|Contemplate U by Larry Poncho Brown|
Lately I have been feeling more contemplative and observational about life. It seems as if I know quite a few people who are facing very difficult health issues or life challenges. Some of them are people I have known most my life. The pattern of life can sometimes seem very rote for all of us with our daily routines, but then life also has a way of throwing the unexpected at us too. Sometimes life is incredibly joyful and everything seems to be going our way. Then a day arrives when life seems really hard and we feel very challenged by health issues, job losses, tragedy, death and more.
During a particular difficult time we may even wonder, “Am I going to get through this?” I have certainly felt that way at times. Back in 1995 when my fiance died in a car accident I wondered for a great long time if I would ever be able to feel happy again. The loss felt so deep and profound.
What I have learned from my own life experiences is that we humans are remarkably resilient. We are tough, even when we may feel weak and are incredibly sensitive. Life really is much like a roller-coaster and there are always going to be ups and downs. There will be good times and tough times. Even just remembering inside our head the phrase “This will not last forever” can help pull us through. Though of course the other side of this coin are that those magic and blissful moments, that we sometimes wish could last forever, but alas cannot, because even the great and good things come to an end. Yet have no fear, more great and good things are always ahead of us too.
I think that trying to see that there is a bigger picture and a longer view to life, can help us get through the darker days. If we choose to live our life more this way, the dips of the roller coaster of life don’t seem as scary or an pronounced. I think we can choose to learn from our life experiences to flow more with the ups and downs. There can even be comfort in knowing that a particularly difficult time won’t last forever. We will rise again.
Here is a wonderful essay along the lines of this topic by author Charlotte, Davids Kasl, PhD from her book Finding Joy: 101 Ways to Free Your Spirit and Dance with Life.
“It Matters, But It’s Not Serious”
“Having balance in our lives helps us find joy. Keeping our equilibrium is about letting things matter yet realizing they are probably not of earth-shaking seriousness.
People who get lost in the ‘it matters’ side of the equation tend to treat every little ache, slight, upset, mistake, or rejection as if they qualify for headline news. Someone slights them and they hold on to it, chew on it, bear grudges, or get obsessed with it. On the other hand, people who don’t let anything matter tend to grin and bear it, numb out natural feelings, and say ‘ It’s fine’ even when their best friend betrays them, the roof leaks, or their feet ache.
Both of these approaches leave out part of the picture. If you tend to create a big drama about life’s bumps, you might want to develop your ability to realize that it’s not terribly serious –it’s only a cosmic blink in time. On the other hand, if you tend to tough out situations and play the martyr, you might want to give yourself permission to let things matter a lot more. let yourself feel your anger, jealousy, sadness, frustration, hurt, or resentment.
One way to balance the two concepts is to first let it matter. When something upsetting happens, let yourself feel the disappointment. Don’t swallow it. Don’t rationalize it. Feel it. Otherwise, it fests away inside. Then, after you have had a good fit or a good whine, back off and put the experience or problem in perspective. Look at the big picture, Find a phrase that brings you back to yourself, and puts things in perspective. (I remind myself that I have shelter, a warm bed, food, friends, and work, and the rest is gravy.) Then write it down and put it up someplace so it will be there when you need it. The more we accept our inner world and the less we deny, the more we come home to our center and the dwelling place of our joy.”
Do you feel you are able to keep your equilibrium? Or are there things that set you off kilter and make it difficult to stay balanced?
Do you have a phrase that helps you keep your perspective?
What do you think of the phrase “It’s only a cosmic blink in time?”