Psychologist, author, and life coach Ralph Smart has said that at the moments in your life when it feels as though everything is falling apart, things might actually be falling into place. I am here to expand on Ralph’s view with a personal story of my own.
Feels Like Things Are Falling Apart? They Might Be Falling Into Place
Every great work, every great accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.
– Florence Scovel Shinn
At the beginning of last month I reached rock bottom financially. I couldn’t afford the rent for my house, let alone transport or sufficient food, since the dregs of my overdraft had been drained by the deposit for the house; I wrote articles every night, partly because my own positive advice was the only thing keeping me sane, but also because it would help pay rent; and I had to do something I hoped I’d never have to do again: ask family members for whatever money they could lend me in the meantime just to keep my feet on the ground.
I’m sure many of you can relate to the risk of having to put your security in the hands of your loved ones.
How life taught me to count my blessings
Beyond this, my childhood also lacked. I grew up in a starved-of-space, three-bedroomed house with four other siblings raised by a single mother who had no support. Sacrifices were made, part-time jobs taken on when I turned 16, and pocket money non-existent.
Would I go back and change any of this given the chance? No. Because I am, as Susan Jeffers put it, one of the “lucky ones in life.” I am someone who has had to overcome hardships again and again, and thus been able to “emerge a much stronger person” as a result.
It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.
– J.K Rowling (more quotes)
My childhood taught me empathy. It taught me that people have it bad in life, even worse than me, and yet still find the strength to overcome. Like my mother did. She spent the majority of her childhood alone and worried and fending for herself, being carted back and forth between children’s homes and foster families. She in particular taught me the bravery it takes to rise and stand in the moments that make your knees shake.
And the past month taught me that life has a way of falling into place even when you initially thought it was falling apart.
Things fall apart… the better to fall back into place
Things fell into place this month when I paid my rent and still had money to buy food.
For some, this may seem like a tiny win, or perhaps not even a “win” at all. But for me, it was one of my greatest triumphs. Because, in the process, I had to ask for the tricky things. I had to ask for loans. Extra hours at work. I put my security in the hands of others. I had to be vulnerable. I had to persevere.
And, as Smart predicted, everything has fallen into place.
The tiny seed knew that in order to grow it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness and struggle to reach the light.
– Sandra King
All obstacles moved out of the way so that I could afford my rent. I am one with Paulo Coelho’s concept that when you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
Everybody’s doubts dissolved when I held my head up high and said, “paid.”
And, unusually, I came out the other end of this setback not more cynical, but rather even more grateful than I was before. A first for me.
What adversity awakens
Having to savor every penny made me thankful even for the smallest of things… The fact I have breath in my lungs; that I get to wake up in a bed; that I get to have a job; that I get to express myself through the written word.
Or that I get to live in the city I’ve dreamt about since I was 14, working towards the one thing I want from life more than anything: to become a professional actor.
This is not me claiming that things won’t fall apart again. To the contrary. I know that they could fall apart on an even grander scale next time, for when you are putting yourself in more risky situations every day, naturally, the magnitude of failure will increase. Still, that’s okay with me — because as Susan Jeffers phrased it in Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, “Whatever happens, I’ll handle it!”
It is important to remember that there can be no joy without despair, no prosperity without poverty. If you feel like you are being tested, keep going. If your inner compass is moving you towards something, you’ll know that quitting on your path is an option you will only later regret.
Your family, friends, teachers, loved ones, will all doubt you whenever you reach a pitfall. Be sure of it. They love you, and so they will send along their doubts (shrouded as heartfelt kiss-on-the-cheek concerns) without apology – and when that happens, I advise to you to change the channel. Just. Stop. Listening.
Unless of course you come from a family of Nobel Prize-winning experts in your desired field. But even THEN, only you know what is best for you.
So when things fall apart, let them fall.
I have learnt to trust that it’ll be eventually clear they were just falling into place.