Have you seen the state of the world right now? If you haven’t, you may have been living in a bubble, which is lovely, but not something we can stay in forever. One look at Twitter (for example), looking at trending topics, you can see how enraged many people are. The news media is of course (as it always does!) fuelling the conflict between people, because many news outlets have agendas. And let’s face it, scared people are far easier to control.
Any sense of fear and confusion en masse, will inevitably cause problems in any society.
What we are seeing worldwide, from the USA, UK to Hong Kong, to Climate Change is an uprising happening. Albeit instead of coming together as one cause, we are fighting among ourselves instead. This is what those in charge of this world want and need. Fear breeds more fear. When people feel scared, they want safety to return. For safety to return people will tend to accept more laws and rules which will restrict their personal rights and freedoms.
So, we can continue fighting amongst ourselves or see that we simply have different opinions and experiences, depending on our backgrounds, history and family of origin.
Or we can continue to fight and see where the chaos takes us.
Chaos precedes creation
I somehow think that instead of the people coming together, some will continue to battle on and unfortunately we may be faced with greater turmoil until each opposing side accepts that we just disagree and that’s okay.
Chaos precedes creation. Creation of the new cannot come about without chaos. Nature reflects this too. For new landmasses to form, earthquakes, volcanoes move and shift and explode and shake. The sign of being stuck in a rut is often defined as a coffin with both ends knocked out. If a country, nation or people is seemingly in chaos right now, it cannot be so unless this is part of the process of change.
Nothing changes until it needs to. Pressure from the inside begins this. This can be inside people, inside countries, inside politics, inside ideas.
And I understand the desire to want things to be more still, more peaceful, more calm, but that will come in time. We don’t know how long it will take, but it always comes, because it cannot not come.
Excitement and fear walk the same line. If we have too much excitement we wear ourselves out and it is not sustainable. Eventually, we settle down into the ‘known’ once again, but we need the chaos of change before the new can be fully absorbed and taken on board.
For example, in the UK we have a huge political and human divide taking place over leaving the European Union (Brexit). All sides, from those who want to stay to those who want to leave have varying degrees of frustration, some extreme anger, some simply needing this polarisation to express repressed pain and wounding deep within them. In a sense the big chaos is mirroring the inner need for change, even if someone is kicking up an inner fuss of resistance.
Nature and life changes. If we don’t embrace it, we suffer.
Whether we leave the EU is one matter, whether we stay is another. I can understand there are pros and cons to both points of view, but also that for my own greatest peace, if we don’t leave the EU and thus my vote for leaving the EU is discounted…
I will be upset for a while and then I will drop into acceptance and surrender and trust.
Because this is all we can do, trust the grand unfolding. Life has a plan, we may not know what it is right now, be it Brexit to Democrats and Republicans in the USA, to Hong Kong….it is all very uncertain, but this does not mean that we try to force it back into a tidy, easy comfortable box.
Aside from the major events taking place worldwide, politics, rainforests burning, people homeless, fears about poverty and more… on a personal level why do we need chaos?
First of all, we need to consider why we are trying to control the chaos when chaos is uncontrollable? We can control or make decisions on that which we feel we can change. We can oppose regimes, ideas, wars… we can do all of this until we need to stop and then accept that not everything can be controlled. Not everything needs to be controlled and more so the more we try and control ‘what is’ (uncontrollable) we suffer en masse.
We try to control the chaos because we are scared of the unknown.
Trying to stop change is similar to watching the Autumn leaves fall and trying to stop them falling. Change will happen, whether it aligns with our worldview or not.
How To Remain Calm In The Midst Of Chaos
The important thing we need to remember is that chaos is not something that is a forever thing. All of nature requires chaos for growth to happen. And we can remain calm in the midst of chaos as contradictory as this may sound.
“The chaos created from the misunderstandings in your relationship with life, will dissipate when you untangle your beliefs and soften your glare. A breakthrough is achieved by becoming open. You can observe how events are teaching you about achieving this powerful peacefulness. All that you believe will eventually come to meet you as “the Way goes round and round.” When you transform the wasted energy of defensiveness into an inner shifting of openness, you will discover wellness, balance and success in all you do.” ~ Kari Hohne
Most of us, if we are honest, would like to stay in our comfort zone. The comfort zone is known. This is why when life is in the middle of chaos we try to do anything to hold onto it. Even if the known is old and not comfortable, we do this because we want to try to feel safe.
