When S#%T Hits The Fan! How To Handle Crisis And Difficulties

horizons beyond-the-hporizon-phil-koch

“Some times the excrement hits the fan. You hope it doesn’t but it does. From there it only seems to get worse. What do you do about it? Can you change things? What is the ‘enlightened’ approach. Some people think ‘this should not happen if I am a positive person!’ Well, should it?

I don’t know if it should or not. I only realize that it does. I say this from experience. Being a positive thinker makes everything better! It does! It truly does! There seem to be far fewer upheavals than otherwise, still things rock the boat from time to time. Perhaps, all the time, but most of them just don’t get to you.

I don’t think anyone should make a hard rule about it. Flexibility of mind and behavior is the key. Learning to control ones thoughts and feelings brings immense power and positive transformation in so many wonderful ways. It doesn’t matter if things get messed up once in a while. You learn and evolve through everything if open to it!

Stuff Happens Get Over It

I believe everything is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to shed old ways if we are alert to this and aware as it happens. We can learn from trials and difficulties and can even be grateful they push or prompt us to be different. Is it planned, predestined, calculated, or random happenstance? That’s  up to each of us to decide for ourselves.

Some get great comfort in assuming there is a divine plan  for their life. And it may be OR it may not. I think everything is perfect whether or not anyone or anything pulls the strings. It is what it is. Accept it, get over your complaints about it, suck it up if you have to. Learn from it. Learning from it IS what we can do that is useful!

It is what it is! It was what it was! Evolve and move forward. This blog is always my opinion since it is my blog. I may share my perception of other’s opinions but I am sharing my thoughts and learning and understanding from my perspective, whether or not I ever say I think or believe. You understand that, alright?

I don’t claim to have final ways for how you or anyone should act. It is always up to us to make our own decisions for ourselves. What I hope to do with this blog is share approaches I know work from decades of using them on myself, with others and from studying what has worked for people throughout the centuries.

Learn To Go With The Flow

Without going into immense detail, the past few days have been immensely blessed. There have been what some might call high highs, great accomplishments and forward movement. There have been multiple difficulties during the same time. Sometimes, that is how life seems to go. Again, maybe that is how it always is.

I don’t try to find assigned reasons for things but extract my own reasons for what I can do. I’ll explain more as we go along. I am discussing Friday. I write the blog during the early am hours Saturday so you get an idea of how this operates. The day began with an argument with a loved one. I didn’t want to have but did.

I reacted to some things.  A response would have been more appropriate. I could say I was tired, things had gone on in a particular way and I wanted to be done with it. I can point at numerous ways to interpret my behavior or the other person’s or the circumstance but the bottom line is my reaction made me party to an ensuing argument. The argument was significant.

Had I been more aware and responded differently, it may not have been the issue it was. Looking at it afterwards I examined it and realized I could make some other choices. I have vowed this won’t happen again. I looked at how else I might handle the situation more productively.

What You Resist Persists

What is it that I can change in me, and my thinking and doing, that would preempt it, stop it, from getting out of hand? I don’t want to blame the other party. I could. I could make it about them changing or the circumstances changing , or what we could do together differently, but at this moment, I only have my actions to examine.

I take responsibility because it does take two to have an argument. So how, and what, can I do differently to help make situations like that better? What do I, can I, and have I learned from this argument that can be of benefit for the future? If I expect the other party to change that will only ensure nothing changes.

Not because the other party doesn’t have responsibility but by putting conditions on anyone other than myself, and expecting another person to do something different would be setting myself up for disappointment. This seems to be what we do much of the time. We want others to be different, the world to be different.

When they aren’t, and it isn’t, we get bent out of shape. At least, I have. People who try to control the world and others usually end up miserably frustrated. It isn’t worth it. It is better for me to change what I can about me, than to attempt to change others. That should make sense. Hopefully, you have discovered the folly of this for yourself too.

