Acknowledge, then move on

‘Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.’  Michael Jordan

Something really shit happened to me today. It’s still far too painful to share here, but what I can share with you is how I am getting over it. First, I was so numb I couldn’t feel the pain or do anything else, so I just stared into space for a while. When the numbness started falling away, I told my partner about what had happened. And as I was talking, the pain grabbed hold of me.

The pain got bigger and bigger, and I began crying uncontrollably. I let the tears flow, and talked and talked while my partner listened. Sometimes the tears would stop, but then they would come back again. I let the tears flow, and the words come out, while my partner was hugging me and telling me that everything was going to be okay.

But the most important thing I did was this: acknowledge, and then move on. I can’t change what happened. But I can acknowledge it, and the pain it has caused me. I can allow myself to feel the pain, and to grieve for what cannot be undone. But once I feel strong again after grieving, I move on. I’ve already started moving on by making sure what happened does not take me away from the things I love doing, such as writing for my blog. In fact, I am using the pain to motivate me to write this very message you are reading.

Once the pain subsides, I will use the insight that’s left from what has happened to write a play I had been planning for a while. I will also write a song about it. I have already composed some of the lyrics and the chorus tune while dealing with the pain, and I think I’ve now got enough material there to finish the song once I feel stronger.

This is how I move on. I use the bad thing that has happened as a way to fuel my creativity, and help others in their healing process. Life’s not perfect. Nor are people. And yet, it’s precisely because of their imperfections that when people do make the hard choices despite all their greed, fear, and lust, they are so sublimely beautiful. For us to discover this side of humanity, we also have to experience the ugly side. It’s okay. It’s part of being human.

And part of creating legacy is to channel all the pain and filth inside us into something positive. What comes out of us in such moments will give meaning to our negative experiences, and make us realise things were meant to happen like that all along.

 Next time something bad happens to you, try taking this approach. You will be getting one step closer to fulfilling your potential in this world.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at