What experience do you want through a really tough time?

Thinking about your experience

Thinking about your experience

If you are going through a very intense, tough time in your life, please read on.  If life is OK for you at the moment, great, and maybe this insightful tip will come in handy in the future just when you need it – so put it in your back pocket for later.

Maybe ‘tough time’ means that your parent is sick and in the hospital, and you are trying to advocate for him/her by dealing with the healthcare system, or you are going through a health scare yourself, or something awful is going on at work that is driving you crazy, or you are going through a terrible break-up .  Whatever the emotional roller coaster you happen to be on, it likely feels the world is handing you a raw deal and you wish it would just stop.  Talking with a confidant helps but you still feel like the world is beating you up.

A few years ago, when I was going through a cancer diagnosis at the same time as my father’s major heart attack and him saying good-bye to our family as he believed he wouldn’t make it (which he did, thankfully), and caring for my mom through all of this, a friend said something extremely curious and insightful to me:

“Wendy, what do you want your experience to be through all this?”

At first, this question doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, what did she mean what experience did I want to have?  All of these things were happening to me.

After spending time contemplating this question, the light came on and it made sense to me. Here is what the question meant to me:

  • being self-aware about my own reaction to what I was going through
  • realizing that I had a choice in how I experience these events
  • letting myself take a step back, to observe how I will journey through this time

And the experience I chose for my situation was:

  • that I wanted to do what I could to help my parents, and accept what I had no control over
  • that I would actively take control of my cancer diagnosis, be at peace in the choices I would make, and do what I could to improve my chances
  • to stay grounded, which meditation helped me do

This is about putting your attention on your intention; living through tough times with intention rather than feeling out of control and a victim.

Does this make sense to you?  If so, perhaps it would be helpful for you to think about your life right now.  Taking a moment to pause, and think about What experience you want through this time.

I hope this helps someone out there. It’s a piece of advice I offer to people going through a tough time, and it’s usually met with deep emotion as the light turns on when they ‘get’ what this could mean to them.






7 thoughts on “What experience do you want through a really tough time?

  1. Thanks for this awesome insight. It is valuable for everyday life and living also. I would imagine life would be so much more meaningful if we chose how we love/live day to day! THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING

    • Hello RevSandy! You’re so welcome. This simple question has helped me many times in my life, and you’re absolutely right, it can apply to everyday life too! Thank you for seeing and mentioning that.

      Have a lovely day, and thank you for sharing it on your Facebook page too! That is greatly appreciated,

    • Hi Al,
      Yes it is going through a situation in a conscious way, seeing yourself experiencing it, and yes, you’re right, looking to see what the lesson is while you’re going through it. What are you learning through it? What is the value of this experience?

      Thank you, you insightful special person!

  2. Love it Wendy. Thanks for this 🙂 As I read your post, I was thinking I’m going through a pretty ok time right now and that I’ll keep it in my back pocket. But then I realized that I am always making the choice over how I experience my life. And I am always going through stuff. Even little “stuff” can blow up to be big “stuff” in my mind. Just some off-the-cuff comment someone said to me might create all sorts of angry or retaliatory responses in my mind that I might not notice until I sit down and take an honest look at what is going on in my head. When I look at my life and those intense initiatory experiences that you mentioned are not present at the moment, I think, oh, everything is going great right now. And on one level it is. But on another level, I am always choosing how to experience everything I am going through and if I’m not conscious, I might find myself in a whirl of confusion even with some small little thing. So I realize that right now, in recognizing that I have a choice as to how I experience even the seemingly small irritations and annoyances that are happening right now, I prepare myself for when more challenging stuff hits, which, in time, it will.

    • Hello Paul,
      What a wonderful comment you made!
      You are living life consciously, with awareness. You are right – even the little stuff in our lives can be made better if we realize we have a choice in how we experience them. It does take effort, doesn’t it. But it’s really worth it.

      Thank you so much for your explanation of how you view this. I’m sure it will help others as they read it.
      Have a lovely day,

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