What to do When Things Fall Apart?

I’m reading Pema Chodron’s book When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times.

Sometimes things do fall apart.  Best-laid plans and all that stuff.

It’s easy to mouth the words, “everything happens for a reason,” but much harder to accept the truth behind the words.

The truth is that sometimes things must fall apart in order for the pieces to reconnect.  Something needs to break down because it’s not working right.

Is the answer to simply throw the thing away?  I don’t believe so.  Might we try first to investigate why it broke down?

Or maybe the why isn’t important.  Maybe we just accept that it isn’t working the way it is and then choose to see if it will work differently.

When something falls apart for me, it generally involves a relationship of some kind.  The “thing” is a product of a relationship with myself, with a situation (like at work) or with another person.

Sometimes the thing that is broken can’t be fixed.  Try as we might, the trying turns into a form of insanity as we continue to do the same things over and over expecting different results.

I feel crazy, truly crazy sometimes and all I want is to claim peace in my life.  I’m learning that affirming peace is code for asking for love because love is the return to sanity.

Here’s a question I’m asking myself today:  In the midst of things falling apart, can I respond with love?  Can I be love in every situation and circumstance?

More questions:  What does love look like in my life?  Self-love and love of others?  Love of God?

When things fall apart, I want to run and hide.  I want to do anything except be with the pain as it crumbles.

Are you like me?  Do you tend to stay stuck in the pain or have you figured out how to traverse its rocky rapids?

Just for today, I’ve decided that I no longer want to stay stuck so I’m jumping into the pain.  I’m going to see what lessons are lurking in the rapids’ depths.

It will be necessary to slow down–to be mindful–so as not to miss the lessons.

Of utmost importance:  the lessons are for me and not anyone else.  Where am I erring?  This exercise isn’t about beating up on myself but about learning how I contribute to things falling apart.

Even with a cracked heart, love lets me believe that I can do better.  I can be better.  I am better because I am love.

You are your own greatest love.  I pray you believe those words today.  If you don’t believe me, focus on these lines from Pema’s book:

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.

When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what, the test of each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize.

We can meet our match with a poodle or with a raging guard dog, but the interesting question is–what happens next?

We are not striving to make pain go away or to become a better person.  In fact, we are giving up control altogether and letting concepts and ideals fall apart.

It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space.  By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness.

B Love,



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  1. Becky Vance says:

    I practiced pausing this morning. It was scary but I survived. I am going to practice it today. Just for today, I am going to slow down and not run through my day. With God’s help, I know I can do it. Thanks for your guidance. You are an inspiration to many.

  2. Arline says:

    Thanks for sharing this kind of info..I know that in gods help I can do survive in this kind of struggle..

  3. Wow, this is amazing. I am SO very proud of you. Well done.

    • Beth says:

      Hi Terri, now that is high praise coming from you and I appreciate it greatly! Hope all is well with you; would love to catch up sometime soon.

      B Well!

  4. […] I found myself wondering how I would react in real life. […]

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