Have you ever had an occurrence in your life that was so intense, earth-shaking, and perhaps seeming even cataclysmic? Well that was at the beginning of 2018. The foundation of my worldview, beliefs, and sense of self came undone. I realized that my current model of the world didn’t suffice. I recognized that the way in which I was operating and being was not helpful in allowing me to proceed forward towards my desired outcome. I know knew that I had to change the way I see everything.
I’ll definitely share with you all in the future what occurred, but for now I want to discuss this topic specifically. What do we do when we have a revolutionary experience in our life that causes our worldview, the map and subjective interface by which we navigate life, to come undone? This can leave you feeling deep melancholy, despair, depression, and of course pervasive anxiety. Well if you’re feeling overwhelmed by life because what you thought you knew to be true came face to face with a reality that was in stark contrast to the way things really are then you’re in good hands.
The first thing I would encourage you to do is recognize where you are. You have to be honest with yourself. You have to see how you came to be in this place. This isn’t about crucifying yourself over past decisions or to condemn yourself for falling short of your ideal. This is about seeing where you erred and begin the process of error correcting. You can think of an event like this as a higher truth or in some ways, a sort of internal gravity, aligning our perception to reality as it is and not as we think it is or should be. It may be deeply painful because our expectations were shattered, but the process of healing will bring something forth so much more meaningful and resilient than what was there before.
The second thing that I would recommend is deciding where you want to go. You have to have something worthy of aiming for. If you don’t have a compelling future then you have nothing that pulls you towards it. You won’t be spurred to act without this. Perhaps it’s just being better than what you were yesterday. That’s not too difficult. Everyday just focusing on improving a certain aspect of your being so that you function more productively, efficiently, and gain mastery over your life while reestablishing order. Maybe you want to be really good at a particular thing. You may not even be passionate about that initially, but as you get better that labor turns into a passion and that passion is generated through the process of mastery.
The third thing is recognizing that remaining where you are without changing will only continue the pain. Doing nothing will not only cause you to remain in the aftermath of this event, but over the course of time atrophy will only cause more disorder and chaos in your life. To do nothing is to incapacitate yourself, to prevent yourself from actuating your potential and you have no idea how great you could become. It’s to stifle your ability to love others while simultaneously preventing yourself from loving those around you in a greater degree as you reestablish order in your life. This also needs to take into account that by doing nothing others have to pick up where you aren’t willing to – you’re better than that, because your capable of being better than you already are.
I know this is difficult. I know the pain seems unbearable. I realize that the depression may be choking off motivation. I see that the sadness may bring rains that seem like they’ll never dissipate. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. I promise you that if you put forth the effort things will get better. You may have to change your strategy, you may have to change the way your perceive things, but it starts with these and it continues with action. Action turns a disaster into a paradise, but you need to be willing to take those steps. The steps laid forth here are about using pain to push away from something and using pleasure to pull us towards something. Leverage these for your benefit and watch your life transform. As Lao Tzu wisely said thousands of years ago, “new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” This is your new beginning.