Some days it’s easier to trust in the Universe than others. Some days you wake up and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing everything is unfolding just as it should. Maybe there are a few variables or little things you’re nervous about, but overall you trust you are just where you need to be. You understand that the universe is benevolent. You know there is no need to worry; that what’s meant for you will not pass you by.
And some days you don’t. You panic. You get anxious. You start spinning your wheels like a hamster on Ritalin. You grasp and hoard and hedge your bets. This time it’s really too late. You’ve missed the boat and this is now the rest of your life. Sure life is beautiful, BUT IT’S ALSO PASSING US BY AND WHAT IF IT’S TOO LATE AND I’VE MISSED IT.
Those days can be really fun.
But why do we panic? Where does the stress come from? What happened today that is so much scarier than what happened yesterday? What was the ironclad evidence that happened today that proved this is as good as it gets so we should all panic?
Do you think trees panic in the winter when they lose their leaves? Do they think, “this is it! This will be the year that the leaves don’t grow back!” Do you think if a crop fails one year, a farmer just throws up their hands and says, “Well, that was a good run. I guess they’re never coming back.” Think of all the people that used to work at Friendster or MySpace (please tell me you get this reference). Do you think they just assumed that was the end of online profiles? Or, that they’d somehow made the wrong choice because they chose something that didn’t last forever?
Because, honestly, what is actually meant to last forever?
Maybe it helps to think of our lives like the seasons. Sometimes we’re in winter. The days gets shorter, the air gets colder, and it is guaranteed that everything will die, or sleep, or hibernate for a while. Maybe it will be a mild winter or a harsh one, but it will definitely be winter and it will definitely last for a certain period of time. And the thing about winter is that it is always followed by spring. Because spring always comes. Sure, winter might have been extra long this year, but spring did eventually show up. If our lives are cyclical, what if the only thing you had to do was place where you are in the cycle? Would it then be easier to accept where you are knowing it was temporary?
If we can trust that spring will always come, is there a reason to feel stressed? Yes, this year’s winter was really cold and there were a bunch of ice storms, so the power went out a lot, and then the basement flooded. There were probably times when we really and really felt like it would last forever.
But then one day it was fifty degrees. And then a bud popped up on a cherry tree. And sure there were still a few cold days sprinkled in here and there, but all of a sudden we were very clearly headed into spring.
It’s hard to feel stressed if we have trust. Real, true, honest-to-god trust. Trust that spring will come. Trust that is rooted in having no idea how this will all work out, but as long as we have the tiniest glimmer of spring in our hearts that is all we need. Because there are some times when trust feels a little easier because we can kind of-sort of-maybe-see how this might unfold. And then there are the times when you feel like you’re staring into the abyss. Where the abyss is endless winter you are absolutely sure that this time around there will be no spring.
So if you are panicking, stop. Take a breath. Are you in winter? If so, pause. There are things you can do in winter, but you can also only do so much. You can look at the seed catalog and buy some seeds, but you can’t plant anything because the ground is still frozen. So what can you do? And what can you actually not do? And are you making yourself crazy trying to do spring time activities in the dead of winter? Just trust. Spring is coming.
SARA KRAVITZ helps people who aren’t sure what they want but know it’s not this figure out if they should quit their job, so they can stop dreading Sunday nights. As a life and career coach, she loves helping people understand (but, like, really understand) that this doesn’t have to be life. You can climb out of every hole. It might be awkward and uncomfortable at times (in fact, you can probably guarantee it will be), but there’s always a solution. (Even for you.)
She is also the author of the international, bestselling book Just Tell Me What I Want. You can download her book for free here. Or, if you’d like to talk more with her about how to get out of your current situation, apply to work with her here.