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How to Find Your Path When Life Suddenly Changes

Walking in the Fog

“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.” ~Ruth E. Renkel

As an ocean lover, I frequently visit the shore, even during the winter. Encouraged by a day with blue skies and forecasted temperatures above freezing, I hopped in the car and headed for the coast.

The beautiful view of the ocean is the best part of the six-mile walk I intended to do. However, as I neared the coast, I noticed a thickening layer of fog. By the time I parked, the fog had completely blocked my view of the sun and everything at a distance beyond fifty feet.

Because of the thick fog, the ocean appeared to be a backyard pool. I told myself that maybe the fog would burn off, and I started moving in the usual direction through this low-lying cloud.

The beginning of my walk was freezing, and my steps, uncertain. I was eager to see where I was going, but couldn’t.

That’s when I remembered the last time I had felt something similar, but I hadn’t been at the beach then. I was at the lawyer’s office signing the papers that officially declared the end of my marriage. Back then, my future had been covered in a fog of uncertainty.

I didn’t know what to do then, but now, I know. And because I’m aware that you might be facing or will face a dramatic life change, I’d like to share what I learned as I came out of the fog.

Everyone deals with life changes.

We might get laid off during employee appreciation week, hear our romantic partner proclaim out of the blue that he or she is leaving us, or be diagnosed with a disease we thought happened to “other people.”

Regardless of the nature of the change, we must feel comforted in the realization that we are not alone. Human existence can be described as a continuous stream of changes. 

When life suddenly changes, it’s a normal reaction to feel confused and disoriented.

After the shock has worn off, we might feel as though we don’t know where to go or even who we are. All we might be able to see is our current unfortunate life situation.

The fog might take a while to dissipate.

When we go through a challenge, we might not see what options are available to us for days, weeks, months, and even years. Sometimes the uncertainty, or the anger, or the pain seems to last forever.

We can choose to keep moving even if clarity hasn’t arrived yet.

Instead of being paralyzed by the uncertainty, we can decide to continue being the best we can be, connecting with people and taking care of ourselves while the answers come to us.

Even when everything seems confusing and scary, happiness is still within reach.

It might be hard to see ourselves being successful, loved, or healthy again, but if we trust that happiness is there, waiting for us, we’ll be able to gather the strength we need to keep going.

Clarity arrives gradually.

We must keep in mind that each step we take is leading us out of the fog and closer to what is supposed to enter our life so we can reach our ultimate goal. We must be patient with ourselves and with the unfolding of events as we go on. 

Once we reach clarity, everything makes sense.

All the pieces of the puzzle fall into place to tell us that there was a meaning in what happened to us. We understand that we wouldn’t be where we are had we not gone through the change or challenge.

That day at the beach, the fog eventually lifted. The blue skies and puffy white clouds I had seen when I left home were in full view, the shining sun felt warm on my face, and there, clearly defined, was the majestic, beautiful ocean landscape I had intended to see.

I climbed on a large boulder and stared at the ocean, knowing I had made the right decision by not giving up on this walk, and also by not giving up on my life when my efforts to save my marriage didn’t pan out.

The road to clarity and purpose was arduous and longer than I expected. When I thought I had reached my final destination, another change or another challenge would pop up.

I wasn’t consciously aware that I was creating a new life, and I didn’t realize that the process of creation includes multiple tests, adjustments, and setbacks.

But I continued listening to my intuition and reaching out to help others who were in a similar situation. I continued spending time in nature, consuming healthful foods, and being active. I continued my labor of creation through writing and art.

By engaging in activities that added meaning to my life, I connected with my purpose, and now this purpose is as clear as a cloudless sky: I intend to help people realize their magnificence. Clarity allowed me to regain control of my destiny.

When clarity arrives in your life, you too will feel empowered.

You’ll feel confident.

You’ll understand the lesson.

You’ll be home.

And best of all, next time life throws you a curve ball, you’ll know what to do. You’ll know that the fog will eventually lift, and that all you need to do is to keep going.

Photo by James Jordan

About Cloris Kylie Stock

Cloris Kylie, Marketing MBA, helps entrepreneurs to attract the right clients so that they skyrocket their impact and revenue! A sought-after speaker, trainer, and author, Cloris has been featured on various television and radio shows, including the #1 podcast for entrepreneurs, "Entrepreneur On Fire." Cloris's articles have been published on websites with millions of followers. Visit her website here https://www.cloriskylie.com.

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  • gigi

    I’m struggling with ‘fog’ at the moment for reasons different to yours, but what you wrote sounds conforting as well as inspiring to me. Thank you!

  • Jamie

    Good timing! I’ve also been struggling with the fog which I thought had started to dissipate and then came down again for the last few months. It’s always reassuring to know that others are going through the same things, and that each of us does have the strength to make positive choices and to see the fog lift. I feel stronger today than i have done for a couple of months, although my future is probably less certain. Thanks you!

  • This article is a great reminder that the fog always breaks and that we can apply what we learn to the next “fog” situation. Thanks for sharing!

  • Esther

    This couldn’t have been posted at a better time. My boyfriend passed away yesterday morning due to a motorcycle accident. He was only 27. Thank you so much for this.

