When Life throws you a curveball
Normally, we go about our daily lives with the unspoken assumption that while yes, surprises can happen, nothing extremely out of the ordinary will ever threaten the predictability of our existence. And we really like it this way. Adversity is not something we are prepared to deal with. We read about disasters in the newspaper, war and famine on TV in some faraway country that we probably couldn’t even locate on the map, corrupt politicians in remote corners of the world. We know all this is real. But it also seems incredibly far away. The idea that chaos of that magnitude might infringe on our lives one day seems unthinkable.
How Adversity plays with our mind
Have you looked around your circle of friends, or even your own family, in the recent weeks since Covid-19 hit the globe? What have you noticed? How are people dealing with it, reacting, behaving, maybe even changing?
Whenever our lives suffer a major disruption, a huge break in routine, interesting things start to happen. Especially if some of our usual distractions aren’t so readily available anymore. All of a sudden we are facing something that a lot of us try to avoid like the plague: Us.
We are normally not all that good at reflecting or even taking the time to go for a little introspection. And it’s not really what we want anyway. There is a reason why we are living in an age of busy-ness, where everyone is moaning about their hectic schedules and that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Most of us live in a major disconnect from our true nature, simply because we tend to believe that what we think of as our “Self” is what makes “us”. This perceived “Self”, of course, is nothing but our Ego, a necessary construct of our Unconscious Mind that helps us navigate the years of our human experience. And there is of course nothing wrong with having an Ego; if we didn’t, life amongst 8 billion other human beings would become pretty interesting to say the least.
So the Ego is a bad thing. I get it.
Nope. It’s not. The problem arises when we are unaware that our Ego is indeed only a construct. With awareness, we intuitively know that there is more to us than just this made-up “Self”. With awareness, we can still enjoy the pleasures of the Ego and the world, without taking it too seriously because we know that our true substance, essence, nature is something that lies beyond it. And with awareness we are not afraid to look at this part of us.
But if we take it for the real deal, strange things start to happen if all of a sudden things fall away that the Ego has always relied on. All the usual things it used to feed on are gone. All this time on our hands now! What on earth are we supposed to do? Think? Reflect? Not an option. Too scary, too uncomfortable. And then some of us start going into numbing mode. We grow into couch potatoes, stuff ourselves with the unhealthiest food we can get our hands on, alcohol consumption rises suspiciously, we consume hours of TV and conversations with our fellow human beings become minimal. At the same time the level of whining and complaint rises to unprecedented heights. I am bored, I am getting fat, I hate this virus, my spouse/kids are getting on my nerves…
So how come that some people are like this? And others seem to handle the whole thing totally different?
Adversity is Opportunity
Whenever life experiences a disruption, people with a certain level of awareness take note. Because they understand that this is something they can turn into their advantage. Routines are great to get certain things done, but they can also make us complacent. And complacency is one of the arch enemies of growth. Awareness helps us to accept what we cannot change anyway and leverage the situation to get things done that weren’t exactly high on our priorities list, but maybe should have been.
Instead of having a whine fest, those people say:
- Yes, I understand this is a crisis that has impact on my normal way of living.
- No, I will not curl up and go brain-dead and use the crisis as an excuse to stop moving my life forward.
- I embrace the opportunity of time, stillness and introspection to examine the things inside me that maybe have kept me from growing for some time.
- I will feed my Ego the things it needs in terms of distraction, but to a degree I determine because I understand there’s no need to take my Ego too seriously.
- It’s not my Ego’s needs that get things done. I get things done.
Yes, there are people who have been struck hard economically by Covid-19. But the same principles apply nonetheless, maybe even more. When your situation is dire, going into numbing mode will do absolutely zero to move you to a better place. Turning inward, getting to grips with a few limiting beliefs and assumptions you hold dear, examining them, discarding them if needed, is what will propel you into action – because this chance of stillness creates space to discover things you didn’t even have on your radar before. And therein lies tremendous opportunity.
I wish all of you the strength and wisdom to navigate this situation successfully and use it to emerge a more resourceful human being. If you want to learn more about the Art of Mastering your Life and increasing your resilience, drop me a line today.