Something crappy happened. Hell broke loose. The other shoe dropped; the cookie crumbled and you’re up a creek. Things have gone Lord of the Flies / off the rails / sideways / WTF.
It’s not fair. And you don’t deserve it.
When things go south, it can be seriously tough to see the wisdom in it. In fact, you may want to stop looking for the “meaning in the mess” or whatever — for now. Some stuff won’t make sense until later anyway. If you believe that clarity will eventually arrive, you can stop arm-wrestling with destiny and get on with your life. To help you stay cool, I’ve got a hit-the-fan plan.
Warning: I’m super-bratty about parts of my plan.
EMBRACE THE IDEA THAT NOTHING JUST HAPPENS.
I can’t prove it — but in order to stay sane, I’m endorsing the above. Here’s my boiled-down version. I believe the universe is loving and supportive (blah blah) and we are continually offered opportunities to evolve (blah). What we do with the opportunities is up to us. We’ll either move beyond them or repeat them (blah blah blah).
And now some thoughts from a mature person:
I’d learned enough from life’s experiences to understand that destiny’s interventions can sometimes be read as invitations for us to address and even surmount our biggest fears. It doesn’t take a great genius to recognize that when you are pushed by circumstance to do the one thing you have always most specifically loathed and feared, this can be, at the very least, an interesting growth opportunity.
Interesting is an understatement, but — more importantly — what if the only way out is through??
BRING HOME THE GOLD.
Getting through a crisis is often a mental game — so it’s critical to put your head in a good place. I put my head at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado where the altitude is 6035 feet. The air is thin; there is less oxygen and EVERYTHING IS MORE DIFFICULT.
Olympic athletes choose to be there. They train in extremely challenging environments in order to perform better at competitions. You can think about your crappy situation in the same way. Things may be extremely difficult right now — AND — you can become stronger, smarter and increase your stamina. Welcome to the Mental Olympics. What can you learn while stuck in this place? Where in your life could you use more muscle or resilience? It’s time to think like an athlete — to dig deep and find your inner grit. The strength and skills you develop in tough times will improve your performance in everyday life.
After surviving a few “interesting growth opportunities”, my friend Nicole said, “Even though we don’t all ‘take home the gold’…the Mental Olympics is the one time where participation ribbons are totally legit. They mean something. We participated and lived to tell about it.”
Make an effort to seek out wise people and wise words. Their energy and experience can lift and carry you over vast distances. When the fan’s been hit and I desperately want the mess to be behind me, I am comforted by this:
Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?
Find who and what speaks to you — and hang on tight.
And lastly, LEAN INTO IT.
There will be times when you won’t need to examine the purpose behind life’s bizarre turns. Some change will feel right, necessary or both. It will be uncomfortable — but you CAN lean into the curve and accelerate around the next corner.
Then you’ll look up, coast for a bit and take in the view.
MORE THIRST AID
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