More Proof It’s All Good
It’s a great way to release resistance in the face of high contrast.
Start by thinking about something super fabulous in your life. I’m talking something really good …
… maybe your current sweetheart, or a job you love, or that trip of a lifetime you once took.
Now think about the events that led to that great thing.
Trace it back, step by step, backwards in time, along the path it unfolded …
… until you pinpoint something really crappy.
Something awful and unwanted.
That’s the birthplace of this fabulous thing.
If you look far enough, you’ll find it.
Because all our best things come from crap.
Like how my commitment to launching a coaching practice came after a corporate employer started taking steps to fire me.
And how my friend’s fabulously thriving body came after a health scare that inspired him to change his ways.
In fact, here’s a personal example I can walk you through. It’s the story of my favorite dog, Joe. He is definitely on the list of top 10 things I love most about life.
How did my love affair with Joe unfold?
If I trace it back, step by step, from his happily-ever-after here with me now to where it all started, these are the steps in reverse …
I adopted him from my ex. Who I was dog-sitting for. I was giving his pack midday potty breaks while he was at work.
That’s how I met Joe, an 80 pound pit bull mix with a heart of gold.
Over time I fell in such love with this dog that I started bringing him home with me, to spend afternoons together till his foster dad got home from work.
And the step before that … how did he end up at my ex’s house for me to meet him there?
Well, my ex was asked by someone at a local high-kill shelter to foster an unclaimed dog that had been hit by a car and was stuck there with a fractured spine. The dog couldn’t stand or sit without help.
He was in a bad way. No one claiming him and no rescue group stepping up for the $5k back surgery he needed.
In my book, that’s high contrast. The crap count on that situation is off the charts.
When no rescue groups were willing to do the surgery, the vet said, “Well, try sticking him in a foster home. See how he does.”
That was ten years ago and my ex was that foster home. I’m delighted to report Joe’s spine healed really well very quickly. (You’d never guess he ever had a problem.)
That’s the story of how one of my truest true loves came to me. Getting hit by a car and stranded at the shelter with a broken back.
I learned this “trace it back” method from Martha Beck, and I’m a fan because it helps remind us that good things come from crappy situations. (Or from “contrast,” as Abe puts it.)
So the next time you’re dwelling on something that feels awful, just remind yourself how your best things came from something crappy. It makes it a lot easier to embrace the current contrast. 🙂