111 Ways to Start to Recover From a Life-Changing Event

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Life is hard.

And unpredictable.

Sometimes, life will throw you a curve.

When it does, the solution is easy; you just learn to hit a curve.

But what do you do when life throws you a grenade instead?

One that goes off and disrupts or destroys nearly every aspect of your life.

Death, a divorce, a diagnosis – a random act of violence.

You wake up one day, and your current life is no reflection of the life you once knew.

If this happens, I’m not going to tell you everything is going to be alright – because I don’t know.

That is going to be up to you.

The term ‘alright’ is going to take on a new meaning to you.

What I will tell you is to buckle up – because it is going to hurt like hell – for that I do know.

It is going to hurt more intensely than you can ever imagine. 

Enough to paralyze you.

And when you do learn how to move again,  you will be moved to your breaking point.

Many times over.

The pain will be enough to fill your every thought with quitting and throwing in the towel.


When you get pushed to the edge, to your breaking point, instead of using a period in your life, use a semi-colon.

Go on.

There is more story to write.

More life to live.

More love to feel.

Hang in there.

Tread water for as long as you can.

And even longer if you have to.

Kindness will find you. 

The best day in your life hasn’t been lived as of yet.

The goal is to believe that. 

As you sit there, looking around at the destruction in your life, what you do not yet realize is the adversity you have experienced, although devastating, has secretly given you a gift.

A gift so valuable, you will never want to relinquish it.

Although this gift is available to everyone, nearly everyone is too busy to recognize it.

They say “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

You are now ready.

Look around you, at first, you may not see anything at all. 

But I can assure you the teacher is present.

Buckle up, because you are going to go on the ride of your life.

From the depths of despair to the heights of euphoria.

Right now you can only see the ways your life has changed for the worse.

Those changes are quite obvious.

The good news, and yes there is good news, is your life has the possibility to change for the better.


It is a universal law when the universe takes something of value from you, it must give you the gift of the seed of something greater in return.

One day, I don’t know when probably sometime after all your human emotions have run their course, you will come face to face with ‘your gift of the seed of something greater.’

What you do with that seed will be totally up to you.

You could plant and nourish the seed and experience the miracle of its growth, or you could pay it no attention and allow it’s fruit to die even before they get to the vine.

Make your choice wisely.

The seed is the greatest gift you will ever be given in your life.

You don’t know that as of yet.

But you will in time.

If there is anything you ever trust again – trust in the fact that the seed, if planted, will produce boundless fruit in your life.

The fruit you never knew existed.

The fruit that will nurture you back to health.

You have paid the full price for the gift.

You might as well open it.

I will not insult you and say the gift is in any way a fair exchange for what you lost.

Or even that you should be grateful for the exchange.

And I know it is not an exchange you sought, and one if given the choice, you would undue.

But when all is said and done, you have two choices.

You can open the gift.

Or not.

That is up to you.

The exchange may not be what you want in your life right now.

But it is what you have.

And it is much more valuable than you know.

I have never met a person who experienced a life-changing event who ever wanted to give back their new found perspective of life.

I know you do not believe that to be true, in time you will.

Inside the gift lives what you lost.

Opening the gift is the only way to keep it alive.

Rebuilding your life makes it’s spirit flourish.

I know right now you want to lie down amongst the rubble in your life, to just blend into the destruction. 

They say the greatest mistake is in giving up.


It is your duty to build again.

The normal reaction will be to try to rebuild a life exactly as the one you had before the grenade went off.

That will prove futile.

As you rebuild, if you attempt to replicate your past life you will realize if you rely on the pieces the grenade destroyed, you will come up short in comparison, as gaps and holes will emerge in your new structure, and the result will look nothing like your life before the grenade hit.

The key is to rebuild, not to replicate.

Obviously, there are pieces of your life that are missing.

You are going to need to be resourceful; to do more, with less.

As you rebuild, you will need to get more from your new found perspective of life.

When you do, the rubble will miraculously transform into a foundation on which you will build a new life.

No, it will not be the same.

It can’t be. 

There are pieces missing.

But it will make this moment matter.

And it does.

