Life Lessons Through Crappy Experiences

by | Feb 7, 2020 | Happiness, Self Help, Wellness | 1 comment

Learning life lessons through crappy experiences has been a common theme recently with not only myself, but with many people I’ve been talking to recently. With that being said, I wanted to share with you my morning in what seemed to be EXTREMELY crappy, but turned out being EXACTLY what I needed.

This morning was one of those mornings you don’t forget. Where something pivotal in your life happens and the rest of the world seems to shift perfectly into perspective.

A snowstorm came across Denver last night and it hasn’t stopped snowing. It’s about 6:00 AM at this point in my day and I decided to take Luna out for her morning walk. Standard operating procedure at the Dow household. I typically throw on a pair of old crappy Uggs, a sweatshirt, and a hat, grab the keys and run out the door. But for some reason, this morning I thought, maybe I should be properly bundled up. I put on my sweatshirt with a heavy winter jacket. I wrapped a scarf and slipped on my gloves. I even pulled out my snow boots. Luna sat patiently waiting for me to put her leash on. I locked up the door, and out we went.

No biggie. Typical day. I checked the mail, two unnecessary letters that the planet could go without killing trees for. I took a few laps around the yard, and back to the apartment we went. As I walked up to my front door up three flights of stairs, I pulled my keys out of my pocket only to discover that somewhere along my journey, the keys had snapped off.

So let’s back track. I have walked several lap around in the snow, where it is currently about four inches at this point of pure white, powdery dust and the snow is only continuing to fall. It’s 6:15 AM and I have no phone, no keys, and a freezing cold dog.

My normal reaction would be flipping out in a state of panic. Fall into the “Are you f*@king kidding me right now? I deserve this. This is what I get. Of course when things start going good, something has to crumble beneath me and shatter everything I was working so hard on. How could I be so stupid to not even bring a phone?” But this time, I didn’t. I stopped in my tracks after doing a few laps of self deprecation around my apartment complex. Inhaling as hard as I could, one breath after the other, I closed my eyes and began to pray.

St. Anthony, I think you are the saint of lost things, if not can you call him because I am kind of freaking out right now. Please, please I am begging you. Please help me find my keys. If not for me, for Luna, my poor puppy in the cold.” Ok, I realize that you can’t guilt trip a saint into helping you out, but it was worth a try.

I told myself that freaking out wasn’t going to solve anything. It wasn’t going to open the front office of the complex which would inevitably be closed that day due to the snow storm. It wouldn’t provide me with a phone or magically have my keys appear in my hand. Tada! Instead, I went back to the apartment, tied Luna up on the top of the stairs because that is where it is the warmest, and headed back on a mission to find the missing keys.

I prayed and prayed and prayed. “Please St. Anthony, please Jesus, please Lord, please anyone who is listening, just help me. I’m not sure how much more I can handle in my life right now let alone having to run to the fire department asking for help.” Every few steps, I would stop myself, take a breath, put my hands to the snow and start to search.

After retracing my steps for what felt like the hundredth time, I walked by the dumpster where I was throwing out Luna’s business for the morning. I turned my body in the same direction thinking if I reenacted the movements, something would come to me. As I turned my body back around to plant both feet on the ground, mid turn I said out loud, “I’m f*@ked.” As those two words came out of my mouth, my left foot stepped on something that felt hard. I looked under my boot, and there, buried under the snow, were the missing keys.

My heart began to swell, you know, that burning feeling of joy right before you start to cry. I looked up to the sky filled with tears and said, “Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” As I ran back to the apartment in the snow to rescue my damsel in distress (that would be Luna, my wonderful puppy incase you were wondering), I continued to say out loud through the tears, “Okay, I hear You. You’ve got my back.”

In that moment, in those 60 minutes of uncertainty and fear, self doubt and hatred, frustration and anger, God was there for me, giving me exactly what I needed just as He always does. He gave me clarity and persistence, determination and calmness. He gave me the insight to put on extra layers, gloves, and snow boots this morning. He gave me the audacity to stand up and tell myself that I’ve got this. That the only person who can fix this situation right now is me, so woman up and get your brave on.

I would like to preface this by saying that I am in no way, shape, or form telling you that my beliefs are the right beliefs or that they should be your beliefs. For you, it could be whatever or whoever your energy source, guiding light, or higher being is in your life. For me, it is God.

What God did for me this morning was something he does quite frequently in our lives, we just don’t always see it or simply fail to notice it. A situation that was scary and difficult that could have wrecked me came across my path and He reminded me that when things are hard, just turn to Him and He will be there for me. I just have to have faith in Him that He loves me more than anything in this whole world. He doesn’t want crappy things to happen to me or to anyone, but life is full of them because we HAVE to experience them. We HAVE to experience crappy!

Spoiler alert, it’s okay to ask for a little help. I’m learning this a little more every single day.

I truly believe that in order for myself or for anyone in this world to build into their true self, they need to experience something difficult, trying, and hard. And not just once, but multiple times. There needs to be failure and heartbreak. There needs to be obstacles and roads taken that weren’t meant to be taken. How else will you learn? How else will you discover what it means to be strong, certain, decisive, brave, confident, educated, and filled with self love? How else will you be wiser and moving into this more defined version of yourself?

So this morning, in all of the chaos, I learned that life is going to be filled with lost keys in the snow. I just need to be willing to be on my hands and knees digging through blindly to find them, lean on my support system, and realize that I am never alone. That I am capable. That I’ve got this. Thanks Big Man Upstairs. You really did a number on me this morning, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I hope you enjoy your Friday. Let’s go out and make this the best moment of our lives.

1 Comment

  1. Anna Dow

    Blessed be the Holy Spirit that had you reach out to St. Anthony, your holy family and when you found your keys your first words were to thank God for being there when you needed Him the most. Remember that God is always there even when He is silent. At those times, just trust in Him.

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Meet the Author

Hey, I’m Lauren Dow. Author, advocate, and feeler of the big feels. I’m here to provide a safe space to normalize the conversation about mental health and reinforce self-love. Thanks for joining me on this wild ride.

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