  • Anna

    thank you so much

  • DE

    Choris we

  • krutika

    nicely written!! you know that saying where there is a way there is a will. 🙂

  • Gisela

    Just what i needed to hear today. Thank you!

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    Needed this today; thank you for sharing! From one beach lover to another…:)

  • Carolynne Melnyk

    I really like this piece and especially the link to the fog. Life definitely has a way changing suddenly. This has happened to me several time and as you wrote it takes time to see beyond the fog. I have found the lessons that reveal themselves after the fog clears are very the real gems. It does not always feel good while going through the changes but the sun does reappear. Thanks.

  • JC

    thank you for this post. My divorce will be final in 2 weeks and it’s been really tough. I was married for 23 years and tried everything. I am in the fog right now and am waiting for the sunshine.

  • Esther, I’m so sorry for your loss. In a universe in which there are no accidents, I can see why you were guided to read this today. I’ll keep you and your boyfriend in my thoughts and prayers. Stay in touch.

  • JC, this is probably the toughest challenge you’ll have to face, but there is hope. Trust me. That’s why I wrote “Magnificent…Married or Not.” I think the book will help you. Connect with me via FB or Twitter, and remember you’re not alone.

  • Very well stated, Carolynne. I’ve written about patience before, because it’s so important to remain patient as we wait for the fog to clear. Hope you stay in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

  • Isn’t the ocean the best? That’s why I chose it as the background photo for the cover of my book, “Magnificent…Married or Not.” Thank you for your comment, and stay in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

  • Thank you for reading, Gisela! Hope you stay in touch via FB or Twitter!

  • Thank you, Krutika, for your feedback. Hope you connect with me via FB or Twitter!

  • Correct. Challenges help us realize we are a lot stronger than we thought we were. All the best to you, and I hope we can connect via Facebook or Twitter!

  • Thank you, Anna! Stay in touch via FB or Twitter. Blessings…

  • Thank you so much for your feedback! It’s such a blessing when I see that my writing is inspiring. Please stay in touch via FB or Twitter. All the best to you.

  • Thank you, Jamie! The future is always uncertain. Sometimes we have the perception of a certain future, but change can happen any moment. I think what matters is to trust that we can handle the changes, and to know we’re no alone. Continue growing and becoming stronger every day. Hope we can stay in touch via FB or Twitter.

  • Thank you, Gigi, for your feedback! It means a lot to hear my words have inspired you. Please stay in touch via FB or Twitter. Blessings.

  • AW

    I believe I was meant to read this article today. I have been dealing with a diagnoses and surgery and aftermath for 6 months impatient to get back to normal and be happy again. Today was a beautiful day and I went for a walk and for the first time in months felt like there was hope. This article further confirms that for me. Thank you.

  • Ashok Kumar

    @Cloris Kylie:disqus:
    I did not understand one thing over here. How can one understand the
    purpose of his life before even it ends. I am talking about the life
    span we live not the life spans we live and die everyday on one or the
    other aspect. If one get clarity before his deathbed then this might
    give him a chance to correct his/her mistakes, which is practically
    impossible in real life.
    I think we can have a nice
    conversation/argument over this:P You may write to me @
    ashok.shoky@gmail.com. if you really feel like making me understand what
    you have written. Because I believe writing beautiful lines woven with
    nice words is very easy than acting to the same or dancing to the
    rhythms of fortune throughout a life?

  • Thanks I have followed you on Twitter. My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/stevespring and my LiveYourLifeOnPurpose Facebook Fan page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Live-Your-Life-On-Purpose/433409413426524

  • AW, you are right. You were ready to see the signs of a happy future, and you saw more than one of those signs. So happy to hear this! If you haven’t done so yet, please connect with me via Facebook or Twitter. Sending you strength and radiant health.

  • Thank you, Ashok, for your comment. Sometimes we read or hear a message but it’s not clear because it’s not the right time for the message to be clear to us. We’ve all heard, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Same thing applies to internalizing a concept. Keep contemplating this topic and you will find the answer. All the best to you.

  • Dee

    I lived this article almost 2 years ago now when my husband announced that he wanted out of our marriage of 6 months. I’m sure that you can relate to the tail spin that I found myself in.
    At that time, I did not have the wisdom of the words that you wrote. I moved forward purely on instinct. Staying in bed and becoming a puddle was not an option for me. I reached out to my friends and family and formed a security net for myself. walked my dog (he was still depending on me every day), I exercised almost every day, read articles and books that provided insight to my situation, and saw a counselor.
    My mantra was “one foot in front of the other.” There were days were I came home and collapsed from sheer emotional exhaustion and all I had done was gone to work and come home.
    Each night I went to sleep ONLY after I had completed these new tasks that I had set up for myself. They kept me on a “path” even though I could not see my figurative hand in front of my face.
    I’m really grateful that you have the forum to share your words with others that might be experiencing their life change. Thank you.

  • Dee, thank you so much for sharing your story. When you said you moved on instinct, you were tapping into the power of your intuitive self. That’s why you are in a much better place now. I’m very happy for you. I wrote “Magnificent…Married or Not” to help those who are experiencing the pain of a separation or divorce. Only by going through the challenge myself I was able to get the wisdom I needed to help others. If you read the book, I’d love to get your feedback. Stay in touch via FB or Twitter. Love and blessings.

