We all have moments in our lives when things don’t go as planned. Sometimes these are minor upsets and they are easy to sort out. You just deal with them and off you go.
But other situations may derail you. These are devastating things that happen. A separation, a divorce, losing someone, losing your job. Having a financial setback.
When major chaos enters your life, it can feel as if you’ve been hit by a truck. You fall and fall and it feels like there’s no end to that falling feeling.
Everything you know and believe dissolves. It’s terrifying. But ironically this has to happen.
When in free-fall, you need to let go of all certainties. Because in fact, certainty doesn’t exist. All that exists are possibilities.
One of my big dissolving stories happened when I decided I needed to get out of my marriage. It was the most terrifying, confusing and chaotic time in my life. At times, I didn’t know who I was. At times I did loads of stupid things. When I think of those things, I still cannot fathom how in hell I got away with that, or why I even did what I did.
My confusion was so big, I couldn’t think straight. I remember feeling as if walking around with my head in a thick fog. There was no way I could think straight. Get a clear picture of what I needed to do and how. All I knew was that in the end, I needed to save myself and get out.
I tried to get out a few times that year, only to return. With my tail between my legs. Realizing I now only made it harder for myself. But soon it became obvious that there was so much more for me to learn about all that was going on. About how our relationship worked. If I had left too soon, I would have felt guilty all my life. By staying long enough, I found out many more things and became much stronger in my resolve to leave.
Still, that year felt as if I sat in a swamp. A deep and ugly and filthy swamp. And I couldn’t get out. I sunk deeper every time I tried to get make a move.
Now I understand that swamp held me in its grip because every time I tried to leave, it was too big a step. And when you’re in that state of not knowing, there’s no way you’re able to make those big moves. That’s way too scary and overwhelming. Making big moves, for me, only resulted in going back two or three steps.
It was when I began to make small moves — tiny, tiny steps— that I started to get more clear. That I began to see a way out. And it dawned on me that I needed a plan. No jumping without looking, but jumping with a parachute. So I would be safer.
As soon as I began making those tiny steps, as I began crafting a plan, that’s when things started to shift. And finally, I was able to leave. Taking these very small steps over and over again. Adding to my plan, little by little.
So to recap why making big moves is not a good idea when you’re life is undergoing a big change:
1. You are so sad, afraid, mad —or whatever emotion you’re feeling— that you’re not ready to make bold moves. First, you need to deal with those emotions.
2. When all you ever knew is undone, you’re disoriented. And thinking straight is not going to be your best quality right now.
3. You need time to let things dissolve until there is nothing left to dissolve. Taking a big step before everything is gone, leaves you clueless. You won’t know what just happened and where you need to go next.
4. Time is a healer. And it’s also a cleaner. It cleans that rubble. It clears up that fog. It may seem like it doesn’t, or that it takes a lifetime to do so, but time does clean and heal ever so slow.
5. Big moves will land you back in Square One. It’s taking one step forward and three backward. It gets you nowhere. Only farther away from your goal. Plus it’s very depressing.
6. Tiny steps will clear that fog bit by bit. One thought, one tiny action, slow progress, but progress still.
If you’re going through a major shift in your life. If everything you know no longer applies. If everything is crumbling down, I can help you.
I can help you sit and deal with the emotions.
I can help you take the tiniest step to clear the debris.
I can help you wade through the swamp with slow, deliberate steps.
Because that’s what I do. That’s what I had to do myself.
And when you come out of the fog, I can help you with the next phase of your new self: the transition into your new life. By looking at what lessons your meltdown taught you. By becoming conscious of what no longer serves you. by starting to dream about what you want for yourself.
Shoot me an email if you want to chat. It’s 30 minutes and it’s free. No strings attached.