Turning Bad News Into Good

Several years ago I went through a crappy time at work. My business partner-in-crime, the peanut butter to my jelly, and the professional love of my life, Lauren Fitzgerald, is moving to New York City because her husband got a (fabulous) job in the Big Apple.

When you’re an entrepreneur and own a very small company, the people you work with are a very big deal.

They’re everything.

So here was the theme of my pity party: This sucks, I’m so sad, I’m going to be so lonely. Woe is me. That is, untiI I found a way out after listening to a podcast called Your Soul Purpose. It’s taught me an acronym that’s pulled me out of my funk: 

E + R = O. 

E = The events in your life.

R = Your reaction to those events.

O = The ultimate outcome.

In other words, life is not in charge…you are. This brought me to two great takeaways:

First, your circumstances are what they are, and you often can’t control them. There’s nothing in the world I can do to prevent my current situation from happening.

I’m a control freak—and while it’s hard to admit, it’s true. But as much as I cherish control, I am not in control of Lauren moving to another state.

The “E” in the equation is what it is.

My second lesson is that while I’m not in control of this situation, I am, indeed, in control of my reaction to the situation. I get to choose how I respond. And while I could continue to lie in bed and daydream about a lonely life of isolation and despair, why go there?

The “R” in the equation is what you make of it.

With all that in mind, I made a conscious choice to look at this moving situation differently.

One of my favorite gurus, Wayne Dyer, says that when you change the way you look at things…the things you look at change.

I figured that I can’t change the situation I’m facing, so why not change the way I look at it? I gave myself permission to search for upsides. For one, we’re going to let Lauren work remotely for The Mom Complex, and we’ve made a pact to “find the silver lining” to her move. To that end, we noted that Lauren is moving closer to family, will have better shopping, and be near many clients. 

I’ve found that when you’re open to a new perspective, you start seeing similar, validation messages and wisdom as universal reinforcement. The other day, when I was reading, You’ll See It When You Believe It by Wayne Dyer, his wise words jumped off the page. “When you believe it’s the events in your life that make you unhappy,” he wrote, “you have yet to realize that you are stranded in misery by the way you’re processing those events.”

I’m now directing my time and energy toward controlling what I can actually control, my reaction.

E + R = O for the win! 

Katherine Wintsch