“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Is your life a whirlwind of chaotic activity?
Is your life an endless round of things you are supposed to do, places you are supposed to go, and people you are supposed to meet?
Do you have your all important goal list ready and a master plan on how you are going to achieve those goals?
Are you always on the move – seeking, achieving, and then reaching out for some more?
But what happens when the rug is literally pulled out from under your feet?
What happens when life takes an unexpected twist you never planned for?
Life is very unpredictable and there may be twists and turns in your path that you never anticipated.
Life may take you down some unexpected hard-to-travel pathways leaving you bewildered and confused.
You may think this isn’t quite how you imagined your life would be.
Life may throw a curve ball at you in the form of an unexpected illness, the sudden loss of a loved one, a financial difficulty or the loss of a job.
You don’t see it coming and you just aren’t prepared.
Your immediate reaction when faced with the unexpected – say a life-altering serious disorder – is bewilderment.
There is a feeling that this can’t possibly be happening to me.
You always think you are quite safe in your little cocoon and nothing bad is going to happen to you. It may happen to someone else, but not to you.
You are taken completely by surprise when the blueprint you so confidently laid out for your life goes awry.
So how do you deal with such situations?
Acceptance is the key
Human instinct when faced with a problem is denial.
But the first step in coping with a difficult life-altering situation or problem is acceptance.
Accept the problem, embrace it, and make it the new reality of your life.
Often when faced with a life-altering situation you may spend a considerable amount of time wishing you could turn back the clock and make things go back to the way they used to be.
But this is only likely to leave you with a gnawing sense of disbelief and unhappiness.
It may take some soul searching and introspection but it is important to accept the new reality that your life has become. With this acceptance will come an immeasurable level of peace and happiness.
Accepting your problem is the first and most important step in facing it and dealing with it.
Share your problem
It is trite but true to say that a problem shared is a problem halved.
Often you may find yourself hiding your problems because you are afraid to come out into the open.
You may fear ridicule or social ostracism so you keep your problem to yourself.
But remember you are alone only if you choose to be.
Don’t undermine the value of family and social support.
You need not publicize your problem.
At the same time there is no need to do a solo act and refuse to tell anyone what you are going through.
The trick is to be choosy. Share your problem with a handful of people you trust.
There are two benefits you will gain from sharing your problem:
You will receive support from those who know the challenges you are facing in life.
You will gain a new perspective to your problem or situation.
Distance yourself from the problem
Don’t allow the problem to become the center from which the rest of your life spirals.
Distancing yourself from the problem is by far the hardest step. It is also the most important one.
Distance yourself from the body if it is a health problem you are facing.
Distance yourself from the situation if it is some other problem you are facing.
Always remember that no problem can alter who you are as a person.
The core integral aspect of your nature will remain unchanged.
Distancing doesn’t come easily.
But if you make your will like steel and work on it, you can do it.
And when you finally achieve a level of distance from your problem, you will realize that distance lends perspective to the problem.
It doesn’t make the problem go away. But it does make the problem appear small.
And you will find that the fears that once overwhelmed you will eventually lose their hold over you.
Be positive and savor the beauty of life
It’s incredibly easy to smile when life is progressing smoothly.
But it’s incredibly hard to smile in the face of a serious life-altering condition or problem.
The trick is to avoid focusing on the negative aspects of life.
They are like heavy weights that will drag you down and prevent you from moving on.
So let go of the negatives in your life and you will be exhilarated at the incredible sense of freedom you experience.
Smiling and staying positive changes your mental outlook.
You learn to savor each moment of life.
And when your positive outlook becomes an integral part of who you are, you will find that there are times when the sheer beauty of life takes your breath away.
You learn to count your blessings and realize how incredibly lucky you are.
And as time goes by, you realize that problems and difficulties are blessings in disguise because they help you grow as a person.
The problem you are facing may test your limits but it will also help you realize you possess inner reserves of strength.
The ball is in your court now.
Do you want to be weighed down by your problems and difficulties?
Or do you choose to “tie no weights to [your] ankles” and fly free?
You can refuse to bow down; refuse to cry. You can let the storm rage on and make myself one with the stormy sky.