A friend of mine suggested this Buddhist based book that basically gave suggestions on how to handle life's circumstances and turmoils. The main message was, instead of stepping into your next chapter of life with fear, step into it with curiosity. I have a few friends who are going through very turbulent times right now in their lives, as I am too. We all share, give our best advice and sometimes, just give an ear or shoulder to lend out if need be. They all fear the worst outcome. (So do I.) The point is: everyone is going through something, regardless how small or big. The significance of it all depends on the individual. It doesn't even have to be an outward circumstance - it can be an inner turmoil that someone's going through that makes them do things, say things and think things that are just out of their character. And to undermine what someone else is going through, just because you went through something similar is beyond my understanding, and it also does not mean it's the same "circumstance". For example, say I lose a loved one and you did as well, it can be very different. Maybe I was never close to my "loved one" and didn't take the blow hard enough, whereas your loved one meant everything to you, making your world crumble beneath your feet. Every person, every trial, every heart, every emotion, every "hurt" in life can be so incredibly different from another. It's a proven fact that every new "chapter" in life is followed in with a ton of fear, or as most psychiatrists say, "stress". Change of job, loss of loved one, divorce, breakups, even moving to a different place - all stress-related.
Maybe you can relate to this... Every year in my life is so different from another. Every half of year is significantly different even. Things change, people change, circumstances change and it's so EASY to say, "go into it with curiosity" when you know change is right around the corner, but is it for good or for bad? We anticipate the worst more often than not. To be honest with you, I couldn't take the well intended advice of "go into it with curiosity" when I had so much fear brewing inside of me. I would stay up late at night with insomnia anticipating the day - not even a 'happening' or something I had to do - the day itself was feared. "What's next?" ---- The unknown freaked me the hell out and my nights were spent either with insomnia or in the emergency room with chest pains from an anxiety attack. I would leave my cell phone near my bedside, anticipating a call from my mom asking me to come down because dad 's sick or something bad happened. And when that phone last rang, I swear to God it was all I can do to keep it together and not find myself hooked up to an EKG machine in the ER. Go into it with curiosity? "Eff you" I thought...
Sometimes the most inane suggestions are often the best ones. Someone told me, "Get a dog." I was never really an animal person at all. I don't even go to people's houses who have animals hardly (unless I'm forced to). A dog maybe, a cat? ...No way. And if you've been reading me for some time or know me, I finally went up to the pet shelter and found my best friend waiting for me. I have to say my little Chihuahua saved my life in many ways. I haven't had a severe panic attack or 'mania' of thinking something's wrong with my health in a long time. My sleep patterns are back to normal (first week was tough with the pup but we got through it), and my overall 'well-being' seems to have taken on a much more peaceful approach to all this chaos around me. Maybe it's the focus of taking care of something other than yourself, or maybe it's God's little presents from heaven saying, "Here, this'll make you feel better." I'm picking option two. With all honesty, it was the best medicine I have ever received - better than any stress relieving remedy ever suggested. Although I'm still going through 'my thang', I have Lola here to keep my wife and I happy and laughing - the place feels "lighter", and overall, she has enhanced our lives in such a positive way that I can understand when people say, "I like animals better than I like people." So now, maybe I can move onto my next chapter in life with the support of my wife, our pup by my side and a positive and healthy dose of curiosity to dull the fear.
Do you step into your next chapter in life with curiosity or fear? And what's your best "medicine" to handle your inner turmoils?
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