Healing a Painful Past: 3 Steps to Overcoming Life's Disappointments

Karen Wheeler Hall

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Every dark cloud has a silver lining. It may sound corny, but it’s true. When disappointment rears its ugly head, stay positive and expect things to work out to your advantage. Actively look for the silver lining, or you just might miss it.

In addition, use this silver lining concept to heal old wounds. Look back on painful episodes from the past and analyze them. Systematically look for anything positive that came out of those situations.

3 Tips for Finding the Good in a Bad Event

In analyzing bad events from the past, consider these criteria:

  1. Did your physical circumstances change as a result of the bad event, taking you out of harm’s way or bringing you into a favorable situation you would have missed otherwise? (example: you are very upset at missing your plane, only to find out later that the plane crashed)
  2. Did the bad event prompt you to change -– to grow as a person, to give up a bad habit, etc. ? (example: the death of someone close to you prompts you to reexamine your priorities in life)
  3. Did the bad event result in a benefit for someone else? (example: following his diagnosis of testicular cancer, Lance Armstrong created a foundation dedicated to helping people with cancer).

3 Steps to Finding the Silver Lining

  1. Write down something bad that happened in your life.
  2. Think deeply about the bad event. Write down all the good things (no matter how small) that happened as a result of that incident. Remember to look at the tips listed above if you get stuck. Can’t come up with even one good outcome? Maybe the good outcome has not occurred yet, or maybe it did happen but you were unaware of it (such as getting a flat tire, which made you miss being involved in a traffic accident).
  3. Repeat Steps 1-2 for other bad events in your life.

Practice this silver lining exercise to help you see that something good always comes from every so-called “bad” event in your life. You may not understand it yet, you may find it impossible to see the good, but it is there. Just open yourself up and be receptive in order to understand.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with a crystal ball to show us the ultimate outcome of painful situations. So let the dust settle on your troubling times, then look back with your best 20/20 hindsight. At long last, you just may see the purpose of it all. Stay positive in every situation, and you will eventually see that all events work for your highest good.

Karen Wheeler Hall is the author of Illumination – Inspiring Stories about Finding the Silver Lining, available from http://www.KarenWheelerHall.com/ , on-line bookstores, and through major bookstores nationwide. Download your copy of Karen's FREE eBook Positively Incredible! by visiting http://www.KarenWheelerHall.com/ .

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