Life really is unpredictable. Even when we think we have it all sorted, things can be taken completely out of our hands. We get sent in a different direction, one which we never expected to have to take. This can be hard to accept and often a grieving process can occur. We are faced with the alternatives of rolling with it or fighting and struggling against it, which usually only leads to us suffering more.
If you’re anything like me then you kind of expect life to keep getting better when you put effort in. I anticipate a future where the highs and lows of the roller coaster ride lessen until eventually they level completely. This is what I have in my mind’s eye as I go about my daily practices though it hasn’t happened yet so maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath too much. The reality is that there is always something happening; a curve in the track, a dip, a tunnel, a sudden plunge into god knows what or a breath taking view from the ‘top’ where everything seems great.
I notice too, as I have been paying more attention to my life, that even when I’m feeling like I have life ‘sorted’ a loved ones’ roller coaster can sometimes come crashing into mine. Entwining us in a wave of emotions and actions that no-one saw coming. We’re caught unawares and left scrambling with whatever we have at hand. At those times, it can be hard for me not to go into panic mood or my usual rescue mood. More and more though I’m learning a bit of ‘roller coaster maintenance’ and I’m slowly learning to separate the two. Create some space for repair, reconstruction, separation and leveling of the track as I remember and use the tools I have sooner and sooner.
Recently I read a quote from Pema Chödrön which was like a penny dropping. It made me re-think how I approach life and its roller coaster ride. She wrote ‘We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.’
Maybe in knowing in advance that things will be up and down we will be able to prepare ourselves easier. We will be in a better position to accept the seemingly unacceptable. We can create the emergency kit early, ready for when ‘disaster’ occurs, so that we have an easier time of it when things rock our world. By practicing healing techniques before these life changing events we will be in a better space to use them. They will be a common, everything tools that we are familiar with using The time to get good at meditating, at relaxing, at self care, at EFT, at breath work, at gratitude is now before the proverbial hits the fan. Having these tools feel like second nature, ready to be used at short notice, can only be achieved by us taking time now to use them regularly. Now before we really need them.
So take a minute now. Don’t wait. Practice one of those techniques you have heard about, or one that you want to learn more about, which help to reduce stress. Find some time to use it each day and begin to create a habit out of it . That way when your roller coaster ride overwhelms you or when another roller coaster careers towards you you’ll be ready and fully prepared to go with whatever life is bringing you.