Changing Destinations ... Universal Detours for a Better Life

By: Edward B. Toupin

I recently worked with several people who are in the lowest points in
their lives. It seems that everywhere they turn and everything they do
creates a new avalanche of loss. Some of these people were, at one
time, wealthy individuals, but, because of changes around them, they
suddenly lost everything. The others were living comfortable lives and
it seemed like everything just stopped working for them. In all cases,
they were slowly sinking into despair because they couldn't see the
light at the end of the tunnel.

At one time, I had money and a beautiful home at the top of a mountain,
overlooking a valley. We had a view of one of the Rocky Mountain ranges
and we could watch the weather roll into Denver, from above the clouds.
It was spectacular. However, in a matter of six years, I was broke and
homeless. My wife became deathly ill, which ran us into debt. Then,
once she was back on her feet, the Hi Meadow fire in Bailey, CO ran us
out of our home. Two months later, my father died, plunging the entire
family into discord. However, once things settled down, we stopped long
enough to realize that we were suddenly traveling down a different path.

We had everything, and then suddenly, we had only the bare essentials
necessary to survive. After the shock, we realized that we were truly
happy for the first time in years because, in the worst possible
situations, we could live anywhere as long as we had my wife, me, and
the two dogs. Beyond that, very little else mattered. We realized at
that point that we had the opportunity to change our lives, completely.
That's when we relocated and started over on a new and wonderful
adventure---ourselves. After some time and some adjustments, things are
great again, but they're great in completely different way.

We all experience life's challenges and Universal tests; however,
sometimes these tests appear to completely destroy what we see as our
personal world. Regardless of how hard we try, everything goes wrong,
changes, and simply falls apart. Of course, the view of our "world
falling apart" is relative to each of us based on our personal

Some may simply lose a diamond ring while others may lose
their money, home, or loved ones. This sounds like "inevitable
doomsday" talk, but this is actually an important part of our lives
where the Universe forces us determine new paths.

Realize that the Universe will never "take" anything away from you.
There are grander scenarios in play than simply putting you on a course
for loss. Instead, in these situations, you are already heading down a
path where material items are stripped from your life. It's like the
path turns from pavement to dirt. If you look at these situations,
you'll realize that those things that are stripped away are usually
items that you hold dear, but are no longer of any real use. These
items are "anchors" because they're keeping you where you are and not
allowing you to move forward. It is the Universe's way of showing us
that we don't need these things anymore as we've moved beyond them and
need to let them go. In most cases, these situations occur before you
move into something new because you're either not listening to "the
message" or you need to learn something before you can continue.

The hardest part of this entire situation is not so much the loss, but
the recovery. Loss can be viewed in two ways: 1) I have a void because
I lost something or someone dear in my life, 2) I will remember that
part of my life, but a new door has opened for me. Sometimes, as you
experience loss and go through the grieving process, you can eventually
feel better and "lighter." You are losing anchors that keep you in
place. However, it's easy to remain in "loss" because you don't have to
face what has occurred and you never have to take responsibility for
potential loss in the future. Essentially, sitting in loss means that
you're waiting for that "other shoe to drop."

Once you are at a point where you feel you can recover, you have to
decide "what's next." You've probably been running in panic mode,
juggling everything in your life to keep from sinking. Since you're so
used to this mode of operation, it becomes hard to change from keeping
the dogs at bay to running in a positive direction again. You have to
take stock in what you have, learn from what has happened, and examine
the new path on which you have been placed. But, realize that once you
lose nearly everything, you have an entire range of choices available to
you because you don't have the excess load that was keeping you
motionless. Additionally, as you begin to recover, you'll find that
you've actually gained so much more. I know this sounds patronizing,
especially if you're in it. But, if you step back and analyze your
situation, you will find that you've not only learned something, but
you've also taken a very definite turn in your life.

Understand that when you're in an avalanche situation, you need to
recognize what's happening in your life. Step back and analyze what is
really happening and define the underlying issues causing such a
calamity. In most cases, as in our case of fire, illness, and death,
there is nothing that you can do to stop it from happening. But, you do
have the power within you to keep it from taking over your life by
ensuring that you don't fall into despair or depression. Realize that,
although the loss leaves a void, you have been given a new lease on life
and a new set of possibilities to examine.

In many cases, the Universe throws a curve to make you change
directions---whether it is emotional, physical, or spiritual. If you
can understand that sometimes things happen that are out of your
control, then you will be able to better handle such situations. To
prepare yourself, you need to go back to the basics such as life, love,
security, and ambitions to evaluate the stability of each element and
know that the things that really matter in your life are inside of you.
When you have little to carry and everything you needFeature Articles, it's much easier
to handle the curves and maneuver to a more stable and fulfilling life.

Life Fear and Attitude

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