The Only Person You Can Absolutely Control Is You

It is more important to me to become more flexible. I want to learn to be more resilient, and more resourceful to be able to handle situations that arise. It is more productive to change myself for the better than to hope or expect others to do it my way. I can hope and wish for things to turn out differently or I can make some positive changes for myself.

Work with what YOU CAN work with to make the adjustment. You CAN work on your self. You CAN’T work on others. Self is the starting place. Yes, you can negotiate with the other person and work things out. That is important too. Do what you can to get along, to have a win/win and settle things in positive ways. By all means, of course!

But when all is said and done, IF after that negotiations they don’t change, then YOU had better change, if you don’t want a repeat of that situation. If you get this point you get a lot? Change what you can about yourself. DO NOT expect the other person to change for you. If they do great. If they don’t great! That is what is. You change!

The buck stops here! The responsibility is mine. I don’t beat myself up or wallow about what happened even when sorry for what happens. I look at it and seek to discover what I can do differently to make it work out better for both of us. I hope I discover a win/win. If it is to be it is up to me and no one but me. SO I look to learn.

As Within So Without

Yes, I have repeated the same mistakes even after this examination. Remember, old habits can die hard. I seek to make new habits but in the mean time old challenging neural pathway routes, that are well entrenched, are firing while I endeavor to take a different path. Understanding this can bring great freedom.

It can also speed up the time in which you make changes and develop new habits. New insights and awareness leads to new changes in behavior AND yet you still have to repeat successfully the new behaviors often enough for them to become habit. Think of it this way. Driving a car becomes habit, right? You know this already.

You could learn to drive on a smooth, empty road and develop the habits for driving as you do. This is a given. Practice correctly long enough and habits take hold. You could also learn to drive on a horribly bumpy challenging road with tons or traffic comprised of horrible drivers. Either way you learn and make habit.

Conditions and circumstances will be whatever they are while you are learning new things. To expect the world to stop being the world and conform for you may be silly or it may be a great belief to have. OR it may be silly. You have to decide that. I find it useful to focus on what I can change and let the world be whatever it is.

As Above So Below

Sometimes I bristle at what is offered. Most of my life pain has come from resisting what the world offered. Once, I began to learn that it was up to me and my response to what was offered AND NOT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS, life became far more incredible and enjoyable. Then I stopped trying to change the world and changed myself instead. This gives me so much more opportunity.

After the argument, other events unfolded.  I got injured. There were some big issues and problems but I won’t go into details as they don’t matter. It was frustrating, to say the least. I shouted out one major expletive, at one point, when I realized my entire day plans shifted.  My phone broke earlier, I had issues with my car, and I had an appointment that now began to appear unlikely.

I had a ADR session at Cinespace Studios in Chicago. For those who don’t know what this is, it means, I had to record some dialog to replace some lines in a feature film I acted in. I couldn’t reach the director and staff to let them know what went on or when I could now arrive. Eventually, I solved this and got an email through.

My morning appointment changed to mid afternoon, possibly, depending, on traffic. I had to leave. I bought a new phone prior to leaving but service never kicked in. I had no way to call the studio and let them know of delays, I couldn’t communicate with family, I had no GPS and now faced returning late in the evening instead of by mid afternoon.

We All Have An Incredible Opportunity To Learn To Be Better

There was a lot more going on that I am not reporting. I don’t mention any of this other than to point our, as we all already know, shit can hit the fan. It does.  Then I caught hold of myself. I took a deep breath! I didn’t like this at first, but had I survived the 80’s. Travel would be just fine.  In fact, everything would be fine.

I had let it spiral out of control for a little while. If truth be told, given the circumstances, I handled it far better than I would have years ago. My actions I was least please with involved the argument, so I sought to repair that prior to leaving. We worked it out which made us both feel better.  Still, I had been injured, and car problems.

I woke up! I woke up to the fact that all this was going on. Why? I don’t know? I don’t ask why. I am trying to point that out. Why doesn’t help me. What helps me is this: ‘Okay, this is as it is. What opportunity exists for me in the situation as it is? It is what it is. What can I learn? What do I need to learn?  How can I accept what is going on? What do I need to let go of? What is important and what is not?’

