Nov 11

Is Your Life Un-examined?

fall 07 256As this rock appears to be looking up, I too am seeking new directions!

While reading a syllabus for psychology class I found this interesting quote. Although many may argue it has merit; it was written long ago, yet relevant today. “The unexamined life is not worth living?  Socrates

As time passes we may all need to examine our motives, decisions, choices and even our thoughts. Why do we continue to do things in our lives that may take us in a direction we really do not want to go?

Speaking to a male nurse in the emergency room recently, I realized what a calming present he brought in the midst of chaos, pain and fear. As we spent a few moments together I was able to ask him how long he had been an RN. He stated, “Not that long, only about ten years; this was my fourth career change. His first was in the military, then another occupation where there was down sizing taking place, the next job had the same sad ending. He decided to go into nursing thinking is would be a more secure job. It surprised me to hear his story because he did his job so well. I was thankful for his kindness and his expertise in this life and death situation.

He is a living example of one who took time to examine what was happening in his life. He knew he had  choices he would have to insure his ability to live the life style he desired. Although we may have always been… or always done…. does not necessarily mean we always will or have to always. fill in the blanks.

We must realize there really is a time in our lives where we can’t do what we used to do with grace and ease. We have changed. This may be a good time to examine what is going on in our lives. It is difficult to look at possible changes in our relationships, careers, locations, finances, status and many other scenarios, yet it is necessary and fruitful.

Shall we agree with Socrates? It sounds somewhat harsh, yet how many will truly stop and honestly look at ourselves? How is our energy being spent? Are we willing to ask hard questions to turn things around or do we keep heading in the wrong direction?  To be or not to be ‘examined’ is the question of the day.

 

Aug 20

I was thinking, “What if”?

265My personal commitment in life is to celebrate any success, large or small. I believe each day is a gift to enjoy.  While spending time to accomplish whatever the task at hand, we all may look forward to special occasions in the future. It can be exciting when the final time arrives that we have been waiting for. There are many different things or events we all wait for in one way or the other. One may be ready and available, hoping for a promotion at work, another may be waiting for their longed for wedding day. Pregnant women who are approaching their predicted due date will have an entirely different experience, actually waiting with anticipation and great expectation!

This past week I have been excited and waiting with great trepidation. I realize the time is near and soon there will be major changes in my life. While waiting for this to occur I became tempted to worry about the “What If’s. What if raging fires get out of control and destroy the whole world completely? What if the ocean suddenly left its boundaries and crashed over the mountains, flooded the valley, and swept us all out to sea in a millisecond? What if one of the key players in this exciting event tragically flew over a cliff while driving over the mountains and no one knew where to find them? Or, what if I wrote the wrong date down and completely missed out on the whole opportunity to participate? What if all the things that could go wrong did go wrong all at the same time? How would I handle taking care of business; after all I am trained in psychotherapy and in the field of emergency and critical incident stress management.

Is it possible that we all entertain thoughts that are similar to those I just shared? I wrote the above examples, although they are obviously exaggerated, to point out that we all can easily worry about things that others may view as highly unlikely. Yet, when someone is of this mindset anxiety, anger, fear and agitation or excitement will manifest as logical thinking momentarily disappears. Looking from a positive point of view, there are also times when these emotions occur even when a wonderful experience is about to take place.

I will use the example of a woman giving birth. I do so because it is so unpredictable. Under usual conditions doctors can estimate the time frame the baby will be born. Only the mother will be able to say, “It is time”, as she begins her final journey in labor. There is an excitement and joy that climaxes to a level that our written language cannot describe as a new-born baby is delivered.  At that exact same moment, anxiety levels rise with the fear of the unknown that is tantamount to a soldier on the battle field. As the baby draws its first breath and lets out a cry, those with the mother let out a sigh of relief and with tears of joy. I realize all fear, worry, and hand-wringing did not make any difference in the outcome in my past. So I choose to celebrate this day once again, and surrender the care of the outcome with silent and grateful confidence that the what if’s do not matter.

 

 

 

 

Jul 10

In between stages in life

Transition, the act of passing from one state or place to the next. A transition is the in-between state in our life development. During these times we consolidate what we learned from our past, while processing the issues in life we are dealing with in the moment. At times transitions can help to bring closure to our past and help move us forward to our next phase in life as we continue to grow and mature. During that time we may experience self-doubt, lack of motivation, and lack of direction. We may experience conflict and tension in our relationships and choose to isolate. Our ability to focus and be motivated may suffer causing a lack of effectiveness. When we are going through transitions we are often filled with many questions with very few answers. Why do I feel so different? What is going on, nothing seems to be right! I feel like I lost my passion in life. In the midst of these experiences it is important to remember that transitions take time, they are common to everyone, young and old. It is a powerful tool to have someone in our lives to hold us accountable as we move forward, out of one transition and in to another.