What to do when bad things happen

More wisdom from Bear Heart in the “Wind Is My Mother” on what to do when bad things happen in our lives:

when bad things happenNot long ago a woman called me and I went to see her in the hospital.  She was a very young mother who had just given birth to a child with no arms.  He had webbed feet and scars on his face and she was wondering, “Why me?  Why me?”

I had to talk to her a long time, pray with her, to show her that there was a blessing somewhere in her situation.

In our culture, when such children are born we say they are specially blessed.  The Creator had a reason for bringing that child into the world and we are helping the Creator when we make the child as comfortable as possible in every way.

It’s said there is a special blessing when we help someone like that, although that’s not our reason for doing it.  My people don’t even talk about the reasons, we just try to help.

I told her the story of a similar situation where a little boy was born without arms and the doctors asked her husband to stay by his wife’s bedside as she came out of sedation so he could tell her.

When the time came, he looked at his wife and said, “Mary, we have a beautiful baby boy.  But, Mary, he was born without any arms.”

Mary lay there for a moment with her eyes closed.  Then she opened them and with a beautiful smile on her face, looked up into the eyes of her husband and said, “John, God must have known how much he needed us.”

It’s not what happens, but how you react to what happens

What I’m trying to get at is this — the most important thing is not the circumstances in life, but your reaction to those circumstances.

How do you deal with difficulties?  Do you resent or do you accept?  Honor every situation.  There is a reason for things like this to happen.

But don’t be judgmental and put out a lot of blame, “If it wasn’t for this and for that.”  If something bad has happened, how can you salvage it?  How can you turn it from negative to positive?  When you do that, then you can cope with anything that comes in life.

When something terrible happens to you say, “Thank you,”  because there’s a lesson there.  Maybe at the time it was happening you were so mad or upset you didn’t consider any lesson.  You wanted revenge and pay back, or to cover up and justify whatever it was.  You missed the lesson altogether.

If you got sick and almost died and then recovered, say “Thank you.”  Not just because you recovered, but because now when you see someone else who’s as sick as you were, you can have compassion that you didn’t have before.  That was the lesson and you’re grateful for it.


I had a friend in Albuquerque who was a radio announcer and he came to see me one day.  He was really dejected and told me, “I was fired.”

I said, “That’s good.”


“That’s good.”

“What do you mean?  I’ve been fired from my job, I have a family to support.”

I told him, “This is going to make a new man out of you.  Take ore — there’s nothing you can do with it in its raw state.  On the outside it doesn’t look good at all so you put it in a foundry where it’s heated many, many times until the crust falls off and the core is tempered.  The end result is fine steel and we say that it has been ‘fired’.

“Either we’re going to stop with the crust still on or hang in there until it’s broken away and we show the world, ‘This is the stuff I’m made of.’

When you are faced with difficult situations, the crust of ego burns away.  Now it’s going to show the real you.  A lemon has to be squeezed first before it can make lemonade.  They either squeeze the best out of you or the worst.  It’s up to you.”


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Molly Larkin

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller "The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman”  and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

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