Confession time, everyone. Last week was a breakdown week. It was an ugly, hard, messy week filled with many tears (and a box of cookies).
This week is a breakthrough week. There are a billion metaphors for this concept, it is clearly nothing new. Rainbow after the rain, light at the end of the tunnel, silver lining. But for me, the knowledge that a breakdown will inexorably lead to breakthrough is the one thing that always gets me through the deepest and worst days. It comforts me to know that after all the grief and sadness has started to ebb, something new will creep in. Something unexpected will take me someplace new in my life will happen. Sometimes I imagine being washed up on an unknown shore after being tossed around on a big ocean storm. Emerging out of the sea bedraggled but alive, with a renewed appreciation for life and a desire to stretch my legs.
We do not stay the same. No matter what, we change. If we’re engaged in the process, we learn and grow in ways that are in alignment with our heart and dreams. It’s like walking up an escalator. You were always going to reach the top of the escalator, now you just got there quicker and with more power and determination. If you’re not engaged in the process, it can feel like getting your shoelace caught in the moving stairs, and spending the entire time freaking out about what’s going to happen when you get to the top. You’re still going to get to the top, but it’s a much more stressful and resistant journey. We do not stay the same. Life changes us, in dozens of subtle ways everyday, and every now and again, in big dramatic ways.
Breakdown leads to breakthrough. When we breakdown, emotionally or physically, we are changed on a cellular level. Our bodies, hearts and minds are re-arranged, and like a puzzle, the new formation often lets new solutions, insights, answers or emotions become clear in a way they never were before. Sometimes it’s because we’re letting go of something and now have time and space to see new things, or sometimes it’s because we know that we can’t go back, so we start looking for beauty and good in the present.
The breakthrough takes time though, and often unveils itself over time. Yes it can be a lightning bolt of clarity, but it can also be a gentle easing of a fog, gradually revealing a brave new world. Generally it will be a mix of both over time.
My dad passed away 8 years ago this week. The biggest breakdown of my life, for sure. And the breakthroughs are still evolving. The rays of sunlight are still finding new ways to stream through the rubble, casting light on here-to-fore unknown parts of my spirit. I know I’ve already had tremendous amount of breakthroughs as a result of his passing. I know losing him has made my heart stronger. I know it’s part of what keeps my batteries charged and running, even when life gets challenging. The energy he left behind in this life has become part of my strength.
To everyone going through something challenging, hard, heartbreaking, the breakthrough is coming. After the ocean of emotion and circumstance, you’ll find yourself on new shores, breathing, capable, and ready to stand up. Trust yourself that goodness is coming. Breakthrough is on the other side of breakdown, but it can take time. Be patient with yourself.
I’m Ellen! A Career & Life Coach + Decision Making Expert. You want me on your team. I’m dedicated to helping you uncork your awesome, ditch options overwhelm and get out of your own way to have the life you really want and deserve! Curious how I can impact your life? Schedule a free chat with me here.