How to Deal When Life Bitch Slaps You

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but life can come around and kick your ass.

At any time.

For any reason.

Has it ever happened to you?

I’m sure it has. You’re human, right?

Well, so am I.

Life has certainly come around and bitch slapped me a few times.

What might have felt like a big deal to me could have been small potatoes for others.

And vise versa.

Yet the size and structure of our problems don’t really matter because to us, they’re as big as the Universe.

The only thing that does matter is how we respond to them – because that’s the only control we have over them.

So given that I’ve learned a thing or two about life and it’s many, ummm, adventures (sometimes seemingly at my expense), I’ve caught on to a few things.

Most (if not all) of it has to do with personal responsibility. Easier said than done, but one has to start somewhere.

The truth is, we’re responsible for how we interpret things. We’re definitely the ones in charge of how we take action from there.

I’d like to share what I know about how to deal when life feels like it’s ganging up on you.

Perhaps you’ll resonate with what I have to say and find yourself empowered, or at least somewhat enlightened by the time you’re finished reading.

Before I continue, though, I just want to mention that I’m well aware that some problems are much bigger in scale than others.

When life has kicked your ass in a major way and you’re looking at declining health, severe loss and other catastrophes, I still feel these ideas may come into play – especially idea #3.

But I would never downplay anyone’s pain by implying that “we create our own reality.”

Yes, I feel in many ways we do. But I also know that without any deliberate contribution on our part, shit still happens – and sometimes it’s pretty massive. I pay homage to those who deal with such issues.

I’ve watched people become incredibly brave in the face of adversity.

I’m not saying these methods will work perfectly for any and all issues, but they sure do come in handy for the things that play out in our normal day to day lives.

How to Deal When Life Bitch Slaps You

When life bitch slaps you, there are a few things you’ll want to know.

They all have to do with self-ownership. Once you decide to get real with yourself (as I’ve been doing), you start to see things from a far more expanded point of view.

A limited perspective keeps us stagnant. There’s no room for growth when we aren’t willing to keep an open mind.

So in order to triumph when life wreaks havoc, it’s good to be aware of what’s going on within us.

Some of the most effective ways to see things with clarity include:

~ Being an observer

~ Assuming personal responsibility

~ Consciously surrounding ourselves with inspiring people and materials

1 – Being an observer

A while back, I observed something about myself.

I was in the middle of complaining about something. I don’t remember what it was, but it doesn’t matter.

A part of me stepped back and noticed something.

I saw a pattern.

See, life would grant my wishes more times than I’d given it credit for, but I hadn’t noticed.

The reason is because I was too focused on lack.

I realized that I had a tendency to complain on a regular basis. If something actually did work out my way, I would unconsciously find something else that didn’t.

I would zero in on it. I saw nothing else.

One day, in the middle of participating in an internal whine fest, a thought showed up. It went something like this:

“You always complain. Even when life grants your wish, you don’t notice it because you’re addicted to complaining.”

Addicted to complaining.

Whodathought?

I didn’t even know that was a thing.

But it was. I knew this because I discovered it within me, once I was willing to be honest with myself.

And honest was what I had to be.

Capable of getting real about my issues and not judging them.

That’s one of the keys to dealing when life bitch slaps you.

Self-honesty. The ability to observe and take responsibility for one’s own thoughts, beliefs, opinions and perspectives about life.

Once I recognized this pattern, only because I’d consciously observed it, I realized that I was my own worst enemy.

Life wasn’t screwing with me. I was simply focusing on what I normally paid attention to.

Since my focus was on lack, that’s what I saw. And that’s why even when things did go my way, I didn’t notice.

I wasn’t looking for what I wanted. I only noticed what I believed.

I believed life was against me, so I constantly conjured up proof of what I placed my attention on.

Once I knew this, I was able to change how I looked at things. It’s still a work in progress, but these days, I can see blessings and gifts that would otherwise escape me.

2 – Assuming personal responsibility

I learned a valuable lesson regarding what it means to witness your internal environment.

