It doesn’t really matter age we are we never stop learning do we. We never truly end up knowing everything or being an expert in everything we’ve encountered. That is a good thing as it means life will never get boring, that there is no ceiling to the amount of information we can absorb and how much we can grow as individuals. Life will always be waiting in the wings poised to throw a banana skin in front of us as we’re walking along going about our business as happy as Larry, and it is those moments when life blindsides us to make us feel like we know or have learnt nothing. It’s like all our previous experience and knowledge has gone out of the window instantly and we are left with a dustpan and brush in our hands trying to sweep up all the bits and pieces and trying to work out what to do with them.
It’s a clever thing that life does. When something happens that catches us with our guards down, whatever that may be, it rattles us. Yes we re-group and get our bearings and then start to tackle it applying our experience as it returns but what can we do to try and avoid that initial meltdown? Is there anything any of us can do to absorb it?
With most thing this comes down to the individual. We as people all react, respond and cope at different levels and speeds, thats just how we are,but consider it as a reflex. We all have varying reflexes too. I’ve seen a formula one driver catch a bottle from a table at the spec of something from a superhero movie and put it back on the table before others have even flinched. So those reflexes aren’t just a physical reaction, its our mental reaction too. How quickly can we process and respond in the best way possible to then begin working through the issue into a resolution?
It’s life way of making us feel like we’ve learnt nothing it’s an instant amnesia until we become grounded again. So don’t fret, don’t make rash decisions or judgements. Let yourself be at ease as the dust of the situation settles. The saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold but that is not right, that is a dish that should never actually be served. Instead it’s our reaction that is best served cold, served when we have considered everything, all the ingredients that made this particular dish. Everything we do when facing a big life events best dealt with when we are calm, informed and relaxed. Haste and knee-jerk decisions will generally only bring about more issues to work through.
The fact that initially it can feel like we have a training wheels back on our life bikes as we process what is happening is just a temporary state. Draw from how you dealt with other things in your life, look at where you made improvements each time you worked through something. The key is to make sure you learn each time, that you take something away from that situation in order to help you next time round. What you take away will be with you in your day to day life, it will only be a small influence but it will be there and all those small influences form big changes. Experience, absorb, process and respond.
Apply that to whatever you can in your life. Break it down; Experience- whatever it may be that is happening it is now something external coming into your world for you to deal with. Absorb- let yourself, your body and your mind absorb the whole event in it’s entirety, don’t try and cut it short or hurry it along. Take in each detail. Process- with all that is going on don’t rush working your way through it. Processing life events takes time, there is no set duration as each of us are different and process at different speeds and alongside that each event comes with a different volume of information and influences. The worst thing you can do is jump the gun and tell yourself you have processed everything. If you are doing that it is strong indication that you are trying to skip a few pages to get to the end quicker. Embrace the process, this is the part that is helping you the most. Respond- when everything else is done, when all of the other elements are worked through, when your footing is sound and your mind is clear. You will have no questions and you will crave no answers. You will feel at ease, a state of equilibrium. Then you are ready to respond accordingly. If then a response is even needed at all. As often in life, if we take the time to steady ourselves sometimes the best action is no action at all.
So although it can feel like you haven’t got a clue what to do when something happens, when all of your previous knowledge and life experience has seemingly abandoned you at the first sign of trouble, that feeling is merely our good friend life popping those training wheels back on so we don’t fall over. Life doesn’t want us falling down or suffering that is why it puts those wheels back on for a while. That is all it is, it is not you failing to draw from your already travelled journey, it is merely life setting another seat at the table and telling you to go and was your hands. Take this approach and take these steps and you will learn, grow and develop as a person. You also understand that you aren’t alone in dealing with the things life brings our way. Especially when now we have such a fantastic infrastructure and network of channels that people can dial in to so now no one need ever feel alone or that they have no one to turn to.
Although it doesn’t stop that initial feeling of being completely alone in the universe, as Ray LaMontagne said in one of his songs “I remember all too well what it feels like to be all alone”. I remember flailing with no thoughts to it ever ending but it does, it ends for all of us. We as human beings are incredible. We can endure and survive such incredible emotional and mental trauma. I guess that is the exchange for a relatively frail shell. The strength of the human race is not the physical, it’s the min. Our minds and spirits that can overcome anything put in our way. You are one of those human beings, you can and will overcome whatever life serves up for you. It may not initially be a nice experience but it is a process you will triumph over and build from Try not to see the bad things that happen in life as roadblocks or obstructions, view them as sign posts. They are there to give instructions and guide us onto a more fulfilled path. Once you view life in this way nothing seems as daunting because you have prepared your mind to read situations in a better way. So don’t feel worried, scared or disheartened should that feeling of insecurity return when something in your life happens unexpectedly. All of your coping mechanisms are still intact, they have just been temporally put in for maintenance while you receive that upgrade.
Remember everything you have been through to this point, even your darkest and lowest moment was a time you have already got through when you thought you couldn’t.