When Disaster Strikes! How to Handle Life’s Mini Disasters.
I arrived home from a fun outing the other night only to encounter … Disaster!
I spent most of the last 36 hours in a state of total freak out – and then, to compound matters, beating myself up about it. Because, after all, I’m a coach – shouldn’t I be able to take such things in stride?
OK, I’m a little embarrassed to call this a “Disaster,” but by golly, in my little world I’m facing a disaster of EPIC proportions.
My (precious, precious, precious!) phone is lost or stolen!
Not only does the lack of this little electronic device affect my ability to do my work – it’s so much more than that! Again, I’m embarrassed to admit it… but my trusty iPhone was my constant companion, my buddy, my personal organizer, my alarm clock, my meditation helper, my gratitude record, my repository of photos.
And now she’s gone!! (I’m not sure when my phone became a “her” – but hang with me on this).
Melodramatic I know, but it literally feels like I’m missing a piece of myself. I’m lost, I keep reaching for her comfortable feel in my palm – to add to my grocery list, to translate something to Spanish, to message my daughter, to check my calendar.
I do feel a bit like Gollum…. My Preeeecious!
And…. because I’m living in Mexico for six more weeks – I won’t be replacing my Precious anytime soon. I’m forced to figure out some new systems.
And just when things were going so well!!
Has this ever happened to you? Right when you’re sailing along, feeling like maybe you’re finally getting things nailed – BOOM! Disaster. Big or small.
Granted, losing one’s phone is classified as one of life’s mini disasters. I’m not trying to make light of the larger ‘disasters’ that unexpectedly show up. Although, I think the processing is similar – just over a longer period of time.
I spent yesterday alternating between whining, crying, yelling, lying down in a depressed stupor, and shaking my fist at the Universe for kicking me into the whiney, crying place just when I was feeling pretty damn GOOD. And, then remembering: oh yes, I do believe in Miracles!
I’d try to push the depression out the door, saying, “OK, I’m open! Bring on the Miracle!”
And then I’d go and obsessively check my email, hoping (in a very graspy way)to see one that said, I’ve got your phone!
All the while I’d be telling myself that losing one’s phone is small potatoes. There are so many blessings in my life to remain grateful for, and so many worse scenarios that could happen.
But here’s the thing: I had to catch myself and refrain from pretending I wasn’t really upset, that I was ‘more spiritual’ than that, or somehow above getting attached to a silly device.
Sure – I ultimately want to move to the better feeling thought – and certainly not spend days upon days in whiney mode.
But – I realized it’s equally important that I acknowledge how sad I feel about this. That I let my inner bratty child have a bit of a temper tantrum about this shitty turn of events. Because, that way I can allow those ‘negative’ emotions to move through me – and out of me.
That other way – my old way – of pretending I don’t really feel those emotions, of skipping to the ‘miracle mentality’ – well, it might look good on the outside. But I just get left with a big old festering mess of pissed off, sad, energy buried deep inside and causing all kinds of nastiness that appears to come out of nowhere (Hello, anxiety, depression and mysterious aches, pains and minor illnesses!)
So, I just let it in. I surrendered to the crying, the depression, the unreasonable anger.
I let it bubble up again and again – every time I reached for the damn device. I made an effort to just BE with that feeling, be present, rather than project into the gloomy future and go into ‘figure-out-what-to-do’ mode.
And, you know what? Amazingly, I woke this morning in a good mood! My normal sunny outlook had returned.
I tested it… you know, the way you prod a healing bruise. How much does it hurt? “Phone!” I said to myself, glancing over at the glaringly empty spot on the nightstand.
And sure, I felt some sadness, but the intense charge was gone. I’m not feeling so much like Gollum anymore. I honestly feel OK now – even if my Miracle does not come to pass in the exact way I want it to.
Once again, I’m struck by the power of staying with my feelings. That is always and forever Step One before we can start climbing up that ladder to thoughts that feel better.
Are YOU able to be present with the emotions and sensations when you experience these ‘disasters’ in your life? What is your experience with processing these somewhat shitty occurrences that seem to slam you out of nowhere?
Let’s talk about it in the comments.
I LOVE this story of how important it is to feel what we truly feel!
A lot of us get so much instruction from our spiritual studies about what we’re supposed to do, and this aspect of it is often left out altogether or minimized. But it is SO important! Kudos to you, Sarah, for spotting where you were might have been “… pretending I wasn’t really upset, that I was ‘more spiritual’ than that …”
Such a good lesson for us all! 🙂
Thanks Jeannette! Yes… it took a little time. I REALLY wanted to just jump into the “It’s all going to be fine, let’s get to the better thought.” But I’m finally getting it… it just doesn’t work to put a bandaid on top of the wound until it’s been thoroughly cleaned. And in this case, temper tantrums were in order!
I do the same Sarah , mostly sulk for a day and then I am all good the next day and usually the situation resolves on its own. A big Icecream tub helps too 🙂
Mmmm, ice cream! Now there’s an idea! 🙂 I did enjoy a lemon tart with a friend tonight. Yesterday, though, I had to deliberately watch out for my tendency to want to ‘drown my sorrows’. I made the effort to be with the sorrow – and then I had a chocolate mint! 🙂 Thanks for the comment Nikky!