When your life falls apart, make a quilt?

7 May

Sometimes, it feels as though your whole life is coming apart at the seams and nothing is ever going to be “okay” ever again.  Lots of things can put you into this state: death, divorce, job loss, financial calamity, sickness, injuries, disasters of all kinds.  You are stressed, depressed, anxious, and feeling out of control.

We know that we didn’t do anything to “deserve” these calamities, but still…they have landed on our doorstep.  What do we do?  How do we cope?  We can’t FIX the problem.

It may sound crazy, but let it go.

You have been presented with an opportunity, you just have not realized it yet.  It’s an opportunity to create something new, using the pieces of the old that have come apart.  After a fashion, it is a quilt, but you won’t have to sew it together either.

Our lives ARE like quilts.  We take the bits and pieces of our past, our families, our homes, our careers, everything…and assemble it together to make up the quilt that we are, a composite created of those pieces we’ve collected along the way.  We may not have a choice of which of life’s fabrics we get to use, but we do have a choice in how we put it together.

I’ve lived through some disasters, so I’ve been there.  I’ve not done them all, thank goodness, but along the way, I’ve discovered that the coping mechanisms are pretty much the same.  Along the way, I’ve discovered that while I am a survivor, there are lessons that can be shared with others as well as with myself.

  • Material things don’t matter.  Sure, they make life easier and prettier, but in the long run, they are just THINGS.  They can be bought and sold.  We can even buy second hand THINGS.  Things can be replaced, if we  choose to replace them after the situation is resolved.
  • Memories do matter…a lot.  It’s not the mementos, the photographs, the trinkets…but the real memories in your head that matter.  Make lots of memories by living well and doing, not by worrying, hoarding, and fussing.  Spend time with the people that matter the  most to you.
  • People are important.  Family and friends alike are important.  Acquaintances are a dime a dozen.  Spend time with the people you care about, spend time on the relationships that matter to you.  It’s an investment in your life-quilt, and will give you lots of pieces for it too.

The economy stinks, people are losing homes and jobs and cars faster than they bought them.  Disasters of a hundred kinds can strike in the blink of an eye, with no warning, and without any recourse.  Every material thing you own can disappear, and you should be just fine.  Sure, it will be hard to start over again, find a new job, a new home, a new car, a new community, etc. but it isn’t the end of the world.  If you have a good “life-quilt”, it keeps you warm on the dark and cold nights, and it goes with you to your new location and situation.  There are worse things than being homeless.

Its called hopeless.

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