I’m sure you’ve experienced a time when things are moving along smoothly, all is well and you seem to be cruising with the flow of universal traffic. Life feels free, wind-in-your-hair good, like nothing could derail you. Then, something or someone throws you a major curveball. That big thing you didn’t expect —an illness, a huge financial bill, a family crisis— and it catapults you into another orbit, making the life you are currently enjoying come to a screetching halt. All of the sudden, you go from enjoying an easy existence to just keeping your head above the water. You think, “Why me?”

I was recently faced with a life situation that raised the question, “Why me?” My husband and I were both starting new businesses and, while stressful, we were excited at the prospect of the abundance our new ventures would bring. Our daughters were doing well in school and happily anticipating dancing in our local production of “The Nutcracker” ballet. We were making our holiday plans and looking forward to an extremely busy, but fun, Christmas season. Then, that 90 mile an hour curveball came our way.

My husband has lived with some mental health issues over the last 30 years. It is usually well controlled with self-management and medication. But, the stress of a new business, finances and the holidays triggered a severe, unforeseen recurrence of his symptoms. Both of us were thrown into a spiral. Everything that had been cruising along just stopped. While we navigated his medical treatment, I was thrust into the role of managing our home, our children, school work, ballet rehearsals, holiday gifts & plans and, oh yeah, my fledgling business. All of this while feeling very scared and emotional about what was happening inside of my husband’s mind.

I honestly could have just broken down, thrown my hands up in the air and said, “Why me? Why him? Why NOW?” But, I remembered something a wise spiritual teacher of mine had told me. In every problem lies a gift, and sometimes the best gifts come in the ugliest wrapping. Whatever is happening in your life is not happening TO you, it is happening FOR you. It’s happening so you can grow. These words were comforting to me. They reminded me that I was being supported by the Universe, like a parent would support a child, while I navigated this difficult time.

When I really looked, what I saw was the gift of my business giving me the flexibility to care for my husband and children. I saw the gift of friends and family who were supportive, helpful and loving. I even saw the gift of inspiration to write this blog post in hope that I could help another person navigating their own personal struggle.

So, bottom-line— when life throws you that major league curveball, I encourage you to look around and try to find the Universal gift in it. It may not be apparent right away, but it’s always there. Then, let your gratitude for that gift be bigger than your woe because you will come out of it better, wiser & stronger than before.

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