This post goes out to anyone who is facing turbulence in their lives, who is feeling like everything is upside down, feeling lost or feeling in despair. Maybe you are in a life-changing process, maybe what you are facing cannot be seen by anyone but you. This goes out from one person immersed in a life crisis to another, as a point of support and stability in the storm.
Recently I have been facing some points that have shaken me to such an extent that I have felt like my entire world was upside down and that I couldn’t find any form of grounding within it. I have felt lost, abandoned, alone and very confused within all this – like my whole world was falling apart, and this is something I haven’t experienced in quite some years.
Then something interesting happened.
The other day I spoke with two people in two completely unrelated situations and it turned out that they too were facing points in their lives where they had to reevaluate the very things in life they otherwise rely on for stability. It was almost the exact same as I was experiencing, only our focal points were different.
It was around the same time that Trump was elected president in the U.S and a shockwave swept over a lot of people all over the world. They too felt like their world had been shaken to the core.
Now – I cannot explain to you exactly why this is happening and I am certainly not here to tell you that it is mercury in retrograde and that it will all be over soon. So this isn’t a story to calm the nerves and tell you that the turbulent flight we seem to all be on is going to be over soon or not crash into the ocean. I have no idea if it will or if it won’t.
What I can do is to share some points that I have realized in this process that may be supportive for you, if you too find yourself ‘caught’ in a ‘life-altering tornado’ that seems to be pulling everything you hold dear up by the root, whirling it all up into the air, leaving you completely disoriented not knowing where it will all land, or if it ever will.
Something I realized after nearly breaking down with a panic attack for the 10th time over not understanding what the hell is going on within me, is that a issue in all of this has for me been that I fear the very process I am in.
I don’t like when I don’t understand what’s going on, within me or otherwise. I don’t like when I don’t immediately see from A to Z in a point or at least that I can quickly orientate myself and get back on track. I don’t like that I have no idea when this ‘roller-coaster ride’ is going to be over and I can return to my relatively stable ‘normal’ life and I certainly do not like not knowing IF it ever WILL return to that or if I am now catapulted into a totally unfamiliar territory, seemingly floating without direction, like someone lost at sea or in outer space.
I like when things are simple, clear, easily understandable, neatly organized and approachable. I am not (it is something I am working on) a person who is super excited about having to push through difficulties and hardships. Instead I have during my life created a lot of survival mechanisms that involve ‘slipping under’ and ‘sliding through’. I have to a certain extent had an easy time ‘getting’ things and the things I didn’t get, I simply avoided. But now the thing I don’t get is myself and parts of my life that I have no choice but to take direction over, and so I have no choice but to face this point head on. There’s literally no place to escape to because no matter where I go, I am always with me.
So – I finally realized that I have to embrace the process I am in at the moment. This is a creation process and not knowing what I will create or even how to create it, is not a ‘bad’ thing. It is also not bad or dangerous that I don’t have any immediate or easy answers or solutions for myself.
It is showing me that there are still more points for me to work with and uncover and I cannot force it to be ‘over with’ or ‘return to normal’ because that would be the same as preventing this process of transformation from unfolding – preventing change within wanting to crawl back into my comfort-zone. I don’t understand it yet, and that is OK. I am in no way in control of it – and I never was. I don’t know exactly who I am right now, and that is actually much more cool than walking around being super ‘together’, thinking that I’ve got it all figured out, all the while I am living on a total lie.
In all of this, this is something that I have been able to stabilize myself through:
I would rather be in a total state of crisis within myself, not knowing what’s up or down or who the hell I am – but at least be honest with myself, than I would want to live on a lie, or crawl back into my comfort-zone of self-deception (It reminds me of the scene in Matrix with the guy who wants back into the matrix because he can’t stand the truth about the real world and so compromises everyone just so that he can go back into total oblivion).
Luckily, it is not the first time in my life that I have experienced my world being rocked in the sense that I am facing having to question every part of myself and things I have spent years taking for granted. For each time this has happened, my life has become so much more real and enriched, so much more than I could have ever imagined had I remained in my little cocoon of self-deception and limitation where it was comfortable yes, but not in any way real or true.
So I am no stranger to this type of thing happening, and it has happened so much that I have grown to develop a deep appreciation and gratitude for when it does happen, because it is usually in these moments – these most painful moments – that I have developed myself the most, the fastest and in the most substantial ways. In fact, I owe everything I am now to these and such moments of total crisis.
But this time it was different and it triggered me to react because of this dimension of not being in control of the process, of not understanding what is going on. It is perhaps because, for the first time ever in my life, I have actually had something to lose, (or so I’ve thought). I have had quite a few years of ‘settling in’ to a certain life and I had become rather comfortable in it, and now, all the lies I told myself, all the compromises I made, are coming back with a vengeance to bite me in the ass.
What I have found supportive through all this, is to find a couple of anchor points, points that I DO SEE, and then start from there – because however lost and bewildered we are, there is something, some part of us that haven’t lost all clarity and from there we can start walking ourselves into a new creation as we at the same time face, forgive and let go of what was.
The only thing I can do is to remain completely open and humble towards this process and allow myself to BE in it rather than fight against it or try to make it neat and pretty and control its outcome.
I have no idea where this process will lead me, but I trust that as I push myself to be self-honest and face the lies that I’ve allowed myself to live and dare to question even the parts of myself that I’ve taken for granted the most, who I will be on the other side of this can only be a clearer and more authentic myself.
Life crises are not bad points or moments in our lives – they are beautifully, raw, painful opportunities to wash or burn the parts of ourselves that weren’t nothing but lies in the first place, but that we’ve lived for so long that we came to believe and accept them as all we were. Life crises are opportunities to face and let go of such lies, fears and fake personas in which we’ve been wrapped up, and rise up like phoenixes from the ashes, so that we can start again anew, cleansed and refreshed. But we can only do that if we actually learn from the painful lessons that the ‘fire’ of transformation holds for us, and to do that we have to be willing to be completely naked before ourselves and show ourselves the very worst parts of ourselves and dare to let that go, completely and unconditionally and stand up as something completely new, yet at the core we’re still ourselves, only more ourselves than ever before, but we won’t know what that is, who that is, until we actually create ourselves.
I have experienced quite some moments of despair and feeling completely stuck in a loop in all this, and in those moments I have pushed myself to reach out and speak up and ask for support from someone that I trust to see common sense when my vision might be fogged all up by my own mind – and I am tremendously grateful for that. But because I know how extreme this can be, I also know that we sometimes make some bad decisions when we are in these states of crisis, especially if we feel like we don’t have anyone to reach out to and everything is so twisted around that we might not ever again land on our two feet.
I want to invite you to reach out to me if you ever feel like you could use someone to stand with you, to stand grounded next to you for a moment until you regain your footing. I am immensely grateful to have such people in my life and I don’t know what I would do without them and at the same time I am committing myself to become that anchor for myself, so that I can face the (cleansing) storms of life within myself without having to lose my ground in the process.