I am sure that most people would agree that life in the current economic climate of this world is one of the most challenging and difficult times any of us has ever experienced.
Challenging times like the present offer a great opportunity to expose how well we deal with stressful situations to ourselves. For most of us, including me, I feel that we would get a dismal grade if this was an elementary school testI know myself, even with all my training (that I conveniently forget), I fall into default mode and start moping and complaining about how hard done by I am. I scream and rant about how people do not care and about how the people we have elected to run our governments are doing the worst possible job.
I often feel terrible, running from one emotionally charged situation to another, (they seem endless don’t they?) The more we complain, it seems the more life stacks on our plates seemingly to try to find out where our breaking point lies.I was visiting with a dear friend yesterday. During our conversation, we got onto the world we find ourselves in. I started telling her about how difficult it has been for the last while in virtually every aspect of my life.
I also remembered to include how grateful I was for the lessons that had come along and for the teeny bit of abundance that had occurred that has kept me from being a vagrant.
After listening to me for a while, she stopped me and asked me to listen to her experience in the same vein and how she had learned to deal with it. I found what she said so profound that I felt I wanted to share it with you.
Life is about learning about yourself. You learn about yourself by observing how you handle what life dishes out. Life never gives you more challenges than you can handle. The challenge for you is to be aware of how you are handling the challenges.
There are three aspects to your environment during a situation. There is you in the situation, the environment around you while the situation is occurring and there is how you handle the situation.
The only place you can manage anything in the situation is in the third part, how you handle the situation. This is also where the telltale signs of your own growth is.
I, personally, have been overwrought with emotion in much of my daily activities; yelling at people while I drive, being resentful and withdrawn during conflicts with some of the people in my life, yelling at God because things are not going the way I want them to, etc, etc.
My friend told me that the reason all this seemed to be piling up on me is because I have become so emotionally entangled in these that each occurrence appeared to magnify the intensity of the emotion in the situation. As the magnification increased from each of the events, my perspective of each new event and the world at large became more and more skewed until even the simplest annoyance seemed to become a life threatening event.
She suggested that rather than getting bent out of shape by every situation that was in defiance of my mind’s desire for peace and tranquility, it would be more purposeful for me to take a deep breath, relax and learn to stay calm inside me.
She also stated that the more that I focused on and expressed my frustrations with the situations around me, the worse it would get because my emotions were becoming more heightened as things “spiralled”.
After all, none of the events that have or are occurring are really real and none of them really matter. What does matter is my ability to learn to stay calm in the face of adversity and challenge.
The great lesson I take away (again) from this conversation is the awareness of how I am allowing external forces to determine how I express and experience my life.
Rather than frothing at the mouth with the rabid spit fluming from the basement of my “should factory”, I can choose to just settle down, breathe and choose to stay inside my space. From this point, I can consciously choose how to deal with each situation as they occur while letting them go once they have past thus separating myself from the emotions that connect me to my perception of the outer world.
The goal is to find peace and remain at peace best possible at any time, no matter what life throws out.
Can you relate to this concept? I know I certainly can.
I tend to be kind of an emotional guy. I know it has caused much unwanted damage in my life over the years. Now that I am reminded once again about learning to stay in my own space, for the umpteenth million time, maybe I can finally get it. There are certainly lots of opportunities in my life to try it out!
Finding peace and maintaining peace in our lives while still being able to actively participate in the occurrences of daily living is the sign of great mastery in this game called life.
For the many of us who have grown up in unsafe environments, it is absolutely essential that we keep being reminded and reminding ourselves that staying out of victim mode and in personal peace mode is the only goal that really counts.