One Woman’s View of the Elephant
WHEN THINGS GO AWRY
Some of the things that went awry:
The electricity was turned off at the worst possible time. I worried that I would lose a few hundred dollars in frozen food. I was scammed for $54,000.. My boyfriend broke up with me. I had cancer. I didn’t get the job. I got lost. I had a miscarriage. I got robbed more than once. I really messed that up. I should not have said that! I should have said, done, or thought something else….,, Etc.”
At some point in my lifetime these things happened to me as I am sure they happened to a lot of people– some of it worse, some of it different and maybe not so bad. But what they all had in common was that all these happening could be labeled “adversity”.
“I wanted it to be a certain way, a way that I liked and it turned out not to be what I wanted at all, in fact it was a disaster. I was feeling really good, everything was moving along just right and then the bottom fell out.”
But we are not without resources.
When things go awry we can always find choices in how to deal with it:
1) We can curse, kick, have tantrums and stay stuck in our frustration and disappointment,
2) We can get it out of our system, embrace it, and ask what do I have to learn from this adversity
3) We can see it as a comedy and laugh at the folly of it all
4) Or we can just slough it off and continue on our way, somewhat diminished by the experience, get depressed, suicidal, cynical or just violent.
I sincerely believe that adversity can strengthen me and can expand my consciousness if I allow it. Embracing adversity anyway that works for us, depending on our unique personalities, can have amazing results.
At this present time in my life at least 5 out of 10 times my knee jerk reaction is to choose number 1, then quickly (at this time in time more quickly) go to number 3 where I can laugh at my number 1 reaction so that I can then go on to number 2. That freeing embrace allows my creativity to take over and I can see the truth to my reactions and the truth about the enemy who has invaded my consciousness and my part, if any, in the mayhem I am experiencing. Whew that is a lot.
Oh, and by the way I have completely disregarded number 4
Then in that wonderful spirit of creative problem solving, which I love, I discover that I am willing to adjust my attitude and performance. I am willing to embrace whatever has gone awry.
Because I choose that action I feel more able to deal with the adversity that I am in relationship with. It seems that my very sincere willingness to be free of adversity, or at the least free of my immediate fearful reaction to it, makes it happen, and I feel more creative more peaceful, stronger. and so much more joyful.
Two thoughts I remember reading, “Adapt and move forward” (that’s a way) and this is my favorite (I think it is a ‘Zen Koan): “The barn burnt down, now I can see the trees”—not easy, but when I am able to do it. I feel so much lighter