How to Deal with Misfortune

Most of the time when people come in for coaching or for a tarot reading they're looking for help. Things aren't going the way that they want them to, or maybe they are, but whatever transition or transformation that they're going through is causing them suffering and sleepless nights. Sometimes even low-level dissatisfaction, if it's constant, can really eat away at us.

How do you deal when something bad happens or if you're caught in some form of misery that you can't seem to shake? Here's some suggestions:

  • There's a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is a natural response to what's happening to us. Suffering is what we heap onto the pain by our thoughts about what's happening to us. We don't often even realize we're having these thoughts unless we stop to give them a voice. How many times have you caught yourself thinking something like "That figures," or "I knew it was too good to be true." And that doesn't even come close to the agonizing torture of "I don't deserve it," "It must be because people hate me," and "The universe is out to get me, I just know it is."
  • Find someone to talk to. A lot of us think that it's wrong to burden others, or that other people have bigger problems and who are we to ask for help. There's nothing wrong with finding a friend to talk to, or hiring a coach or a therapist. Sometimes the very act of reaching out breaks the stranglehold of energy that's keeping things the way they are.
  • Write in your journal. Energy needs to flow, and at the very least writing regularly in your journal will get your frustrations and worries out and onto the page, instead of just festering in your head. You may even find that you discover solutions you weren't aware of. In addition, you'll be able to see right in front of you any story that you tell yourself over and over again and how it's keeping you miserable. Maybe you'll even get tired of telling it.
  • Role play a little. It's hard to see how difficult situations can help us grow or be to our benefit at all, but the truth is that often they do have something to offer us. Pretend you're the situation, or a facet of it, and talk about yourself and what you are (writing in a journal is easier for this). What is your nature? Why are you there? What do you have to offer?
  • Take turtle steps. It's hard to imagine getting someplace good when you're in a rut. But you don't need to know how to get to the end point--you just need to see right in front of you, and shove yourself forward a step at a time. You also don't know just how much of a difference a little movement can make. Often, small changes -- especially the first ones -- can have a huge effect on your outlook or mood, and enable you to take bigger steps later.