The Hidden Blessings of Tragedy | Intuitive Business Woman

I write a lot about the fact that real transformation is so painful, none of us would ever willingly choose it.

No matter how much we say we want the outcome, or what blessings we see on the other side, we can’t inflict the pain on ourselves, so instead of changing, we stay right where we are.

Therefore, real change can only happen when the universe does something “to” us. We catch our spouse cheating … we receive an ominous diagnosis … our house burns down … a loved one dies. 

Notice what I said: real change can happen as the result of a tragedy. It’s certainly not guaranteed. It all depends on how we react to what has happened.

[Tweet “Real transformation is so painful that given a choice, we always choose to remain the same.”]

I had the opportunity this past Saturday to be interviewed on my friend Lyena Strelkoff’s radio program, The Shero Show, about this very topic.

Lyena and I have both experienced tragedies in our life (Lyena prefers the term “catastrophe”). Our conversation was a rich deep-dive into the way that spirituality affects the experience – and healing process – of those tragedies.

To listen to our conversation click here. Lyena’s telling of her story was positively mesmerizing – and it happened right in the middle of the hour. My own story wasn’t half bad either.  😉

Or to read the highlights of that conversation, keep reading …

Lyena’s Story

My friend Lyena Strelkoff understands tragedy all too well. Lyena was a young, beautiful dancer / actor when she fell from a tree and instantly lost the use of her legs.

Lyena in her chair today

Lyena in her chair today

While Lyena’s been in a wheelchair now for 15 years, she posted on Facebook a few days ago a photograph of herself pre-accident.

Lyena, a few months before her accident

Lyena, a few months before her accident

What was most remarkable to me is the way that she wrote about how she felt, looking at this picture of who she used to be.

She realized that she had truly embraced the transformative opportunity that the accident had provided her. She would never go back to her former life, even though that life came with working legs.

So I commented on the photo, asking her how soon she got past the “poor me, this is so terrible” phase that I assumed she must have gone through, and arrived at the “I’m so grateful this happened” phase. 

Her answer was, “I was grateful before I even hit the ground.”  

This answer stunned me, so I inquired more deeply. It turns out, Lyena had been asking for something to transform her life. So as soon as she heard the tree limb crack and realized that she was going to fall, she knew. This was her opportunity.  

So Lyena not only embraced this “tragedy” as the opportunity to change, she did so the moment it first happened.

{To listen to Lyena’s mesmerizing story, click here. She also reveals the clues, in the week leading up to the accident, that something BIG was about to happen.}

My Story

I know something about “tragedy” myself. And I know firsthand how different a tragedy can feel when you embrace the transformation vs fighting it tooth and nail.

The first “tragedy” I got to experience was 13 years ago, when my mother died after a 2-1/2 year battle with brain cancer. I was 31, and she was 62.

Up until that point my mother had been my rock, my top advisor, and the glue that held my family together. When she died, I didn’t just lose her, I also lost the rest of my family and even parts of myself.

At the time, I didn’t have any spiritual tools for understanding the blessing within the tragedy. As a result, I floundered for a decade, trying to get back to normal – not realizing that “normal” was never coming back. 

[Tweet “To embrace the spiritual blessing within a tragedy is to accept that “normal” is never coming back.”]

Finally, after a long, slow process of resisting change – even though I thought change was just what I wanted! – I came to realize a few years ago that the gift in losing my mother was that I had the opportunity to be radically different now. That understanding, when I finally got it, unlocked the freedom to step into the person I’ve always been meant to be.

My second experience with “tragedy” was last fall, when the Universe threw me out of the home I’d lived in for 18 years, via a foreclosure process.

While it was the most horrendously painful month of my life (except for the period my mother was dying), I had total certainty every step of the way that it was all in my highest and best good. I knew unshakably that enormous blessings were just on the other side.

As a result, I embraced it – and the transformation was swift and clean. One painful month was all it took.

That was followed by about 6 months of resting and recuperating, both emotionally and energetically. And now it’s been less than a year since the process began, and yet my life is so different. 

Spiritual Perspective Is Good For the Small Stuff Too

One of the points Lyena and I made at the end of our discussion is that spiritual perspective is helpful not just when dealing with life’s great tragedies, but also in response to the small annoyances: being passed over for a promotion, missing a flight, spilling a glass of iced tea on your laptop.

Whether big or small, the things that happen in your life are always in service of your highest and best good. In fact, YOU created them! The gift and the opportunity is to discover the blessing.

So the next time you find yourself experiencing something “bad” – whether it’s a broken heel or a broken heart – challenge yourself to KNOW that it’s in service to you.

But if you find yourself dealing with something “bad” and you just can’t shake the “poor me, why did this happen?” phase, try asking yourself, “What’s good about this?” and then listen to the answers that come.

And the answers always do come.

If you need help hearing or interpreting those answers, reach out to me about private coaching – I offer a complimentary 30-minute discovery session, to see if we’re a fit.

In the meantime, leave a comment below about your own experiences, and let’s continue the discussion!

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