Wednesday, August 18, 2010
What do you do when it seems like the universe in it’s infinite wisdom, is taking a baseball bat to every structure you worked so hard to build in your life? Nothing. Let it all fall apart. Sometimes we build structures in our lives for various reasons, often out of fear and to maintain a sense of control. One day will come when it seems like the universe wants you to feel out of control with no comfort, no break and no reprieve in any regard. This isn’t time to feel like a victim, it isn’t time to feel sorry for yourself and it certainly isn’t time to seek out others to blame for what you are dealing with. Its time to remember those days from a long time ago when your bike had training wheels. You were doing just fine riding with them and then one day, mom, dad, grandma or grandpa decided we were strong enough and had enough balance to take on the ride without the comfort and seeming protection of training wheels. We may have been scared to death but we took that ride and despite how many attempts it took us, we learned to ride without the training wheels.
So, in life it seem sthat when we least expect it, the training wheels in different places of our lives are abruptly removed and we must move through our day without the comfort and safety of those training wheels. It can feel like hell, it can feel terrifying and it can really seem to drag you right down to your knees. Well, think of it this way—when you’re on your knees you’re in a perfect position to pray. If that’s not your method of choice, you can pause and meditate about what you’ve seen and experienced, get in touch with your feelings and think about what the heart, core and truth of the matter really is. Life is not designed to bring you down, make you falter and barely exist. Life’s lessons and challenges take your weakest points, expose them to the light of day and give you an opportunity to become stronger. There are days when I feel like I should be made of steel. But the reality is that there is always room for improvement, there are always new experiences and there are always new ways for us to experience the world in a more healthy manner.
So, when the baseball bat knocks everything down, let it fall. Think about how you can rebuild and grow stronger by doing things a little differently. Its not rocket science and its not the end of the world. If you step back and just observe the emotion of it, you just might find child-like reactions to everything that is happening around you. This is a good thing. That child-like reaction of anger, frustration and blame is really a unique and wonderful opportunity to learn and grow—reach past all things known to you and learn something new and ultimately more healthy for you. While you are in the midst of a great change cycle, don’t forget to take care of yourself while you are in the process. Get more exercise, eat healthier and get more rest. You can try vitamins, read helpful books to distract you from worries for a time. You can find little things you enjoy doing and focus on those until the dust settles and you once again have a more balanced presence of mind to begin rebuilding the structures of your life in a new way.
Structures, if you didn’t catch the metaphor can be work-life, friends, relationships, habits and routines that give you a sense of safety. We build many structures to give us a sense of security and control. We are amazing in that regard. But, sometimes we outgrow the structures that we’ve built and being creatures of habit, if the universe (also a metaphor for any force that impacts your structures generically speaking) did not come along and shake things up, we’d never learn and grow. And, well, it’s just too bad if you weren’t interested in learning something new or growing. You can’t be alive and not continue to learn and grow. Speaking from experience, I’m getting to the point where I no longer desire to build structures to be torn down. I think I’d rather just go with the flow. It’s less disappointing. But, I do have to make sure I maintain a lot of faith and trust in my own abilities to always come out okay. If I become too fearful or frightened things will get worse. So, when I’m in this situation, I try to keep a more curious attitude about what might be happening and try not to get too focused or attached to outcomes. I try not to impose my will where it doesn’t belong and I find these changes a bit easier to deal with. Honestly, our gut reactions are our gut reactions and we can’t change those but we can change what we do as a result of those innate natural reactions we have. We can talk ourselves out of unhealthy or child-like reactions to change in life. We can parent ourselves through these challenging situations with love, wonder and respect and even find a way to enjoy the process even if a bit uncomfortable.