Why me? Why now? Why not him? Why not her? This isn’t happening! Oh god, it’s happening!
Sound familiar? Denial, overwhelm and despair. What else is there to do when we’d rather be anywhere else but here and anyone else but us? And then there’s the guilt, the regret, the grief and the hurt that come later.
Whether we like it or not – and what’s there to like – things are not going to go our way some of the time. It’s inevitable and impossible to avoid. So, what’s there to do?
The first step in dealing with catastrophe – and the most challenging – is to stay present. We must fully accept what’s happening. Wishing things were different, and burying our head in the sand, aren’t going to change a thing. But taking the higher ground enables us to see clearly, and from that place we can find new possibilities.
Which leads to the second step – choice. We can choose the best course of action and become creative in our response to chaos. And if there’s nothing to be done, we can make a choice to accept what’s happening, and not to be a victim to it.
And the final step? Learn the lesson. The most difficult of times can be our most powerful teachers. They can open up a deeper understanding of who we are, of our inner resources, of what matters to us. Rather than becoming defeated by life’s curve balls, we can gain strength and power from them.
Experiencing this level of control, you’ll be able to say, even as hell breaks loose, ‘I’ve got this.’
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Stephen is one of the Ivy House Alumni, and when he completed the Programme he made a commitment to himself: take on and conquer the Brighton Half Marathon.
The game of doing the right thing on the surface, whilst at the same time making your real feelings perfectly clear, is as common as it is destructive.