Crisis and Opportunity
Crisis is the view relative to the past. Opportunity is the view of looking toward to the future. Crisis presumes evidence based on the past which is important to avoid repeating mistakes. Opportunity presumes potential of the future. But belief is the courage to take the first step and the next…and the next…
The differences are a matter of premise. Seemingly, there are two opposing and competing premises or views. The challenge is holding both opposing views at the same time and space. Then transcend to a new level of understanding and integration. Thereby finding an increased capacity of function?
When a person comes to the fork in the road, they often get stuck in the dilemma’s dichotomy; either/or and this or that; which path to take? In extreme presentations, there is the appearance of erratic and irrational “crazy” behavior. It’s not the person that is crazy but it’s the crazy situation of the dilemma without a perceived way out. The person does not know what to do. From the survival brain, there are the 5 F’s; fight, flight, freeze responses to immediate danger; while food and fornicate are the responses to an insidious longer-term danger. But if the perceived threat overwhelms one’s capacity to function. Then they often appear anxious and hyper-vigilant; or in extreme cases, appear as disorganized, psychotic, paranoid or depressed and suicidal because it all seems hopeless chaos. By taking a step back and conducting a deeper look at the underlying dynamics leads to understanding the whole crazy situation.
The place to start is to determine the founding premise. If a person can zero in on the premise, then the resulting perception, interpretation and manifesting crazy behavior and situation makes sense and becomes logically coherent based on the founding premise. Thus, the examination of the premise requires investigation. If there’s a way to navigate toward change. In psychology, ultimately, it’s navigating towards a higher order of functioning. Which is essentially being able to rise above or transcend the dilemma, the dichotomy or dissonance.
One cannot avoid or go around, but must go through the uncomfortable experience. This process is not to assess blame or shame. The process involves integrity, openness and equanimity. On the other side is knowledge, understanding and wisdom. This requires the ability to hold concurrently both ends of the dilemma or dichotomy until the transcendence occurs. Holding both ends concurrently is not an easy task when getting whiplashed back and forth. The task is to move from an “either/or” mindset to encompassing the “both/and” mindset. It is the ability to create a space in which to abide mindfully in the eye of the hurricane. The abiding is where intuitive insight will emerge and the path will unfold towards transcendence. The initial transcendence, it takes a while to become familiar with this new level of functioning and its capacity. The key is formulating the questions. If you want useful answers, you must ask useful questions. Then patiently wait for the answer(s) to reveal themselves.
So how do we navigate the crazy? There are basic options. Continue to be in a whirlwind of chaos ending in apocalyptic destruction. Or revert to a former level of functioning, e.g., like regressing to childlike behavior. Or navigate toward transcendence, which has three subparts. First, take a few deep breaths (breathing well is an essential skill). Then assess the immediate and ongoing environment. Basically, to remain calm yet aware in the face of crisis. Second, focus on the analysis of the what, why, when, where of the situation, i.e., how it came to be. Including a historical and dynamic view of the premise and conclusions. And take into account the environmental, social, ideological and resource contexts. Third, use this historical knowledge and understanding to wonder about the “what ifs?” The process of knowledge and understanding leads to skillful questioning and wondering. However, one must be receptive, appreciate insight and recognize wisdom of the insights in order to navigate opportunities toward transcendence. In essence, a person recognizes that it is more effective to change their perspective or mindset of the situation instead of trying to change the actual situation in which they may have very little control.
In crisis counseling, crisis is merely a sign that something is no longer working. Listening to the client’s story, gains an understanding of the dynamics (why, what, when, where and how) of the crisis. Then conducting a version of a SWOT analysis (strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats). Along with an analysis of the environment to sort through the risks and resources to develop a strategy. However, strategy needs to be aligned with the client’s goal. Alignment drives the execution of the strategy. The foundation of execution is hope, inspiration, courage and belief.
The skillful questioning and wondering are not about what worked in the past. But questions of what do you love? Or “what if” I was Tinker Bell, with a magic wand and could grant your wish; what would you love to be doing? Being able to access the dreams, joys and passions guides the skills, strategy and inspires the execution to become the new self. Love is the greatest force in the universe because it inspires, provides the strategy and executes change.
End Note: It doesn’t matter much where you’re from, what you have done or what has happened. The past offers lessons and if we learn from those lessons, we will not repeat the mis-steps of the past. This allows us to focus on what matters more, where you are going? And the most important, what are you doing today? More specifically, what/who are you to BE today? Pick only 1 quality of being that you truly wish and do it for 1 week, then pick another quality the next week. Repeat the following statement 3 times and do this 3 times during the day for a total of 9 times in a day. Once in the morning, in the afternoon and at bedtime. Do this in private with intention and love, its only for you to you. Do this for 1 week and you will be different and in a new space.
“I am …” (healthy, enthusiastic, full of light, etc.) And thereby step in to your new self.
Peace, love and light!