Recently, I experienced The Storm. The Storm was a combination of external stressors and unconscious material from within. As the stressful situations in the manifest world were knocking me about and unconscious material was arising up from the depths, I felt unbalanced and out of control.
The Storm hit hard: it was a week of stress beyond what I had experienced in decades. I had all the symptoms of the classic stressed out human: impatient, quick to anger, and intolerant.
As a therapist, I have spent over 30 years working on myself. I have spent years in my own personal therapy. I have done extensive workshops/retreats/trainings, etc. As a therapist, I attempt to walk my talk by:
- exercising 4-6 days a week,
- eating well,
- sleeping over 8 hours a night,
- meditating for at least 20 minutes a day,
- having a solid social network,
- having leisure time,
- and having a profession that I find profoundly satisfying.
Yet with all this good work on myself, I still could not find my center during The Storm. The combination of the stressful situations and the unconscious material shifting the ground under my feet, I felt knocked about in all directions.
And as the The Storm continued brewing and whipping my psyche about, I felt humiliated and irritated with myself that I could not quell the turbulence within. This critical attitude towards myself was only adding more energy to The Storm. My humility, tolerance and acceptance was lost during The Storm.
Last night, I read an account of one of the few survivors from a sailing wreck off the Farallon Islands that happened earlier this month. A group of very experienced sailors got hit by a huge wave that came out of nowhere. He stated if they had just tethered themselves to the sailboat, all of them would have survived.
In this wild ride called Life , perhaps all we can do in some situations is to strap ourselves down, breathe, and wait until The Storm is over. And in the midst of the The Storm, try to be kind and compassionate to ourselves.