Somethings you experience are going to leave you jangled.
They are going to push your buttons, bring up your stuff and throw you off balance.
And then you have the big problem: how the hell do you get recentered, out of your own jangled mind and get back on track?
The centre of this challenge, of course, is your stuff. It’s never what happens around you that leaves you jangled, it’s what it brings up inside of you.
Somewhere between fear and desire our angst starts to swirl. We get caught up in old dreams of what we want to happen and old terrors about what might happen. We are jangled.
In that jangled state it is easy to fall into the shoulda, woulda, coulda hole, the one that searches for flaws and failings, reminds us of past disasters, and taps into the neediness that we feel deep inside.
As the emotional taps inside open, it is easy to get overwhelmed and swamped in a way that leaves us unable to just get on with what we need to do in a mature and sensible way. We are lost in our own frustrating fear and longing.
It might seem that the easiest and best way to not get jangled is to just put up a wall and not let the emotions in. If we stay professional, pushing the feelings deep down into a steel box, they cannot swamp us.
The limits to this plan quickly become apparent when we want deep, rich and lasting relationships with other people. We need the connection with other people, and that takes the empathy and vulnerability which only an open heart can offer.
Our emotions live inside of us and just trying to compartmentalize them away never works. We need to find other strategies to not just cover over the jangle with performance, but to really process that fear and longing.
The ego is the centre of the stuff we face, always trying to keep us safe and comfortable by keeping us afraid and full of the thought that it is the outside world that has to change before we can be happy.
The fast paced world almost demands a strong ego, requires that we fight for every inch we get.
I was tapped by a family of three in the aisle at a dollar store yesterday, between boxes as they blocked the only though way, and when the mother suggested that they move to let me pass, the daughter derisively spat that if I wanted out, it was my responsibility to speak up and confront them. She saw no responsibility to be aware of others, offered no respect for the grace I allowed them to let them pass, rather she just wanted her ego defended by blaming me for what she saw as my loathsome weakness.
Finding a way to keep an ego in the world, full of expectations and defenses that let us work to claim our space while not getting swamped by that ego when the longing and fear trigger the jangling effect of woulda, coulda, shoulda is very, very hard.
We have to be willing to become unbalanced to move ahead while also quicly recovering our balance so we are not stopped and hurt by the jangling of our ego swamping our mind.
That process of becoming recentered is vital to growth, but it can be very, very hard.