IN THAT MOMENT, as I ask myself questions and realize ALL is perfect, even when tumultuous, everything settles! I understand. IT does not matter what is going on ON the outside. It matters what is going on ON the inside! What matters is what I am thinking and feeling and whether I am responding or reacting. From within to without!

Transformation Occurs In An Instant

If I catch myself reacting I have an opportunity to respond. I CAN respond as I had reacted or I CAN respond differently. A choice point opens up because of awareness. It allows for a new and different decision to made. The opportunity arises to decide now, in this moment, to do things differently. Change! I CAN change!

Instead of being a victim to circumstances I take control of me. I accept what IS and I know that I can handle any circumstances life throws at me. There is the saying; ‘God won’t test you more than you are capable. Why does god think I am so strong?’ I don’t know or care if anyone is testing me. I know that when ‘tested’ I can make the difference when I take responsibility.

As I write this, I hope you realize this is not really about me. I am using my experiences as an example, that’s true. BUT I am attempting to focus on the process I have learned and not me the person. Any of us can do use this process. My main point is you can transform anything in a moment when you transform from within.

The world around may be tumultuous but you find calm and peace within. You may find confidence and strength, you may find a smile and delight. You might even think: ‘Okay bring it I can handle anything you bring’. When you think that way, YOU CAN handle anything. Your thoughts create your reality. If life hands you lemons you make lemonade by changing you attitude.

Power Comes From Making A Decision

Most of us try to change the circumstances. The circumstances are what they are. Change your thoughts first. Then whether or not circumstances change you will have. I can promise you this. First, change yourself so that you are in a more positive, confident, productive place and you have a better chance of helping the circumstances to improve. Otherwise, don’t count on it.

If circumstances don’t change you are still positive, confident and productive! Attitude determines your altitude. The drive to the studio was quite easy. It was relaxing and enjoyable. The parking guard and I chatted for awhile. I enjoyed him. The director, technicians and session, all good. I’m glad I got there to do it!

I left, chatted some more with guard. He noticed my new phone, still not working and recommend I get a case for it. We parted. I drove back. I got back late but not TOO late. The day went great. The drive was fine. It took longer than expected but I used the time to think and listen to inspiring audio. I learned a lot from all that happened. I also learned how to improve my relationship with a loved one.

I returned home and to my argument partner who surprised me by brining home a fabulous dinner from a classy restaurant! We hugged and enjoyed each other. All is good. It is what it is! Everything is and was perfect. You could assume it was all predestined or all haphazard. What matters most is what we take from it. Learn from it.

The Quality Of Your Decisions Determine The Quality Of Your Life

We can’t ever replace learning to improve. What we resist persists. The more flexible we are the more choices we have. The more choices the greater range of opportunity and to discover what works. If we only have one way of perceiving or one way of doing we will obviously be limited in what we can accomplish. Seek to be more aware.

Turns out my day was fabulous, I declare it. I learned an immense amount. I was challenged on numerous fronts. So what. I found my center and operated from it. Circumstances stayed what they were. I changed. It was what it was and it is what it is. I like days like this. Bring it! Bring more of them! I want to improve my relationships and live a marvelous life. Whatever helps me do more of that BRING IT!

Seek to be accepting, allowing, because it is when we allow, when we relax, when we let go, we can see more clearly what hampers us. As we learn better, how we can be different, we do need to implement what we learn and repeat it again and again to condition our minds, our feelings and our behaviors. We become aware, and then use it over an over to make the new learning habitual. Habits matter!

We evolve. We become more positive and as a result more capable. The more we do the MORE we are ABLE to do. I love this process of discovery and implementation. I love this life. I do! Even when it is rough at times. I think, if Job could endure I can. Bring it!

I will learn from it (eventually) and I will rise to meet any challenge. Ultimately I love and enjoy and celebrate my life. So bring it because I will transform!” Rex Sikes

Today is what you make of it!

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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.

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