My Whole Life Recently Fell Apart And I Couldn’t Be Happier

My Whole Life Recently Fell Apart And I Couldn’t Be Happier

Many people see life falling apart as awful news. I mean, it is pretty terrifying when everything you know is shifting and collapsing around you. However, I’ve learned that this is actually a really cool place to be. Recently, my struggle with mental illness led to a period of hospitalization which cost me my job, among other things. It seemed like my life was over, but so many lessons can be pulled from the ruins and joy is just on the other side.

  1. I ultimately have a choice in my perspective. I have a say in how I decide to look at any given situation. I could decide that everything has fallen apart because I suck, the universe hates me, and because I’m never going to be happy again. Or, I could see life falling apart as a giant blessing. My perspective is ultimately mine to choose.
  2. Happiness can be created through gratitude. Some people think that happiness is something that just happens. That may be the case sometimes, but more often than not, I have to create happiness through being grateful. I can pick and choose the positive things that come from even the crappiest situations. Doing so leaves me a happier person with a better perspective.
  3. The only constant is change. It’s pretty insane to try to keep everything the way it is, but I do it all the time. I’m guilty of trying to make my life stay just as I want it to. Then, all of a sudden, something unexpected happens and blows my plans to smithereens. The cool thing about this happening is that I just have to adjust my attitude to know that actually, change is the only thing that’s here to stay.
  4. It often takes a dramatic occurrence to remind me of what’s important. Who wants to experience death, loss, sickness, and other awful things? I don’t know many people who would actively choose them. Nonetheless, they happen. If I let them teach me, they have a ton to offer. One lesson is that grief burns away anything that isn’t essential in my life. When I’m devastated, I’m only focusing on what truly matters.
  5. Life is too short to not choose the essential things every day. When everything falls apart, it makes me let go of anything that isn’t serving me. It reminds me of how very short my time on this earth is. I seldom want to contemplate my own mortality, but beautiful things come from looking it square in the face. One outcome is that I only hold onto what’s essential.
  6. Internal things matter much more than material. I can find myself chasing money, fame, and recognition, but at the end of my life, none of these are going to be what matters. Near-death experiences snap me awake to discover the internal matters like how deeply I loved, what sort of kindness I spread, and how much I respected myself. These things are what I’m going to be considering on my death bed.
  7. There’s nothing more gratifying than being true to myself. When everything falls apart, I lose the ability to BS myself and others. I truly just don’t have the energy to fake nice to people who harmed me or to say yes to anything I only want to say no to. This shift is truly a blessing because it means I’m really saying yes to my truest self.
  8. One door closes for others to open. Just when I think my life is over because everything I’ve worked for has collapsed, another door opens up to me. I could have never imagined these other doors opening, but they did as a direct result of the other one’s closing. The universe usually has a whole lot more in store for me than I ever could have imagined.
  9. I can’t get to the next monkey bar until I’m willing to let go of the one I’m on. That next door may open, but I need to leave that other one closed. Similarly, when I’m on the monkey bars, I can’t move forward to that next bar until I’ve let go of the one behind me. If my life has totally exploded, I need to let things be. I need to leave that door closed and move my hands to the next monkey bar. There are beautiful things ahead.
  10. I’ve been here before and I’ve been better for it. My life falling apart isn’t news to me. I’ve been through this quite a few times. It always seems to strike me as a giant surprise, but then I lean into what’s happening and just hope for the best. What always seems to happen is that there are giant gifts right around the corner and the whole experience shapes me into a better person.
  11. I have greater faith in trusting the process. No one ever wants to hear this, but I’ve learned that I have such little control over any given thing that goes on in my life. I’m better off just riding the waves. My favorite author Pema Chodron says in her book, When Things Fall Apart: “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.” Time to let go and make a trust fall into the universe.
Ginelle Testa's an avid wordsmith. She's a queer gal whose passions include recovery/sobriety, social justice, body positivity, and intersectional feminism. In the rare moments she isn't writing, you can find her holding her own in a recreational street hockey league, thrifting eclectic attire, and imperfectly practicing Buddhism. Follow her on Insta!