Pausing When The Heat Of Difficult Situations Is Turned Up
Narratives in Life
Pausing to consider our response-ability in challenging situations can help us to Get on the Same Page with our self and others important to us. Asking, “What can I do differently that might make this situation better?”
Consider the next few narratives. Have you heard a backstory similar to any of them? If you change a line or character, here or there, does it resemble a story you can relate to? Do you have a story of your own?
A young adult who is a serious student develops strong friendships, volunteers in the community, goes on to college and then secures a good job in an area of interest. Their future seems quite promising and their persistent efforts are being rewarded appropriately. However, a close family member then experiences an unexpected tragedy. This young adult feels an overwhelming obligation to interrupt their own plans completely to come to the rescue of that family member, even though it’s unclear if any of their efforts will have a positive outcome.
A working couple with children is both doing the best they can to “make ends meet,” balancing individual work responsibilities and the needs of growing children that never seem to tire, leaving little to no time to attend to each others’ needs. Time passes with each playing their respective part as years pass and the children become more independent. Eventually, each partner finds that they are feeling increasingly distant from the other. Communication is not effective and planning becomes exclusively based on individual needs.
A small company spends its early entrepreneurial years just trying to survive. Through years of persistence and sheer grit, they succeed in becoming a sustainable, midsize company, balancing profits with expanding costs and staff. More time passes and the company starts to grow by acquiring other small companies; this organic growth continues and the shareholders are pleased. One day management notices that all these disparate acquired companies came with their own cultures and ways of doing things, and no one seems to be concerned about a common plan.
How is this making me/us feel? What should I/we do next? Why do I/we feel so overwhelmed? How did I/we get here? Why is this happening to me/us now?
Is it possible that we can find a place or space to counter feeling lost, overwhelmed, or uncertain? How could I possibly center myself during this difficult time? Are others’ expectations clouding my ability to articulate or determine the best next step?
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