Once you finally see how this works, it’s time to assume responsibility.

Let me ask you something.

~ What do you focus on?

~ Do you find yourself in a constant state of anxiety?

~ Are you a magnet to drama?

~ Do you complain a lot?

Whatever it is about life that screws with you, you’ll want to examine the role you play in all of it.

I had realized that I had a lot to complain about because that was what lived inside of me, so I was never disappointed in that regard.

But it made me miserable.

Only when I looked at it from the perspective of an outsider and became honest with myself about what I was doing did things start to make sense.

Personal responsibility is about owning what’s inside of you, but first, you have to be willing to be brave enough to face yourself.

You can’t take honest and constructive action if you don’t understand the problem.

Jiddu-Krishnamurti-Quote-problem

While there are plenty of variables that can contribute to life being unfair, unjust and downright painful at times, we can still manage our response.

Especially when it comes to our day to day experiences. This is how we practice true self-awareness.

I would recommend taking inventory of how you participate in your life – starting with how you see things, especially yourself.

Using the example of drama, I had found myself in the midst of plenty of drama at one time and of course, like everyone else, I criticized it.

Then I noticed something.

I was dramatic too.

I would participate in my surroundings with the same level of immaturity that I was so used to condemning.

But once I saw this (and me) me for what it was, I was able to start actually being someone who wasn’t nearly as much of a magnet to the drama I had disliked so much.

I had to look within and assume responsibility for myself. It only happened because I took the position of an outsider looking in and viewed myself as a character playing a role in the movie of my life.

Try it and see what you discover about yourself.

3 – Consciously surrounding ourselves with inspiring people and materials

It’s so easy to get caught up in our thoughts.

Trust me, I speak from experience.

I had once written a post about how I’d become entwined in a whirlwind of negative inner dialogue that overtook my attention. Luckily, I remembered to step back and take a good, hard look at what I was doing and stop it immediately.

When we aren’t aware of what we’re thinking, we become those thoughts. They run our lives.

Anxiety, depression and an overall feeling of doom can take over.

I feel that we carry our wounds with us throughout life.

To free ourselves, it helps to know what lives inside of us. This way, we become aware of who we really are and face it – if we’re brave enough to do this.

In addition to discovering the power of witnessing our inner world and its influence on us, it’s also important to surround ourselves with people and materials that are in alignment with who we’d rather be.

I’ve personally found that when life bitch slaps me, it helps to place my attention on things that can expand my perspective – or at least help get me out of a funk temporarily.

Surrounding ourselves with inspirational people or materials offers us a different experience than the one we’re currently immeshed in.

So I decided to include this thought-provoking film (below) based on the work of Joseph Campbell to help offer some insight into how our inner-world plays itself out in our lives.

We Become What We Focus On

I’m not going to say that I have this whole thing completely figured out and mastered.

I’m a work in progress. I always will be.

I, too, still have my issues.

I work on them, but along the way, I share what I’ve learned throughout my journey. The idea is that perhaps, you’ll recognize a bit of yourself in my stories and examples.

Maybe the tools I share with you will come in handy – or you’ll have your own to share with me in the comments’ section.

Life bitch slaps us when we aren’t looking. It kicks our ass with seemingly no good reason.

But while we may not be able to fix everything that happens – or even understand the big picture, we CAN discover more about ourselves and possibly gain some clarity about how we contribute to at least some of the events that play out in our lives.

Armed with such knowledge, we can then use discernment and find out how to take action from a place of awareness – as opposed to rendering ourselves as constant victims of our lives.

To wrap this up, here’s the film I mentioned earlier.

It’s a little less than an hour and a half long. I think you’ll enjoy it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts now.

Tell me, how do you deal when life bitch slaps you?

Want more bullshit-free wisdom? Check out my latest book “Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity).”

Grab your copy at any of these online retailers.

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Dana Gore

Author of the books "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" and "Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity)", Dana Gore is a health and fitness professional, wellness coach, and freelance writer. Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner while inspiring her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

12 thoughts on “How to Deal When Life Bitch Slaps You

  • at 8:39 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    I love the title. I so can relate, you didn’t even have to ask lol.

