It’s not uncommon for us to ask the question, ‘why me?’, when things we deem to be challenges or losses occur in our lives. On the other hand, it isn’t often you hear a lottery winner, someone who has just received a job promotion or a clean bill of health ask ‘why me?’ When “good” things happen we typically accept them, sometimes express gratitude for them and go on with our day. However, when life gives us a hand of cards that we would never choose to have to play, we tend to wonder why this is happening to us. I know from experience that it is natural and understandable to pose this question.
Certainly, being married to a wonderful man like Gary and then being faced with his loss dropped me right into a bucket full of ‘why me’ from time to time. And I found the distance between ‘why me’ and ‘poor me’ was a very short walk. I also learned that poor me didn’t bring Gary back and it didn’t help me to be able to recreate an inspired life.
In the early stages of grieving, I had a more anabolic or positive relationship with poor me which is identified in the iPEC model as level one victim energy. This energy gave me access to my grief and my need to put myself first so I could begin to recover. The key was not getting stuck there and, when I was ready, being able to move into a more empowered place.
The experience of ‘why me’ can occur when it becomes a repeating loop that plays over and over in your life. Label Warning: the energy in one area of your life can be considered contagious. If you get stuck feeling the victim in your relationship, your career or your health, for example, then you may begin to see it populating other areas of your life. It becomes your automatic way of responding. Your car breaks down…why me. Someone else gets a job you felt you deserved…why me.
Instead, begin replacing ‘why me’ with what’s next. I lost my husband. What’s next? What do I choose to make of this experience? Of course, I first had to set myself on a path of doing the work to heal emotionally and grieve. Once I created a program and lined up the resources to manage this aspect, I could open myself up and ask what’s next for me in my life. If I am no longer Gary’s wife than who am I and what kind of life do I want to create for myself?