Hitting “the wall.” Four steps to finding your power in situations that are beyond your control…
Our Paradox: We all want to be in control of what happens in our lives yet from traffic to tragedy things happens for each of us that are out of our control. While we prefer the feeling of being in control there is another source of power available when we’re not.
Recognize when control is out of your hands: I thought I had the strength of superwoman as for years I dealt with mounting fatigue by pushing through – that is, until I contracted a compound viral infection and was told by my doctor that I needed to stop working for “a while.” Absolute panic took hold when her response to my question of “for how long” was that she had no idea how long the recovery process would take. My will had gotten me through the fatigue up to this point – now what?
Acceptance is key: I realized I couldn’t “will” my way out of this, and, fortunately, I realized that I needed to accept, that like it or not, this was the situation I was in. Unexpectedly, once I stopped resisting and accepted my situation, a feeling of quiet calm came over me. Inside that place of quiet calm I was able to reflect and learn. And grow.
Open yourself to learning all you can from your situation: In this calm, receptive state I began asking myself questions like “How did I get here?” “What has this situation come to teach me?” “What can I learn that might be of help to others?” I began to see the difference between the strength of our will, and what I came to call our generative power. I recognized that I was asking these questions not only from my intellect but also with my heart. I saw that I was generating a condition in which answers could come to me, without struggle or worry or angst.
Flipping the switch: When you have a situation that is out of your control acceptance can bring you into a state of receptive calm. From there, your heartfelt questions serve to turn on your generative power – as if flipping a switch to turn on a light. When you do, you’ll find that there is wisdom there waiting for you to find it. Your will makes things happen. Your acceptance allows things to happen. Both are forms of power. One operates from control, the other when you are accepting, calm and receptive. Embracing what you cannot control leads you there.