A Realistic Approach to a Life Crisis

Blue butterfly on a leaf. There is text which reads 'A realistic approach to a life crisis'. In smaller letters to the left is the text 'become something new.

Being realistic trumps hiding your head in the sand every time!

Welcome to this Bliss cast and thank you for joining us this week

Life has a way of testing us. Think back to a time when you were well on your way to fulfilling a goal and then fate intervened and you came to a skidding halt. I can think of a few…

  • In my final year of University…when it really counted, my Dad had a stroke.
  • In my mid 30’s with 2 busy adolescent children at home, a full time job, and parents who lived 2 hours away, I was given the opportunity once again to put my life plans on hold. My aging parents needed help with all the details inherent in the final years of life. Cancer treatments, nursing home placement, burials, grieving, and executrix duties became a 6 year focus I hadn’t counted on.
  • Again in my mid 40’s, when I needed to put all my resources in to building a new life, my son began battling treatment resistant depression where he was suicidal.

Notice the pattern? Every decade, I have been given the opportunity to work with this theme and I am refusing to do this again in my 50’s ;)

There was a defining moment when my son turned the corner and began his climb back to health. In retrospect, it was the defining moment for my growth as well. This moment was like a scene out of a Monty Python skit.

(As a preamble, anger is a good sign in a deeply depressed person. It means they are climbing out of the depression and beginning to feel again.)

During a therapy session, my son became angry and he took it out on me.

(This is also an understandable response during depression treatment. My son loved me and trusted me and felt safe letting it rip with me…but that was hard for me to accept in the moment.)

I was beyond exhausted, and in the space of 6 hours…I set out on the hour long drive from the hospital to my home 3 times. And 3 times I was called back.  When the phone rang the third time, at the exact same spot on the road…in front of a cheese shop; (I have no idea what that symbolizes), I left my body. I saw this tiny, tired and overwhelmed woman from above…and I just started laughing. All of a sudden, life didn’t seem so serious any more.

I know what you’re thinking….poor thing, she had a break down. Perhaps, I do know that sometimes we will need a break down in order to have a breakthrough…and I was gifted with a new way of seeing in that moment.

I saw that human beings are incredibly resilient.  Just think back to stories of survival during the Holocaust for confirmation.  Emanuel Ringelblum, a Jewish historian, collected stories of Polish Jews before and during his time in the Warsaw Ghetto.  He realized that those who shed their ideas about who they were, and adopted a realistic acceptance of their situation in the present, had a much better chance of survival.

We have it in us to respond to an emergency, and we also have it in us to face what threatens to rob us of our life energy…one cut at a time.  Sometimes triage has to be administered. If we find ourselves, or those we love, in an emergency situation where life and death hangs in the balance, then by all means…our wants, dreams and desires must take second place. We must get realistic about our life in the moment.

However, sometimes a crisis evolves in to a chronic situation and we weren’t even aware the transition had taken place. We wake up one day and realize we have been applying crisis management to a situation which is now chronic.  This is the equivalent of death from a thousand cuts. The emergency team are tired, and it’s time to move this situation to long term care.

This problem is most likely to arise if you are the one who took the leadership role when the crisis began. It’s hard to relinquish that position. You have likely become the primary care giver, and others may not be all that excited about sharing the work load.

At this point in time, it’s helpful to ask yourself a few questions so you can get clarity about your situation. Grab a journal and answer the following:

  1. Is this really still a crisis or has this situation become chronic?
  2. Why am I still so invested in this situation?
  3. Is there another who could take some of this responsibility?
  4. Am I doing more that I need to do?
  5. Is there a healthier way to see this situation?

Take a few days to complete these questions and leave lots of space for your answers. When you get clear on the second question, on the Why you are doing what you are doing, answering the next 3 questions becomes easier.

These major life events which force us to put our plans on hold are perfect opportunities for growth

I have a quote which hangs on my office wall “Love is the only rational act”~~Levine

When you don’t know what to do in your life, choose love.

Love is listening to your inner guidance.  Sometimes that may mean making a decision that feels right for you, but doesn’t feel right for the people around you. When we begin to listen to our hearts and practice self love and compassion, we will change.

Those around us won’t be comfortable with that change because it threatens the status quo.

“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness.  They wanted her to change back into what she always had been.  But she had wings.”

~~Dean Jackson

If you focus on what others want for your life, you allow them to create your life for you.  Is that what you want?

When we get caught up in the dream of what should be, we lose our ability to act and change what is.

Get realistic about your life in the moment, practice self care and self love…and learn to flow with life and find YOUR bliss.

This life is challenging, so remember~~Love is the only rational act, and self love is the starting point.

Please share this Bliss Cast with anyone in your life who you feel may benefit from the message. Let’s all do what we can to birth a more heart centred collective intelligence and make this world a better place. Join me next week when we’ll look at what to do when you wake up one day and wonder….Whose Life am I Living?

Bliss You All!