Dr Jozelle Miller
November 21, 2017
Hitting rock bottom

As a result of natural disaster, you lose your home and earthly belongings. As a result of poor choices or just simple misfortune, you lose your job and your health is compromised. In your mind it appears that you have hit rock bottom. Often at this point, the question is asked, what else can go wrong? But even as you mentally ask yourself this question, you stand with bated breath, fearful that things could really get much worse.

The thing is this: while hitting rock bottom may look different from person to person, it should serve as a wake-up call – an “epiphany moment.”

It’s in this moment that one becomes aware of their destructive ways – maybe a drinking problem, extravagant spending, toxic behaviour in a romantic relationship, or even our lack of appreciation for the people and things we have been blessed with. After this awareness, it is important to begin acting on the solution to the problems in front of you.

Bobby Ryals, a motivational speaker, asked the question: When life gives you a wake-up call… do you answer, let it go to voicemail, or ignore it altogether? By letting it go to voicemail, you may have good intentions, but eventually you forget the message. When bad things happen… know that there is a message in the mess!! When God sends you a wake-up call… answer it and address your issues. Sending it to voicemail (good intentions) is just as unproductive as ignoring it altogether!

We have to be mature enough to take ownership of our misgivings; mature enough to look beyond the person as the obstacle, but rather focus on the higher lessons to be learned in the situation, which will undoubtedly take us to a new dimension. We must get to a point where we understand that hitting rock bottom can actually be a blessing nicely wrapped in the hardest struggles we may have to endure; but it is the self-realization at this point which would decide how well we answer that “wake-up call.”

How to get back on track after hitting rock bottom?

1. Look your situation in the eye and make peace with it

Once you are aware that you do not like where you are and you want to change, the first step is to simply accept your current circumstances and understand that change always starts with you, not what’s going on out there.

If you do not get the inside right, you probably wouldn’t be able to get the outside right and even if you do get the outside right, and you are still messed up on the inside, it wouldn’t matter, because you simply won’t be able to enjoy it.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. (Viktor E Frankl)

2. Start and stack

All you have is today and what you do right now. To move forward, it is always best to start with one simple action. One step… One thing that will get you moving in the direction of where you would like to go.

And then once you create a habit of it and gain some positive momentum, start slowly stacking one positive habit one on top of another.

It’s hard to take on 10 new habits at once, but one new habit every month or so, over the course of a year, is not only doable, but it will also lead some profound changes in your life.

3. Become determined to turn your pain, loss and suffering into something great.

Every negative event contains within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. (Napoleon Hill)

No matter how messed up life may get sometimes, you can find a positive in just about everything, if you look for it. And if you can’t see it with your eyes, then make it with your heart, your hands and your words.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “why?’

Why did I mess things up?

Why did I have to lose everything?

Why do so much bad things happen to me all the time?

Why did he/she leave me?

“Why?” isn’t the right question.

The right question is “How?”

How can I change this? How can I turn this into a positive? How can I use this for good? How can I make sure this never happens again?

To be continued next week.