Last week my best friend called with terrible news. Her husband’s biopsy came back cancerous. Her voice trembled as she spoke of her future and the tearful reaction of her children. She was afraid and I was heartbroken for her.
Days later, I called to see how she is holding up. She optimistically told me that they’d checked into this particular type of cancer and had found it to be highly curable. She was upbeat, positive and said they were all convinced the treatment would go well. No one wants cancer but this event has pulled their family together. Now she will wait to see how things turn out.
In his book, All I Really Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarden, Robert Fulghum writes, “As long as life exists, something always happens next.”
When current events in our life become difficult, we can calm ourselves by simply deciding to wait to see how things turn out.
Several months ago a friend of mine lost his job. It was ecomonically devastating and caused him to move from his own apartment into the home of a relative. Months later he finds himself working in a better job, living closer to his daughter, whom he adores. Initially, losing his job looked like a bad thing but it turned out to be a good thing afterall.
Last year a friend of mine was experiencing marital difficulties. At the time we were all very reactive, and thoughts were that she would separate. When the storm calmed they attended marital counseling. Today their relationship seems stronger and happier. So despite all the drama of a year ago, things turned out.
Of course, one could argue that any one of these given situations could have turned out differently and they’d be right. Even so, there is always “something that happens next” . Even difficult and painful experiences can lead to happiness.
Choosing to wait to see how things turn out can keep you from catastrophizing about all the things that can possible go wrong but in the end, probably won’t happen.
Choosing to wait to see how things turn out can also help you put current events into perspective so you can be happier in the moment, no matter what is going on.
I recently became disillusioned with a friendship I initially felt was going well. When this happens, I tend to perservate but the truth is, all my thinking doesn’t change what simply “is”. Our friendship will either end or be stronger. If it ends, I will move on and so will he. Either way there will be “something that happens next” . There’s always some positive that comes from challenges. In this case, I am defining what I want from a these types of friendships.
In the meanwhile, I will simply wait to see how things turn out.