I have used the term “unmanageable” when relating to difficulties at work, on committees, or with people I simply dis-agreed with but still had to work alongside. One day, however, a friend told me they recently realized that their life had become unmanageable and that they had begun to seek out help. We had a wonderful visit, made great “connections” together about our lives and our life’s struggles but for whatever reason that word (unmanageable) struck a chord with me. It resonated with me, there was a sudden vibration in my body, a discomfort and annoyance and I couldn’t shake the use of that term “unmanageable” , let alone, my very strong reaction to it. So in the days that followed our visit, I allowed my awareness to rise and greet this idea… how or where in my life did I feel out of control?
There are many compartments to one’s life ie; family life, career, education, intimacy, play, finances, friendships and more. This question of something being unmanageable fit easily into one or two of these categories of my life. In fact, I had already recognized and been working to change some of these negative cycles for years. As I reflected on this question I began to realize that a negative cycle of mine had leaked! Evidently it was a slow leak, because while I recognized some red flags throughout the years, I had isolated some of these “negative cycles” as occasional mishaps, misunderstandings, or “accidents” until there were enough gathered to make an obvious puddle. O.K. , my basement was flooding! How did this happen?
The truth is how it happened is of little consequence, but was I willing to call for help? If the basement of my house were flooding you bet your butt, I’d be on the phone so fast calling for a plumber and without any hesitation. So why did I hesitate then? you know, to call for help? to admit that I needed help and that my life had become unmanageable. Because it’s scary that’s why! Just how bad is it? Is it repairable? What if people found out? what would they think? Well I decided to apply what “they” would say if I told people that my basement was flooding to my personal life. Most people would say,
“Oh that’s terrible!” – it is terrible
“What did you do?” – I called for help
“Did you lose anything of value?” – no not really, just my pride, ego, and attachments to things that really didn’t end up mattering.
“How long will it take to fix?” – don’t know until the assessment, and then I’ll better understand what my options are
“Will it cost a lot? – don’t know, but if I wait too long it will get worse
“Is there anything I can do to help?” – maybe, if I let you
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with some of the answers to these very basic questions surrounding things that are undesirable in my life. I could easily get stuck blaming all sorts of people, places, and things too, but that doesn’t move me towards fixing anything. I chose to get help, and it wasn’t fun discovering some of the foundational damage in my life, but you know what? It got better. I’ve become better at recognizing my leaks more quickly and practice using the tools I’ve been given to fix them as soon as possible. I am also becoming better at not caring what anyone else thinks, it’s my house and I have to live in it! I truly believe that mind, body, and spirit are all inter-connected and affect each other. I find it interesting that I would have expected my problems would have only remained in one room of the whole house?