Encountering the Unexpected – We’ve all had them, those things that happen, seemingly out of nowhere, that catch us off-guard. All of a sudden, there it is; the UNEXPECTED. You know the ones, the kind of surprises we don’t like. It could be getting that call into HR with the next round of layoffs. Maybe it’s that request to return to the doctor’s office to talk about those test results. Perhaps, it’s an intimidating letter from the IRS, or, an inquiry from your bank or accountant. A phone call that awakens you during the wee hours about one of your teen sons, or daughters can shock us awake, quickly. It could even be a disclosure from your spouse or significant other, that you never saw coming.
Despite our best efforts, there are things in life that we personally can’t avoid…things that we are not directly responsible for their happening, yet, things that directly involve, or affect us. However, there is hope!
Perspective and Response
-Know that the unexpected will occur in our lives.
-Equip ourselves for resilience for contending with the unexpected, by maintaining our overall sense of healthiness; mind, body and spirit. This will be especially helpful for our personal staying power, as the time of the unexpected may become prolonged.
-Believe that the intensity of the situation is temporary, and, that it is normal to go through shock, disbelief, anger/hurt, and that it really ‘stinks’ in the meantime, before eventually getting to acceptance.
-Fortify ourselves through the support of caring family, friends, counseling, and through our faith/church/spiritual community.
-‘Never give up, don’t ever give up,’ (Jim Valvano)…hope is an amazing thing, that doesn’t run out, unless we allow it.
-Consider thinking differently about the situation, overall, and how the difficulty of today may also present an unanticipated opportunity.
Although the sampling of the things mentioned above will not change the event, or circumstance, these strategies/skills can change us, in the meantime, as we effectively learn how to manage, cope, and heal from it.
~Author: Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC with permission to post on Rosario Counseling & Associates
Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Rosario Counseling & Associates. He has practiced in a variety of behavioral health settings in the Triangle area of North Carolina since 1981, including innovative approaches to substance abuse and chronic pain management, crisis intervention, as well as working with relationship issues with couples and families. Areas of interest, and expertise include: mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse education/screening/outpatient follow-up, ADD/ADHD, relationship/premarital/marital counseling along with co-therapy, stress/pain management including biofeedback modality, life transition issues especially with college students as well as older adults, adolescent counseling.
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