How do you overcome the “speed bumps” in life?

Jan Kwiatkowski, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mental health consultant for Aurora Family Service in Milwaukee, WI.

Jan Kwiatkowski, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mental health consultant for Aurora Family Service in Milwaukee, WI.

I’ve been thinking a lot about speed bumps and other road hazards lately.

There are speed bumps and speed humps, which are wider and higher than speed bumps. There are pot holes of all shapes and sizes. Some we drive over or around, and barely notice.

If it’s a hard winter in Wisconsin,  some can really do serious damage to our cars if we don’t slow down, go around or avoid them completely. Winter also brings the challenge of driving on ice and in snow.

In summer, the combination of heat and rain increases the likelihood of huge sinkholes, which suck in people, cars, buildings and whatever is around. Sinkholes are emergencies and can be life-threatening.

Short of staying in our homes and never going anywhere, we will definitely encounter speed bumps, humps and pot holes in life.  We accept that as part of the risk of driving and being out in the world. We learn how to spot and whenever possible avoid these road hazards or drive carefully so as to lessen any damage they might cause. When a sink hole does happen, it happens very quickly and emergency responders are called. Anyone, close by, does whatever they can to give aid or even just stay with those in the sink hole till help can arrives.

speedbumpsThere is one other thing about all these road hazards. Whether you encounter one of these hazards as the driver or passenger, you have some degree of choice in how you will respond, get over, around, through or out of the hazard.

You can blame yourself. You call yell at the driver. You can stop, check out any damage and decide on next steps. You might decide that until the road is fixed, you won’t drive this road again. Or perhaps you won’t get in the car with the same driver until a different road is taken. You might decide that you will never drive again or someone may make that decision for you.

By now, you can probably guess where I am going with this. Every one of us will encounter road hazards in our lives…road hazards that have to do with relationships, children, illness, loss, finances, violence, sudden change, depression, domestic violence…the list goes on.

Like the driver and passengers of a car, we all have choices about how and whether we will respond to the speed bumps, humps and other road hazards life will present.  We can choose to build up or tear down relationships. We can choose to power ahead like nothing really happened, or we can stop and check out what happened and what we need to do next. We can give up.  We can work to climb out of a sink hole in life with help, or we can decide to stay. We can allow others to help plow the way with us and for us.

Whether life brings a speed bump or sink holes for your family this year, know that at Aurora Family Service, roadside assistance is always available.

Aurora Family Service helps families overcome challenges, changes and crisis to live well again.

We achieve stability and strength for families through counseling, parenting, elder care, financial, career, health and community services.  For more information, visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or call 1-414-342-4560.

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One Response to How do you overcome the “speed bumps” in life?

  1. roseann says:

    THIS IS GREAT.VERY TRUE.IT IS OUR CHOISE HOW WE RESPOND TO THINGS IN LIFE.WE CAN CHOOSE TO SUCCEED OR WE CAN CHOOSE TO FAIL.ALTHOUGH FAILURE IS NOT A GOOD THING IT CAN BE A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ALL OF US.

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