I’m going to make an assumption: you are like me. You don’t like when things get tough, go sideways, upside down, fall apart…or however you’d like to say it.
See, it is human nature is to like things to be predictable, controllable, and…well, easy.
Why do we want it that way?
I believe it’s because we want “good”.
When life is predictable, we know what to expect. We can be ready to take what life has in store because we know what is coming. If life is predictable, then we know that if we choose X, then “good” outcome Y will happen. We say predictability is a “good” thing.
When life is controllable, we know we can manipulate the factors to get the “good” outcome. If life is controllable, then we know that if we pull A, push B, then “good” outcome Y will happen. We say controllability is a “good” thing.
When life is easy, we don’t have to do anything! No thinking. No action. No energy expenditure. If life is easy, then we know that if we do nothing, then “good” outcome Y will happen. We say easy is a “good” thing.
It’s “good” when life is predictable, controllable, and easy.
I’m going to make another assumption: your life is not always predictable, controllable, or easy.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s always “bad”.
Sometimes when life is not predictable, controllable, or easy, it’s “good”.
“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.” (J. Lynn) “Sometimes when your life has been turned upside down, after the dust settles, you discover that your life is finally right side up. Sometimes when you feel lost, you are exactly where you need to be at that moment.” (Matthew Kelly)
Sometimes, what we think is “bad” for us, is actually “good”…even though it is uncomfortable, and maybe even painful.
This is as true for big life circumstances (ie. job loss, death of a loved one, effects of Covid mandates, a spiritual crisis) as it is for smaller life circumstances.
Let me give you some examples from my personal life.
A big life change for me was a little over a year ago when my sister (housemate, work colleague, and best friend) was getting married. My life was falling apart, and I fell into a dark place inside. I thought all of it was “bad” - unpredictable, uncontrollable, and definitely not easy. But, looking back, honestly, it may be one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me…things were falling into place. (Read more of my story, here)
A small life example…yesterday, I took my car in to be serviced. It was going to take 1.5 hours. My plan: I was going to get a loaner car (like I normally do) and get all my shopping done around town in that time. It was one of those days that it felt like I had so much to do in so little time - I was feeling in a hurry. But, as it turned out, they didn’t have a loaner car for me. Ugh. This was “bad” - unpredictable, uncontrollable, and not easy. I was going to have to walk.
But it was beautiful outside. The last beautiful, sunny, warm November day before the cold and snow. I didn’t have far to walk to the store I wanted to go to and I got to spend that 1.5 hours entertaining myself looking at items I wouldn’t normally “have time” for. I thoroughly enjoyed my walk, my outing, and I realized that I really didn’t need to be in a hurry!
It was “good”.
Is your life falling apart? Is it possible that it’s actually falling into place?
Is your life upside down? Could it maybe be turning right side up?
Do you feel lost? Or are you exactly where you need to be?
Here’s to conquering stress.
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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