One of the most prevalent fears people have is that of losing control. When you heard the words (“You have cancer.” “Your x-ray shows a blockage.”) that outlined your diagnosis, this fear most likely became real. Something terrible has happened. It does not matter if you prepared ahead of time, took care of yourself, or did nothing special at all. It does not matter if you’re the one with the diagnosis or the support person.
The immediate impact causes actual physical sensations and a realization that you have lost control. In reality, though, when it comes to external aspects of the world and the forces of nature, you never really had control to begin with. This also applies to the current challenge we all are facing when it comes to covid-19. For some, more than others.
We are quite good at keeping a focus on what is right in front of us and rarely, if ever, honestly take into account that our reliance on certainty is limited in a world that is always tentative and uncertain. It is precisely this unrealistic belief that creates anxiety in our lives. We all think that we are reasonably accurate in being able to predict and manage the future. This belief is a bias.
Yet, the key to getting through your most recent challenge will be in giving up the parts of your life you cannot control and having the courage to address the ones you can, as embodied in the Serenity Prayer.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking the world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that in the end, my life will have had meaning and that the actions that I took when it was most difficult were ones that mattered.
What this boils down to is becoming more psychologically flexible, that is ready and willing to face the inherent and unavoidable uncertainty of the future. While this may seem overwhelming, you can do this. And you don’t need to do it alone.
You are here on this web-site or supplementing the book “Team Positive” which have been designed to give you ways to:
- Strengthen and/or build your support network,
- Increase your psychological flexibility through new coping strategies,
- Build a larger capacity to accept and move through the pain, sorrow, and fear of your private experiences, and
- See how others who went before you were able to truly focus on what mattered to them so that no matter the outcome, the life lived during this time of challenge was done with dignity, grace, and meaning.
The journey has begun. Now it is time to build your team and get the knowledge and skills that will help you in this endeavor.
You can pick up the resource here in print or electronically and you can gain access to a host of free materials at WellnessTalks.Org.
May you be flexible.