Part of being human is all about organising disorganisation from chaos back into order and back again. If we are to have calm we need to embrace the truth that chaos will return and to not fight that for true peace to happen.
With each challenge or obstacle we meet, we gain the opportunity to face something or resolve something that we no longer need or that is holding us back in some way. It could be it gives us strength to know we are stronger than we thought we were. It may give us reason to believe we can handle more and discover new skills. It may bring us an understanding that we have an abundance of ways to begin afresh. We will know what we gained from embracing the chaos, once we have stepped through the storm.
When challenge arrives at our door, it comes not to punish us or make our lives worse. It’s an invitation to write a better story. We are no different from nature, in that nature moves from order to chaos and back to order again. We instead move from comfort to discomfort to comfort again. If we can allow the unfolding, whatever it feels like, to happen, we are allowing the natural unfolding of change.
Embracing the Chaos
To embrace the chaos effectively means to accept the uncertainty of life and move forward anyway.
Take action on what you can, regardless of how things are going to turn out.
Don’t take action if it is something you are powerless to change
Take time out from overthinking, over analyzing or trying to predict the future.
Accept the chaos, because if you don’t, you suffer. We can’t create order when there is disorder. We are not meant to make the world perfect or fit into our ideal. Life will do what life does and we make choices from whatever stage of life we are in at the time.
You may not be able to control the chaos, but you can change how you view the chaos. Instead of seeing it as a doom and gloom scenario, try and switch it up inside of you. Try to see what is happening as a part of the natural unfolding of life and that all is in perfect order – even if the ego says otherwise. This gives you your power back, whereas trying to control the uncontrollable leaves us feeling powerless.
Prepare and act if you are able. If something is scaring you a lot about the future or the way the chaos is appearing, what can you do in the ‘now’ to feel as safe as possible in the meantime? Can you plan ahead, but not in an overtly controlling way, just a pragmatic and more logical way. Let the mind be used not the other way around.
Remember that you can’t predict the future. Whatever the fear from the chaos is telling you, fear can be a great liar. Anxiety was inbuilt into us to help us escape from lions and tigers and danger in the past. We don’t have those type of dangers now, but we are still on high alert. Whatever is happening right now, is happening. It is fruitless to think that it isn’t when it is. To try and work out what will come based on ‘what if’s’ perpetuates and intensifies the fear. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. As my family would often say to me ‘You never know what will happen tomorrow, you could be run over by a bus’, so basically what good does it do being in intense anxiety about a future that has not happened?
Embrace the Here and Now – What can you do now to improve your life? What can you do now to experience greater peace? Where is your focus right now? Future? Past? What is wrong with here-now? The future takes care of itself, if we allow it to. And by allowing we suffer far less.
Use the Chaos – During a time of chaos we can learn and grow so much. We humans often evolve greatly during times of adversity. This is not to say that you will always choose this way, but if adversity is happening this is your time to grow. Change is not comfortable, it never is. During times of chaos you really get to know your own strength, and this is very empowering.
You Find Out What Is Important – Instead of fighting against chaos and embracing it, you discover what is important to you and what isn’t. Your family, love, peace, togetherness, prosperity…whatever is right for you.
Transformation – Often when adversity hits and chaos reigns supreme we dig deep and find jewels inside of us we never knew existed. During a time of a lengthy depression I discovered more about myself than I knew before. After my father died when I was 26, I learned more about what mattered and what didn’t and who I was than I did before the loss happened. I learned to value different things in life, it truly opened my heart and my eyes to a new world
With Embracing ‘What Is’ Comes Gratitude – When you truly allow yourself to embrace the ups and downs, the chaos and the adversity of life, you begin to really appreciate what you have in your life, instead of what you don’t have.
Awakening Faith in The Bigger Picture – When we stop searching for outcomes and trying to predict the future, we start to have faith that things will work out. Perhaps they won’t work out the way we want them to, but they will work out in the way we need them to, regardless of what the mind has us believe.
And finally, the flow is the way to go.
Embracing chaos and challenge drops us into life’s natural flow. By going with the tide instead of against it or as a tribal saying once said ‘Better to ride the horse in the direction it is going’, you will find the flow much more worthwhile, much more loving and empowering than anything the mind fears may or may not come from the chaos.
So, the next time you look at your life or the world and think ‘This is not good, this is crazy, what’s going to happen?’
‘This is all part of the grand unfolding, things will work out and make sense eventually, but for now, I appreciate what I have here now. The rest will take care of itself.’
What helps you during times of chaos and change?