Today I am going to dust off a text written a few years ago. The reason for this decision is the course of one of the last coaching sessions. I hope these thoughts will help the client. They discuss how to survive the difficult moments in life, what to do when we collapse on all fronts, and where to find support and energy to overcome life difficulties. How many life challenges are we able to withstand at once and not give up? The most important conclusions are, as always, at the end of the column.
How to survive difficult moments in life?
Life has pressed me down lately. I hit the ground. There are times when all is falling apart on all fronts. And so it is now with me (I hope that soon I will be able to write "was" - because everything passes away).
At one time, there were problems at work, at home, and with people close to me. I got sick. It got so hard that to recover it was not enough to talk to the "quantum jumper" or watch a comedy or give yourself some small pleasure, or, like Scarlett O'Hara in the movie "Gone with the Wind", say to yourself: "Somehow it will be gone, I'll think about it tomorrow. "
It is difficult to be positive when you find out again and again about another problem that needs to be solved. You start to think: what other surprise will you bring me "beloved life"? Is this the end, or maybe I will get one more "pebble" for my garden?
Support from other people
When we struggle with problems on all fronts, we need the support of our loved ones. Their presence and attention are needed. Their warmth and tenderness. Their wise advice. But above all, their presence. This makes us feel that we are not alone in our human struggle.
But what can be done when others are powerless or also struggle with their own problems?
The hardest thing is to help yourself
The hardest thing is to help yourself. We do not see our situation clearly. And when "life" once again makes us so hard that our knees bend to the ground - we have less and less strength to deal with things that are usually not a problem for us. We're falling. Time starts to hurt. Because every present moment is then associated with problems.
Of course, it should now be written that it is not important what happens to us, but how we react to it. But this time I will not write about the 'HOW' aspect, about our internal maps of reality, about our beliefs/patterns that often unconsciously guide our reactions to external events, about the importance we assign to events, etc.
This time, based on my own experience, I would like to first write about the dimension titled "HOW MUCH".
How many challenges can a man endure at the same time?
At the same time, how many challenges can a man endure and not bend? Where is the border? What determines this border? How much depends on us and how much depends on "destiny"? A folk proverb says that God does not put on a man's shoulders a cross larger than he can lift at a given moment ...
I believe that each of us has a certain limit at a given stage in our lives. We don't live in isolation. External events constantly affect us. When an imbalance between positive and negative external stimuli begins, our internal balance is put to the test.
When we run out of external positive energy, we are left with what we have internally. Of course, someone will immediately say that there is no such thing as positive or negative events because we give them that meaning. However, it is easier to say that than to put it into practice. I am not yet "enlightened" and I am still struggling with situations when, for example, someone becomes seriously ill with a child or when I see someone simply cheating on me ...
So when I was hit by my limit, when this droplet of quantity overfilled at a given time, when I was faced with a situation in which I had to deal with myself - I began to look for a way to reverse this spiral. How to bounce up? After all, so many wise books lie on the shelves ...
And I found something that I have read about more than once. But only now did it take on a special meaning. Only now has it really hit me. I learned something new. Or maybe I realized something. So this is not a studied knowledge, but an experience that I hope will solidify in me - not only in the intellectual sphere.
Conscious focusing of attention
Our attention can generally be focused on two things: what we want and what we don't want. When life constantly puts us in the oven, the number of things we don't want grows. We then start focusing on these negative things. The more we think about them (we want to solve these problems), the bigger they seem. This spiral of thought begins to overwhelm us.
If another event comes that we “don't want” to happen, another portion of our mental energy focuses on that trouble. There is less and less room "in our head" for any thoughts about the things we want. We spend more and more time and energy thinking about what we do not want. And when the next incident comes, the spiral coils until it tightens with a loop on our life force.
But between the situation that is happening and our feelings, there is one invisible step. Our reflection of reality in the mind. As long as we are not aware of how we are creating this reflection, we have a problem. Especially with regard to the things we don't want.
If we are not aware of a mechanism, we have no control over it. Thoughts "happen to us." We enter a loop from which we have no chance to get out. The moment we become aware of how we create representations of reality in our mind - we gain control over how we feel. Because our feelings and our well-being depend on this inner dialogue, which we call "thinking."
So if we are not aware of how we represent events in our mind, we have no control over the thought process and no influence over our feelings. More events -> more unconscious interpretations -> more sadness, regret, anxiety, insomnia -> collapse.
If in childhood we were brought up in an atmosphere of insecurity, with a sense of accompanying threats and anxiety - we may be accompanied by an unconscious belief that the world is dangerous and that in order to protect ourselves from this danger, we need to be vigilant, we need to follow it. So we unconsciously focus on what we fear.
So if enough things happen to us that we "don't want," we get worried over time so that another thing that we don't want happens to us. And so, unconsciously, we focus more and more on what we do not want ...
And the most interesting discovery is that we cannot consciously concentrate on what we do not want. Nobody can want what they don't want (right?!).
And so we come back to the subject of awareness on this blog again. The wider our awareness, the higher our limit of reactivity to external events is. The more we are able to bear "at once".
But it also seems like sometimes we have to fall over and get hit hard in order to understand something about ourselves and have a chance to move forward from the next higher level.