“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.” — Anne Lamott How To Make Sense Of Chaos You may believe your life is spinning out of control. However, it...
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.” — Anne Lamott
How To Make Sense Of Chaos
You may believe your life is spinning out of control.
However, it’s a misguided perception because you’re invested in your circumstances and unable to see an alternative solution.
I’m drawn to the tale by Anthony de Mello which highlights our reaction to life:
Everyone was surprised by the Master’s updated metaphor: “Life is like a motor car.”
They waited in silence, knowing that an explanation would not be long in coming.
“Oh yes,” he said at length. “A motor car can be used to travel to the heights.”
“But most people lie in front of it and allow it to run over them and then blame it for the accident.”
Our greatest challenge in life is overcoming our sense of helplessness. However, this too is an illusion and not what’s taking place.
“Circumstances are powerless, too. Your perception of outside events is solely dependent on your thinking and mind-set. And since your thinking and mind-set ebb and flow, it makes little sense to take the content of your thoughts as written in stone and requiring action,” affirms author and sports psychologist Garret Kramer in The Path of No Resistance: Why Overcoming is Simpler than You Think.
When we become invested in the drama around us, we cannot make sense of it and assume chaos is detrimental.
In fact, upheaval may be what we need to advance us to the next point in our life.
The most significant act we can undertake to reclaim our life, is to surrender. I realise this goes against every principle of setting your life on track. Nevertheless, what if this simple understanding propelled you to a new way of life?
Author Mary O'Malley states in What's in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life, “Opening to Life brings you into full engagement with what is happening rather than keeping you caught in a conversation about Life. We could call it surrender, but this doesn’t mean being defeated. It means finally giving up your war with what Life is bringing you.”
The Process Called Life
Surrender does not mean apathy, yet something more significant. It entails yielding to the process called life, by allowing what needs to transpire, irrespective of your thoughts and preconceived ideas.
Your ideas and beliefs about the world give meaning to what is taking place around you.
To reclaim your life, requires finding your own path and following the journey wherever it leads. It’s a rewarding adventure, given the many discoveries made along the way.
Thus, it pays to be vigilant and know what’s important to you.
It’s easy to be distracted by unimportant matters. Many people succumb to this way of living because they react to what happens before them, instead of focussing on what’s essential.
“Saying yes to reality—to the things we cannot change—is like choosing to turn around and sit in the saddle in the direction the horse is going. Sitting that way is mindfulness, an honouring of the here and now without the distractions of fear or desire,” avows author David Richo in The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them.
“Courage is reclaiming your life after a devastating event robs you of your confidence and self-esteem. It is facing tomorrow with a firm resolve to reach deep within yourself to find another strength, another talent. ... It is taking yourself to another level of your own existence where you are once again whole, productive, special...” — Catherine Britton
It's In Your Response
How you respond to life, reflects whether you’re pulled by situations or people that don’t relate with your deepest values.
Life proceeds with its own agenda, directed through you. Yet, it’s derailed by trivial matters since we lose sight of what we value most.
I liken it to working on a computer and besieged with pop-up messages from a mail program.
If you’re like most people, they respond to the messages, texts or incoming calls as they arise because they’re habituated to do so, like Pavlovian Conditioning.
What if there’s a better reaction instead of plunging ourselves into unimportant issues?
The choice is not to allow external events to disrupt your inner stability.
We must be mindful of the excuses that keep us trapped in our comfort zone. This safe harbour is where we avoid confronting life’s pressing issues while delaying the inevitable.
Eventually, it overwhelms us because we’ve grown accustomed to running away from our problems instead of meeting them head-on.
“People automatically thrive when they stop making circumstantial excuses for their feelings. They find clarity, take judgment off the table, and then feel a connection with everything around them,” states Garret Kramer.
Life needn’t be a series of unfortunate events. You have the power to take affirmative action to reclaim your life. First, you must discover what’s important to you and let go of any distractions that don’t complete the picture.
I assure you, life will pull you in every direction not of your choosing. If you’re not resolute, you’ll find yourself in a place you care little for.
This is why many people are unhappy in intimate relationships because they’re enticed by the initial spark that alights their interest. They respond like a child with new toys, believing the situation will stay the same. It seldom does and soon enough they find themselves stuck and unable to Navigate Life.
Life is not to blame for your circumstances. It results from your less than unwavering commitment to pursue what’s important.
If you’re in a position that does not benefit you, ask yourself, “What really matters?”
Continue to pose this question for thirty days until answers appear. What emerges will be insights giving you clues to what you value most.
However, what arises, may go against your better judgement and force you out of your comfort zone – that’s okay, go with it.
Listen, for something to be of value, you must let go of fixed ideas not in alignment with a greater vision for your life.
Tune In To Your Inner Wisdom
There’s a place within you, a universal wisdom that knows your needs. You may not be aware of it as it’s drowned out by the incessant chatter in your mind.
This radio mind distracts you of what’s essential.
To live a spirited life, turn down the volume on your thoughts and tune in to the ever silent, infinite wisdom that lies deep within you.
I assure you it’s there.
People claim not to hear it or that it doesn’t exist because they can’t get quiet enough to perceive it.
It may take months or years to drown out the incessant chatter and allow the silent voice to direct you to the life you’re meant to live.
What’s the rush, anyway?
Your Instagram and Facebook friends will still be there, so set aside your communication devices for now.
Don’t go another minute living a complicated life, claiming it’s a series of trials and tribulations.
Be vigilant in your response to life and trust there’s a greater plan for you, beyond your understanding. You needn’t know the plan in its entirety right now.
Follow the trail, via your emotions to reclaim your life. Take one step at a time.
Everyday, life will show you what needs to be completed, who you need to meet with, what books you need to read and the resources you require.
As the opening tale proposes, step out of the way of the motor car and into the passenger seat to assume your role as creator and navigator of your life.