I wanted to pass along a book recommendation – Rachel Hollis’s newest book, Didn’t See That Coming is about how to put your life back together when everything falls apart.

Like Rachel, I was blindsided when my personal and professional life fell apart (which my blog readers know). Some people who had been close to me seemed to enjoy watching me experience these hardships, which was eye opening and disheartening. But I used that painful experience to build a better life for myself, while sharing what happened to me to hopefully help others.

It turned out that the very worst things turned out to be exactly what I needed to find my true purpose and real happiness. If I hadn’t had the rug pulled from under me I wouldn’t have been forced to change my life for the better.

Like Rachel says in the book, “unless we experience hardship, we will never truly appreciate and remember the good that was always good.”

She shows readers how to seize difficult moments for the learning experiences they are and the value and growth they provide.

She says when it comes to the “hard seasons” of life—the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job—transformation seems impossible when grief and uncertainty dominate your days.

But it is up to you how you come through your pain—you can come through changed for the better, having learned and grown, or stuck in place where your identity becomes rooted in what hurt you.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • You may never receive forgiveness from the person or people you hurt, but you can do the work to forgive yourself.
  • If you want to move forward, be honest about what’s going on even if it’s only to yourself.
  • It’s impossible to walk through hell and leave it the same way you went in. Nobody walks through fire unscathed. You either burn up into ashes or you get forged in the flames and emerge as something new.
  • Your ability to control your perspective, your ability to take a negative and flip it on its head and find meaning inside of it—that’s a super-power!
  • You can get through this. There is hope. You will not always feel the way you feel today.
  • In order to move forward you must decide that there is something greater at stake than the way you’re feeling or your fear of feeling pain again.
  • If you want to begin to move forward, then you must stop wallowing in despair and take the next right step to help you move forward.Good things will always be available to you if you look for them.
  • Not making a decision is a decision in itself. Not choosing to get help is choosing to stay stuck. Not standing back up is what is keeping you on the ground.
  • Humans can endure anything so long as they cling to hope for what tomorrow will bring.
  • There is goodness in this world and there is light inside you still, even if it’s been dimmed—even if others have tried to extinguish it completely.
  • This life you’re living is a wildly precious gift that most people take for granted. Don’t take it for granted.
  • You must find the courage to keep going. You have a responsibility to anyone who relies on you but if you’re a parent, you especially owe it to your children.
  • Just remember, processing grief is an action you take, not a destination you stay in, unmoving.
  • If you’re struggling to find courage it isn’t because you aren’t brave—it’s simply that you haven’t identified something as more important than your fear.
  • Nobody can remove your identity from you. Identity literally means being who or what you are. And you get to choose that.

If you are looking for a book to help you process and move past hard times, to help make sense of things that just don’t make sense, and if you’re someone who doesn’t do well with change, this is a great book for you.

I’ve always been a fan of Rachel’s straightforward approach in empowering and motivating women both professionally and personally. She’s a great example of someone who strikes the right balance between being vulnerable, authentic and real while being professional.

No one’s life is perfect no matter what they portray on social media. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. And it’s more than okay to say you need help sometimes. Things always get better with time. It’s helpful to know that you’re not alone. ❤️