CHANGES, THEM CHANGES
Michael Ellis

Many of us carefully construct our lives to fit a personal vision of what we need to make us happy. These human needs seem pretty universal – a satisfying career, adequate income, successful long term relationships, a pleasant home, a loving family, plenty of friends for support and good health. I, like many of my fellow type A’s, have gone about this in a pretty methodical manner and at age 44 thought I had been fairly successful. But sometimes in the midst of all the order and care, chaos comes whirling through, even the best planned life. Perhaps the turmoil is in the form of a life-threatening illness or a sudden job loss or maybe a catastrophic fire, or a death, or perhaps an unexpected person drops right into the middle of your world and totally disrupts it. You suffer a great loss. And suddenly the center is not holding, your entire frame of reference has shifted. An existence that seemed so certain and predictable, now appears formless. The jigsawed pieces of your life puzzle come unglued or perhaps they never were glued, they were only sitting there loosely in place. And now you are left naked, exposed, raw and suffering. All that protection, the careful construction, those defenses so essential for daily survival and that future world you planned comes tumbling apart. So what? There aren’t any guarantees that life is going to be easy. These losses happen. Now it is time to draw on those inner resources. Call your friends. Exercise, sweat and cry. Think about everything and write it all down, censor nothing. But be nice to yourself and especially your close ones, take one careful step at a time. But most important, at least what is working for me, is to simply breathe, consciously and carefully, deep full breathes, in and out, in and out. And listen to your heart beat. All these things will pass.

This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.

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November 18, 2010