I am because in the process of life falling apart I found myself.
When you get a gentle nudge from the powers that be, don’t ignore it. Bravely turn to face whatever in life (relationships, job, addiction, finances, etc.) is not going well. It is not easy to assume responsibility and make changes. But when things in life fall apart there is a reason and an opportunity to find what you can change about you or a situation for the better.