Chaos means different things to different people, or in other words, what we experience as chaos varies one to another. For one person, the most minor change in schedule or in environment is enough to throw them into a frenzy. For others, they are comfortable with change and multi-tasking and only major breakdowns in communication or technology are seen as chaotic. If one person misplaces their airline ticket, it is a challenge that can be remedied. For another, it is a major calamity.
As we observe the borad spectrum of reactions to change and stress, it becomes increasingly clear that it is an individual response. It appears not to be the event itself but what we make of the event.
What can we draw from this? What is the deeper learning of this awareness?
There are so many aspects at work in our response to life events. One of these is our expectation of ourselves. If we have learned to expect that we must or should do things perfectly or correctly then anything that interferes with that belief can feel like added stress. If we have very specific expectations about the outcome of certain events we can easily be thrown off course by an outcome that doesn’t meet our standards.
The list is long of our dearly held beliefs about how thinks “should be”. Family traditions, relationships, careers, all of them adding to our ideas about the “outside world”. Most of these ideas are so subtly embedded in our thinking that we assume them to be real and factual. It is only when we have the insight that our world is “thought” created that we begin to see that we are making it up. We choose our response to every moment. We are the creator of our movie called life.
Throughout life, there are many opportunities to observe what occurs when we take our thinking seriously and personally and when we persist in seeing life as happening to us, an outside-in event. When, however, we have the ultimate “AHA” and realize the “inside-out” nature of life, we can begin to release old habitual thinking. We can begin to catch ourselves with the first habitually insecure thought about our world and our place in it. We can then fall back on our default setting of calm and wisdom, regardless of circumstances.
Of course, there are many instances of truly chaotic experiences such as earthquakes, tidal waves, floods. Even in those challenging circumstances, there are always a few seemingly remarkable people that rise above their fear and in fact often “save the day”. Our wisdom and common sense, which is always available to us in every moment, will kick in and will serve us, allowing us to access calm in the midst of chaos.
Having faith in our resiliency in truly challenging moments allows us to avoid the creation of chaos in our everyday lives. Why catastrophize the simplest events? It is such a waste of time and energy and reinforces our insecure thinking.
You are onto yourself now. The myth of life as an outside in reality is completely debunked. We are free. Free to create a profoundly calm experience moment to moment.