Wouldn’t it be lovely if life were a smooth-sailing journey towards self-actualization, filled with pink, fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows all along the way?
Unfortunately, this is not the way life rolls. Because we are human, we make mistakes and our lives periodically become messy.
We each have a baseline level of functioning that is determined by our usual levels of stability versus stress. When we hit a bump in the road, the increased stressors can disturb the homeostasis. It feels like the wheels have fallen off and we are veering wildly off course, at least temporarily.
For me, this tends to happen when I take on too much, am not practicing adequate self-care, or when it is absolutely least convenient. The straw that breaks the camel’s back might be a conflict in an important relationship, a challenge with my business, or an epic parenting fail that leaves me feeling like my husband, kids and I belong on an episode of Jerry Springer.
When the wheels pop off, we feel off balance, out of control, anxious, irritable, afraid and inadequate. Our inner critic spews negative thoughts such as if we were somehow better, things would be better. This negative voice in our head can exacerbate shame and impair the coping skills needed to get back on track.
After nearly 20 years of counseling clients, I recommend the following when feeling unglued:
Real life and real relationships are sometimes not neat and pretty. Understand this is okay, all things happen for a reason and everything is exactly as it should be. Sometimes things fall apart so we can put them back together—better.
“If you upset the apple cart, put them back in, redistribute them & carry on with your life. It is likely that the cart will move more easily.”
~Ross Rosenberg, Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome
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Last reviewed: 8 Nov 2013