As I write this, Russia attacked Ukraine 5 days ago, and Ukrainian civilians are stepping in to defend their own country.
The attack was pre-meditated, and expected. And yet, many of us still watched the events unfold for weeks in disbelief, as Russian troops lined up along the borders.
“How can this be happening?” “How could Russia do this?” “What is wrong with Putin?”
Our disbelief continues. But for how long?
This is an extreme-seeming example, but so often we go through our days resisting reality. We can’t believe someone said that thing. We can’t believe the organization would implement this new policy. We don’t believe how expensive cheese has gotten in the past few months (maybe that’s just me. My kids eat a lot of cheese…).
When we hold onto these ideas, these thoughts that start with “how could….” or I can’t believe….” we are in resistance to what is happening. And we stay stuck. It’s as though if we can’t accept it in our minds, maybe it doesn’t really happen. Except, as we all know, it usually does.
One of my coaches like to use the phrase, “of course; now what?” and I love this because much of the time the thing we are in resistance too isn’t unexpected, we just don’t like it.
Of course, the organization is changing the policy; they are losing revenue, and need to make an adjustment.
Of course, they invaded; that’s what happens when a bunch of troops and tanks line up along the borders of a neighboring country.
We get to accept the thing that is happening here with that part.
And the next? We decide how we are going to react. “Now what?”
The beauty of this is that we stop wasting energy on disbelief. That energy is precious, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. And that means it’s not there when we are trying to decide on our response.
Of course, the kids don’t want to leave the playground. And it’s just time to head home.
Of course, the patient was late. He always is. And now, we have less time for today’s visit.
This pops up in so many areas of our lives, that once you start using “of course, now what?” the changes can be pretty profound. But you’ll get less locked up in your resistance, and be ready to set some boundaries on the next step.
You get to stop arguing with reality, to get out of resistance.
And start being more in control of your response. With emotional energy to spare…