It all started in 2014, when I went through the darkest few months of my life.
Everything seemed to be falling apart.
My life felt meaningless, pointless, and empty.
It felt like there was no reason to live.
But I was lucky. I was able to stay positive because of what I knew.
And in this article, I’ll share not only what I knew, but what I discovered having gone through the chaos.
Let’s start with the why.
Why is My Life Falling Apart?
That’s what I asked myself when all this began. I wondered: “Why is this happening to me?”
The answer I discovered: I was letting go of my old fears, worries, and insecurities, so that I could become more of who I truly am.
In other words, I was building confidence in following my heart, and my purpose.
I couldn’t do that without first letting go of the old. The new arises through the dusty ashes of the old.
But it was agonizing at times, because a part of me was dying.
What to Do When Your Life Falls Apart: 3 Proven Tips
However, just because a part of me was dying didn’t mean that I was dying.
I’ve been meditating for quite a while, so I was able to observe what was going on.
My mind was in a panic, because our minds want certainty, clarity, and safety. Yet there was none to be had.
The more you watch your mind weave stories about what’s wrong, the more you avoid getting caught up in it.
What you’re feeling is not you being destroyed, but what was never essential. You are being scraped clean, so you can see what truly matters in your life.
So what did I do during this time?
It kind of seems obvious to relax, doesn’t it?
Everything is falling apart. You may not have the energy to do anything. So what is life telling you? Life is telling you to stop pushing.
You are being nudged to look inside.
This too will pass.
You don’t have to figure it out right now. You can watch your mind panic. You are not that panic. You are the observer of your experience.
You decide how you want to relate to your life “falling apart.”
Take time for yourself. Do the best you can with what you have.
What I did was take walks, watch movies, and read books. I enjoyed being alone more than usual. I didn’t have the energy to be social.
And remember to take care of your body. Give it nutrition. Drink smoothies. Eat salads. Whatever you enjoy.
There’s no need to push. You’ll have plenty of energy after this passes.
(I still worked during this time, but I did my best to relax.)
2. Face the Darkness
You can welcome even the seemingly darkest feeling you have.
What makes this scary is your mind labeling it as scary. It’s a thought. It’s a sensation in your body. Nothing more. It doesn’t mean anything until you decide what it means.
As my life was seemingly falling apart, my mind would tell me things like:
- Life is hopeless
- There’s no point in living
- This will never end
- You have to keep pushing
- You will end up homeless
The stories went on and on. What I did was face my worst fear. I imagined the worst case scenario, and I felt it fully. I welcomed it.
I smiled at the fear, because it was a movie in my mind. I could recoil, or I could embrace. I chose to embrace.
I refused to act from fear, because acting out of fear leads to more fear.
Even thinking that your life is falling apart is your mind weaving a story based on what it thinks is happening in your life.
You don’t know if this is good or bad. You don’t know what’s coming. Your mind certainly can’t predict the future, otherwise you’d be Gandalf.
So if your mind cannot foretell the future, why do you believe its stories about what’s coming?
This is a time of decoupling from your mind.
While my mind was giving me reasons to freak out, I welcomed it all. I was mindful of what was going on, but I didn’t have to react. Not all of the time. I’m still human. I still got caught from time to time. But I did my best.
The more I did this, the more I saw that I was not my feelings or thoughts. I was the experiencer of them. Or, the experience simply happened.
I am in this bodysuit experiencing life from a unique perspective. It’s not personal. Many are going through what you’re going through.
It feels like the end of the world, but it isn’t.
3. Follow Your Heart
Even in the thick of this, you can follow what feels magnetic.
If you’re in the midst of your world falling apart, your mind is probably going: “Yeah, right, Henri. That’s easy for you to say.”
But notice that that’s your mind again, trying to give you a reason for why you can’t follow your heart.
Challenge your thoughts. Sit down, or lie down, and welcome what is going on. Feel your anguish fully. Watch it all.
The more you do this, the more you begin to connect to your heart, and your inner wisdom.
(If you want to dive deeper into following your heart, you can always check out my book, Follow Your Heart: 21 Days to a Happier, More Fulfilling Life.)
You have what you need inside of you.
But you have to be willing to welcome what is blocking it.
Welcome the thoughts that say that this shouldn’t be happening, something is wrong, or that you’re broken.
That’s your mind doing its dance.