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    Would love to have a house next to a beach/seashore someday; hopefully somewhere where its also more peaceful & quiet..which isn’t an easy thing to find either, aside from the money factor…lol. Just added you on twitter! 🙂

  • Yes, a home by the ocean would be so nice. Thank you!

  • Jaime

    Cloris, A serious of coincidences (perhaps I will share sometime) brought me to read this posting and I really enjoyed your article about overcoming change and finding the light as we emerge from our fog. I felt we were kindred spirits as we share the same goals and I too have been through a divorce and spent long periods of time in the fog and not knowing what decisions to make. Your article made me consider Plato’s allegory of the cave (the people living in the dark cave never leave because the sun is too bright and they don’t have the patience to let their eyes adjust until one day, someone finally exits the cave and becomes enlightened, only to realize that returning to the cave would make him changed and recjected by the cave prisoner’s, yet still obligated to share his news with the cave prisoners’). It also reminds me of Martha Beck’s description of crossing the ring of fire and once you cross the hardest path, it gets easier and things become more clear as we notice coincidences and act on our intuition. I find that we share the same path, to help other’s realize their magnificence and to bring light into darkness. In the words of Wayne Dyer “You are always a magnificent human being — not because anybody says so, not because you’re successful, not because you make a lot of money — but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason.” I look forward to reading your new Book.

  • Jaime, thank you for this beautiful comment. How are you helping others realize their magnificence? Make sure to connect with me via FB or Twitter, or join my online community by subscribing to my site. I’m very happy to hear you’ve found your path. Many blessings, and I look forward to your feedback on “Magnificent…Married or Not.”

  • RT

    Hello Cloris I know exactly how you feel when you say your future was covered in a fog of uncertainty. I am leaving a marriage of 28 years because I can no longer live with my husband who owns his life but continues to control mine. My wake up call happened when I ended up in a burn out with many health issues to deal with, alone and a husband who still made it about himself.
    For the first 3 years I cried constantly because of the loss I felt of not being able to live my life and the next 3 years my husband and I tried to work on fixing our marriage that I wanted to leave.
    During this time I did not feel like I was living and felt like I was drifting inside a cloud of fog. The day I felt like this fog had finally lifted was the day I actually could think clearly again.
    That’s when I decided I had to do something about my life. The first thing was to stop the crying I felt from the unhappiness I felt in my marriage. It took me 6 years to decide to finally separate and I have never looked back, The day I told my husband I could no longer live with him and was leaving was the day my crying finally stopped.
    We haven’t started separation procedures but I can truly say that some days the thought of how I will cope and support myself worries me.
    What makes it even harder is that I am doing it completely alone. My friends have not contacted me since I told them I separated and my family have told me ‘it’s my problem’.
    Everyday I read books/webs on any material for strength and support. And also have had counselling to help me get through.
    I know I will be happy again and refuse to give up on my life. I may be on my journey alone but at least I know I am on the right path this time.
    Thank you for your post.

  • RT, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad to hear you have the clarity you needed, and have the right attitude to overcome this most difficult life challenge. You are not alone on your journey. A Course in Miracles says, “If you knew who walks beside you on this path that you have chosen, fear would be impossible.” Stay tuned in to the opportunities and people that life will bring you so you can come out of this stronger than ever. I hope you have a chance to read my book, “Magnificent…Married or Not.” I think it would really help you. I also invite you to join my online community. You can also stay in touch via FB. All the best, and trust you’ll be well.

  • Devastatibg

    This totally relates to me. I was forced to resign recently. Eventhough they compensate me. Going forward I have to deal with uncertainty. I have been with the company for 9th years. I have sleepless night lately, full with anxiety about my future. As mentioned, this is life changing, I hope I could be strong enough to go through this period…

  • RT

    Carolynne the comment you make ‘the lessons that reveal themselves after the fog clears are the very real gems’. So true and totally agree from personal experience. So beautifully said.

  • I’m sorry to hear about your job situation, and I see how anxiety and fear might be getting a hold of you. Say to yourself that you are strong enough to do this, and prove this to yourself by doing things that show how strong you are–such as reviewing your resume or attending networking events. You’ll find your new career path soon, and trust it will be wonderful. If you haven’t done so yet, I invite you to connect with me via FB or join my online community by going to my website. Many blessings.

  • RT

    Thank you Cloris for your positive words of guidance. I love when you say to ‘stay tuned in to the opportunities and people that life will bring you so you can come out of this stronger than ever’. So empowering!
    I plan to purchase your book and look forward to reading more empowering words. Thank you.

  • Thank you, RT! Many blessings, and I look forward to your feedback when you read the book.

  • True Cloris. Clarity arrives gradually and that’s how things start making sense.
    Motivation can take any form , like the way you were guided at the beach.

  • Thank you, Vidyashree, for your comment.You’re correct; if we pay attention to the signs around us, we can get the inspiration that we need. All the best to you, and please stay in touch via FB or through my online community 🙂