Do not attempt to make answers to your unanswerable questions the prerequisite to your happiness.

Believe, what you do not currently understand, one day you will.

Rather, concentrate your focus on your new-found perspective and live and be alive.

Here are 111 ways to start to recover from a life-changing event.

  1. Dream 
  2. Believe more
  3. Doubt less
  4. Trust more
  5. Fear less
  6. Live more
  7. Exist less
  8. Find gratitude
  9. Care
  10. Don’t compare
  11. Always be in the moment
  12. Find compassion
  13. Have empathy
  14. Smile
  15. Laugh
  16. Seek understanding
  17. Pay attention
  18. Allow yourself to heal, to grieve, to cry, to feel
  19. Love again
  20. Love deeper
  21. Fight like hell
  22. Have confidence
  23. Exude enthusiasm
  24. Be amazed
  25. Live in awe
  26. Be an asset to everyone you know
  27. Have passion
  28. Forgive
  29. Be thankful
  30. Say thank you
  31. Simplify
  32. Organize
  33. Optimize
  34. Be resourceful
  35. Earn your keep
  36. Have a vision
  37. Passionately pursue your purpose in life
  38. Find your life’s passion and diligently pursue it
  39. Do something good for someone who has no chance of ever being able to repay you.
  40. Be happy when others find happiness
  41. Appreciate the miracle of a new day
  42. Find extraordinary in the ordinary
  43. Listen to your inner self
  44. Be still and allow the answers you seek to find you 
  45. Touch someone’s soul at every given opportunity
  46. Recognize the divine in everything
  47. Reacquaint with an old friend
  48. Allow family and friends to help you
  49. Be a good friend yourself
  50. Be an integral part of your family
  51. Enjoy every aspect of your life – even failure
  52. Embrace your age
  53. Be intimate with your loved one
  54. Feel
  55. Touch
  56. Be held
  57. Hug someone an extra second longer than you usually would
  58. Seek to understand others plight
  59. Learn your parent’s life’s story – you will understand and appreciate it more now
  60. Learn a strangers life story
  61. Make a new friend
  62. Listen to your inner self
  63. Trust your soul
  64. Tap into a universal higher power.
  65. Follow your life’s inner compass
  66. Trust yourself – especially when it doesn’t make sense to do so.
  67. Compliment others
  68. Improve the quality of other people’s lives
  69. Help a lost soul find their way
  70. Mentor a child
  71. Keep a person down on their luck company 
  72. Get one with nature
  73. Garden
  74. Care for animals
  75. Value each increment of time
  76. Communicate more with everyone who matters to you
  77. Reacquaint with old friends
  78. Pick up the phone
  79. Send the email
  80. Mail the letter
  81. Send the thank you note
  82. Run into the person in the grocery isle instead of dodging them
  83. Be the difference
  84. Seek solutions
  85. Leave time in your life – to be kind
  86. Pass along a positive outlook on life to your children
  87. Keep your marriage sacred
  88. Be fun to be around
  89. See the miracle in everything
  90. Help others without their asking
  91. Detect fake smiles in others and decipher what pain they are hiding – then do something to make the fake smile turn real
  92. Hear those who are silently crying out for help and share in and absorb some of their pain
  93. Surprise someone – For no other reason other than because you can
  94. Do more than what is expected from you no matter how much is expected from you
  95. Strive to be the “best you,” you have ever been
  96. Challenge yourself
  97. If there is one more thing that you can do – do it
  98. Be there for someone
  99. Eliminate distance in your relationships
  100. Show up unexpectedly
  101. Say hello
  102. Say goodbye
  103. Say I’m sorry
  104. Say I don’t know
  105. Say I love you
  106. Solve problems with love
  107. Add love to everything you do, with everyone you see
  108. Give love freely
  109. Give love first
  110. Look forward to tomorrow
  111. Open all of your gifts

111 Ways to Recover from a Life-Changing Event

Is an excerpt from

In the Eye of the Storm


   eBook Buy Now   Buy Now Paperback

In the Eye of the Storm is a collection of inspirational stories, poems, and thoughts on converting adversity, loss, and grief into a newfound perspective on life.


For All Works by JohnA Passaro


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