When life is happening….
Words are spoken, emails are received, food is eaten, long to-do lists written, things appear or don’t appear. We wake up in the morning, we open our eyes and events happen all day long, until we go to sleep.
This year I’ve had a very conscious and intense experience of this: a dear friend died of cancer, I met a wonderful man after many years of being single, my tenant has stopped paying his rent, the house I’m renting has been put on the market for sale.
All these events seemed to have happened all at once and have caused me varying degrees of anxiety and fear. Something in me has felt very threatened by the gain and loss of life’s events.
What I’m reminded of at each moment and what I’m learning again – is the importance of being aware of both how I respond to what’s happening in my life and what I do – rather than feeling dismayed by what’s happening to me and letting life swirl me around like a rootless tree. This can only be practiced and learned when there is crisis. It has been very challenging indeed and not an easy ride at all.
Even when life gets really tough, when shit happens, we can stay grounded, we can stay with what’s happening and take one step at the time. And that’s good to know, isn’t it? This is only possible when we let go of the belief that things in life have to happen in a certain way. There is no such law in the universe!
It is only possible when:
- we step back a little and pause for a moment
- we acknowledge what is happening in our life
- we take a moment to reflect about the choices we have to respond to whatever it is we need to respond to and deal with
This pausing and acknowledging of whatever it is that is happening in our life is the crucial bit. If we miss the gap, the pause, we lose ground straight away through our kneejerk reactions. That’s when we can easily lose perspective, when our world becomes very small, when we can’t see our choices anymore, when we can’t take one step at a time.
I apply this strategy not only to the big things that are happening in my life but whenever I can. The very first step is noticing when we react rather than respond to life’s events.
The very positive thing about life crises is that we almost always come out of them as a bigger person as it is only really when life gets tough and difficult that we grow and develop.