    Assuming responsibility is a tough one but so necessary. The way I look at it is, you’re in control of your life and if you can fix it (or at least minimize it) you’re up poop creek without a paddle. Taken back that control is the only way you can rebound.

    Really nice post. Quite the wake up call 🙂

    ~Lea

    Reply
    • at 2:24 pm
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      Hi Lea,

      I’m glad you liked the post – and the title.

      I think most, if not all of us get our asses handed to us by life sometimes. Some cases worse than others.
      But yep, assuming responsibility is an excellent way to at least navigate through a lot of different scenarios consciously. Some things can’t be helped, but at least identifying what we’re responsible for helps to alleviate a victim-like stance. That in and of itself is powerful.

      I hope you’re enjoying your week so far. I’m headed over to your place shortly 🙂

      Reply
  • at 9:34 am
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    Hi Dana,

    Beautiful post, gf! I try to be positive and upbeat every day, however, it always doesn’t work that way. When I’m passionate about something I can continue to allow the negativity draw me in. Definitely not a good thing because it makes me miserable. I’ve recently had to step outside myself and say “Enough is a damn nuff!” The political mumbo jumbo was running my life. I found myself growing more negative and filling with hate. I had to remove as much as possible from my social media. Only then could I find some peace and begin to love myself again. What a bitch slap!

    Life hasn’t been kind to me, but, I try my best to find the reasonings behind the downfalls. Everything negative attribute in my life has made me that much more of a stronger person and survivor. We cannot allow ourselves to dwell too long on the negative. Not only will it destroy us, but can have a very negative affect on those around us. I know you already know this but many don’t. They let it consume them. Destroy them and those around them.

    Sad, very sad.

    Thanks for the reminder and inspiration, my friend. Happy Monday!

    B

    Reply
    • at 12:33 pm
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      Hey Bren,

      I’m glad you liked the post.

      I can also relate to what you’ve said here.
      Trust me when I say I understand the whole political thing. I don’t think any of this is actually meant to elevate the consciousness of mankind – and a shift in consciousness is exactly what it’ll take to solve the problems we rely on politics to solve.
      So we see the arguments, the different sides (divide and conquer), etc. It would make just about anyone batshit mad unless they actually get off on the negativity (which I feel some do).

      You were wise to distance yourself from it. Take care of your inner world by tuning out anything that doesn’t truly help you grow and become wise. What we focus on matters, but it can be tough to observe without getting emotionally involved in what we’re seeing to the point where it dominates our moods and then we react from them.

      If that makes sense.

      I know about some of your life, so I know life hasn’t always been kind to you. BUT, you are creative, witty and yes, passionate. I’ve seen you take some of the shit that’s been slung at you and find a creative response/ outlet, so kudos to you. That isn’t always easy.

      It’s tough not to allow things to consume us. All we can do is be aware of how we view things, interpret them and that’s when we may have a shot at responding wisely.

      That’s what I think the world is short of. Wisdom.

      But at any given time, it can become available to us. That’s what I have faith in.

      I loved your comment and appreciate what you’ve said here. Thanks for stopping by B. Have a great week ahead.

      Reply
  • at 2:39 am
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    Hi Dana,

    I liked everything that you talked about here. Your writing skills were just amazing, I found myself there, there’s no need to describe anymore them because they are undescribable.

    I just want to add this quote to your blog: ” Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ”

    Cheers, Clay.

    Reply
    • at 12:08 pm
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      Hi Clay,

      I so appreciate what you said about my writing skills. That means a lot to me.

      I’m glad you liked the post. I’m as candid as I can be. I can only dispense what I’ve learned and practice, so I’m glad it resonated with you.

      Yes, I’ve certainly heard about being in the present. It’s true. Takes some time and practice to stop focusing so much on the past and future. I do feel it gets easier when we remember this as often as possible.

      Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  • at 2:15 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    Life has a funny way of bitch slapping us all the time, but it is up to us of how to deal with it. Lately I have to deal with boundaries with my 32 year old daughter. That girl can bitch slap me with an emotional bat from time time to time. Now, my knee jerk response would be to help her…give her money…coddle her. But because she is involved with drugs I have to be strong and make boundaries.

    It hurts so bad I have no words to describe it. But after I do the “action” I have to make peace with my Self. And I do. Not easy but taking personal inventory and knowing I was the queen of enablers in the past, I have to consciously be prepared.

    We have to scan ourselves many times during life, especially when it bitch slaps you. We cannot give in to our negative thoughts but rather turn them around.

    -Donna

    P.S. Thanks for this post…I needed it!

    Reply
    • at 11:47 am
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      Hi Donna,

      Well, first off, I’m sorry to hear about what both you and your daughter are going through.
      Can’t be easy for either one of you.

      The only thing I can say is that a little while back, I’d found something about the Law of Detachment. Basically, you can do just about anything to encourage, assist, support and communicate with someone who may be going down a rough path. BUT, you can’t stop them or interfere with their decisions.

      It’s tough to allow people you love and care about to make their own free will choice if those choices are destructive. In your case, if you’re dealing with addiction (you didn’t use that term, but I’m inferring it), then you’re in for some emotional games – albeit unintended. Guilt plays a huge role in this.

      Your gut will have to speak to you about this. You’ll have to love her, but be tough at the same time. When it comes to addiction (and again, you didn’t specify this) the person needing help has to WANT to help themselves. The only time true healing occurs is when the individual has hit rock bottom to the point where it shakes them to the core. Everyone has a different breaking point, so hers will be unique to her.

      All you can do is love her, support any effort on her part to heal and change – but try to be kind to yourself and know you’re in a difficult position. Ask yourself, God or whatever it is you feel close to something like “how do I act in a way that is for the best interest of ALL?”

      Sometimes, we see people self-destruct, but we have no idea what their life plan is. We really know very little about the nature of reality. Usually, genuine change and healing begins with pain. How much pain is up to the individual.

      I’ve said many times that when God or intuition – whatever – whispers, if we don’t listen, the message gets louder. If we still don’t listen, it’ll become a yell, scream and perhaps a painful jab.

      Whether we learn to listen to the whisper or wait until we get jabbed is up to us. I don’t feel anything will interfere with that, but I do feel that we may be surrounded by help and assistance, even if we aren’t cognizant of it.

      Ask the right questions about the role you ought to play and they’ll lead to more questions. You’ll receive answers, but it’ll require an open mind and a loving, but firm heart.

      I know a thing or two about addiction and just being in pain, so that’s my take.

      Thanks for stopping by Donna. I wish you the best of luck with this.

      Reply
      • at 12:10 pm
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        Hi Dana,

        Thank you So much for this lovely response. I have heard about the law of detachment in Alanon….Yes..I was a part of that group here and there because of drug addictions from my ex husband to my daughter. It taught me a thing or two..

        I will ponder more on that law of detachment because I need it these days.

        Thanks again…

        -Donna

        Reply
        • at 5:36 pm
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          Anytime Donna.

          I love that you’re transparent. It’s easy to learn from people like you.

          Reply
  • at 1:15 pm
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    Hey Dana,

    Life is full of challenges and people encounter with many problems. As you have mentioned that the size of the problem may vary.

    When you focus more the negative side of the life then it seems like there is nothing positive which can be considered as the life’s best part.

    There are many opportunities if you think deeper. You just have to keep your kind on the right place and the life bitch will be your slave.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Have a great day.
    ~Ravi

    Reply
    • at 11:28 am
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      Hi Ravi,

      Yep, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the negative – especially if you’re used to doing this.

      Changing the way we look at things requires being present and opening your mind. It definitely helps to think a bit deeper and assume responsibility. We can’t always control what happens, but we can sure control our interpretation and response.

      I hope you had a great weekend Ravi. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply

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