An Uplifting Summary
When you feel like your life is falling apart, it can seem like it will never stop, but it will.
This is a transition, and in every transition there is chaos.
You can decide how you want to relate to this change. You can label it as bad, and you’ll get to experience resistance and fear.
Or you can watch it with curiosity. What’s going to come next?
Who are you?
Who are you becoming?
If it feels like you’re dying, that’s your mind telling you that.
You don’t have to believe everything your mind says.
Bring your attention to your heart, and notice what feels magnetic.
You’ll be just fine.
All the best,
Yes. Nutrition has definitely helped me. Omega 3 for the brain will help with a break from depressed feelings.
Absolutely. That’s an important one!
For anyone interested in nutrition, I talk more about it in my overcoming spiritual depression article.
I love this and I needed to hear it. Thank you for publishing your experience.
Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Tekie Woldemariam says
Thank you very much Henri for your kind and thoughtful words.
Happy to help!
Mujiwa Masialeti says
I can’t begin to thank you enough for your article. It had an immediate feeling of difference in my heart. You are a god send. Keep helping others. I’ll also help those I come across. I’m glad I came across your article, thank you so much and keep up the good work.
May god bless you.
So glad to hear that, and thank you!
Point #2 is so spot on. Facing the darkness.
This was one of the techniques I have used to break free from the chains of anxiety and panic. Facing it… allowed it to disappear and for me to regain my life. It seemed counter productive at first, but it was truly the only way to tame the anxiety/panic dragon for good!
Yes, indeed. It is counter-intuitive. But then you see that it’s not. Thanks for sharing, Jason 🙂
Counter intuitive, that is a better way of saying it. Thank you Henri
Tully Franks says
Thank you so much for this and your work. Found this at a time most needed personally. Professionally as well, as I’m studying (and promoting) how a shift from ideological talk to telling our stories can bring about positive change, making us more human and connected.
Glad you liked it!
Thanks Henri for your reminder of the “true” nature of transition. I love that line, “the new arises through the dusty ashes of the old.”
I’ve seen that in my own life – I don’t like those dusty ashes but I’m learning to embrace them as necessary if the new is to emerge.
This provides reassurance at the perfect time for me. Thank you. I’m off to buy your book! 😊
This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Once again Henri thank you so much for this wisdom. It’s not that I don’t know but when you are in a fog it’s good to be reminded. My deepest gratitude to you.
This is great if your transition is a few months long. Not much help if you’ve been there for years though. Two years and counting for me, nothing has helped. Not therapy, not pills, not exercising or changing my diet, not meditation. And yes I have faithfully applied each consistently over a long period of time. As I said 2 years and I’ve done everything possible to help myself, consistently and with diligence and my life won’t budge. Not even a little.
My transition was 3-4 years, and it may still be going on as I write this. The above tools helped me survive. In the end, it wasn’t about stopping what was happening, but finding a way through it.
Thank you. Just thank you.
Currently feeling that everything is falling apart. This message is helping me so much to realize that all of this I am going through is a transition and that all of the people leaving my life are part of this change…
Thank you for sharing this. I needed this.
Glad it helped!
J. Smith says
Great Message. Needed this. My life seemed as if it was going in the right direction and just slammed into a brick wall. Luckily I began meditating regularly a few months prior to this crash occurring. The higher sense of awareness I’ve gained from meditation, has made this seemingly dark time, just a dark thought; a thought i can separate myself from. This article was just another piece that will help along this journey. I hope this crash is leading me to live out my purpose.
Meditation is a lifesaver when used properly. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂
I would like to say, what most people know, that your “mind” does not operate independent of you.You and your mind are the same thing.If your telling yourself things like “I will fail” or “my life is hopeless”,dont blame it on your mind suddenly going rogue and making you believe things.Just realize you are always the one doing the thinking and believing.
I am SO happy and relieved that others have felt this way. Like Henri and Claire, mine had been more than a few days! Henri, your suggestions are spot on. And I am confident that my situation is more appropriately identified as a transition than anything else. Thank you so much.
Henry , again thank you for your insights as always a help. Have a great Xmas and New year
This is exactly to the tee what I’m going through right now. I always thought money solved all problems….WRONG….made $150k/ yr and just became worse. Thank you for this blog. It is spot on. I’m still going through this. Please give me hope.
Lots of wisdom in here. Definitely a Buddhist perspective. This helped me during a time of uncertainty with my business. Thank you