30 September 2015

What I Do About Pending DOOM


Oh goodness, do you all feel DOOM creeping up on you sometimes?

I don't mean to speak lightly of this - as I know in life there are so, so many life-and-death situations out there that are truly difficult to face.

But I'm talking about all those smaller issues in life that can still bring on stress, worry, fear, or just YUCK. The ones that seem to paralyze us and make us sigh LOUDLY and make us wish it could all go away. The ones we can't seem to shake so easily.

Here are some of mine since we moved to Ecuador:

  • Needing to sell our cars in the dead of winter in NYC and not having any luck.
  • Packing our storage room full of personal items and leaving the country, then fearing for months that the stacks of bins might have given away and toppled against the door (which would involve a lot of cuss words and cutting through the metal door to get it open.)
  • Working on getting resident visas here in Ecuador (this country looves their red tape. Oh. my. goodness - it seriously must be the red tape capital of the world!)
  • Trying to find a home to rent in Cuenca (and not really liking any of the homes in Cuenca).
  • Having a period of time when I thought it might be best to find a different full-time job back in the states.
Blah! It's crazy how in the moment, these things can be all consuming. And yet I can't tell you how ridiculous it looks and feels to write these silly things out. And I have to wonder - why on earth would I let these things zap my energy in the moment? Because it seriously can affect life in negative ways. It can affect the desire to do good. It can affect the way we interact with others. It can affect the available energy to handle other things.

Here are some other types of challenges that came to mind. Maybe you can relate:

  • Bad news about an expensive car repair or house damage. (termites? flooding? new transmission? rats ate all the wiring under the hood #NYCproblem)
  • Dealing with insurance companies or medical care and often the zillion phone calls that come with that. 
  • Losing money somehow - in business, in mistakes, in betrayals, in unfortunate circumstances.
  • An email that needs to be written and you JUST. CAN'T. WRITE. IT. And then you feel shame for letting so much time pass. 
  • Needing to find A JOB.
  • Having an unsavory project looming over your head that you just wish was DONE already.
  • That neighbor interaction that led to an offense - and now you dread seeing them.
  • Missing a deadline. Like say, missing your flight.
  • Having to go to a job that is sucking you dry.
  • Waiting for the doctor to call with test results.
  • Facing a school/teacher/bully/parent issue that is getting under your skin.

I'll tell you my best tip in the world for when the doom sets in; when you have the sick 
feeling in your chest; when you just feel the desire for it all to be over...

MAKE PEACE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF FAILURE & LOSS.

As I’ve thought back on the moments where the doom has consumed and paralyzed me the most, one of the deepest fears present is the possibility of failure - the possibility that things may just not go the way I desire - the possibility of loss of some kind. 

In each scenario where I’ve dealt with it successfully in the past, it has almost always been when I’ve faced the possibility of failure & loss HEAD ON and envisioned the undesired outcome and made peace with it, instead of spending energy on stewing over it or avoiding it. I find that this helps me to make decisions and make a plan of action from a calmer/cooler place. And when you do that, often the overwhelming feeling of doom seems to lose its power and disappear. It's like the horrible outcome becomes the boogy man under the bed...because I survived! I didn't die! haha. It didn't get me! :)

And, my friends, it's worth it to try and tackle the DOOMS - one by one, if needed. Because if you don't, they WILL add up. They will compound and weigh you down. And they'll affect the way you handle the next thing.
But, I tell you this: there is nothing better than being free from the dooms not because you waited around for the problem to get resolved or for someone else to change, but because you delivered yourself. You were proactive. You used your power. You reclaimed your life!!!

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Now, join the discussion: Do you guys have anything in life right now that feels like pending DOOM even though if you thought about it, it's actually not the end of the world? It's so uniting (and relieving) in a way to hear what others are going through. And perhaps writing it out here or on your own will help you to see that perhaps it's not as troubling as you might think. 

Thanks for sharing our blog with others and thanks for your comments - we read every single one!

With All My Love, 

Mara

P.S. Today's post came a bit later today because there was a serious girls' night going on over on the ABAL Facebook page last night!! The discussion was about the most important role or pursuit you feel as a woman (is it motherhood or something else?) And the comments are over-the-top good. 

10 comments:

  1. This is quite extraordinary. I am literally at this very moment trying to occupy my brain with other thoughts besides my impending doom (As my entire body is trembling) I'm waiting for an email to come today about insurance coverage for my 3 year old son that will heavily impact his fragile health. DOOM!

    So thank you for this perfectly timed post. This event will not own me!

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    1. Hello dear - thank you for sharing. Thank you for your inspiring determination - even during such a truly difficult moment! XOXO

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  2. Oh goodness, I've been thinking about this A LOT this week. We got wonderful (like truly wonderful) news that we're going to be gifted money for a down payment for a house, which OMG AMAZING. But, here in the Bay Area, the home buying process is a full contact sport, and I have some dread about the mortgage and purchasing process. I've been having a lot of pep talks with myself about taking it one step at a time and focusing on the gratitude for this amazing gift we're being given. I'm finding this helps me move inch by inch forward without fear, but it is a VERY conscious practice!

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  3. Oh, needed this. I moved back into my parents' home after a mission, and picking up with my life where I left off has shown me how much harder out is to have a good attitude when things aren't mostly my way. Thanks for the reminder to be open to failure.

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  4. Oh, needed this. I moved back into my parents' home after a mission, and picking up with my life where I left off has shown me how much harder out is to have a good attitude when things aren't mostly my way. Thanks for the reminder to be open to failure.

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  5. I needed this so much. Right now I have been struggling with these overwhelming feelings of anxiety and doom that no matter what I do I just can't shake. It's my last semester of school and every mental and physical health issue I have ever had has just exploded. I keep telling myself it's just til December, but reaching it feels impossible, especially when my feelings just make my health worse. Its getting to the point where I can't even look at an assignment without feeling overwhelming panic, and I have no energy or desire to do anything else because this doom is draining. I needed this message to be ok with failure, which I'm not ok with especially when everything I have done for the past five years is for this diploma. So I'm trying to come to peace, and when I find it I know it's going to be ok.

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  6. Oh my goodness, this is SUCH a timely post for me! There are a number of items that can fall under the impending doom category for me right now that are a huge struggle for me. Simple things, like checking emails I need to check, but am paralyzed with fear and unable to check because I am terrified of what they might say. To much bigger things, like what will happen in the next month or so when I need to make some huge decisions about my career and my personal life. It all feels very much like impending doom. So I like the idea of trying to reframe the way I think about it. Now I just need to figure out how to actually accomplish reframing the way I think about it :-)

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      I've been dealing with a few impending dooms for the last few weeks, which has raised my anxiety levels, so Mara's post is most definitely timely for me as well. Here are a few techniques I've tried to use that have helped calm me:

      - try to be grateful for the experience--try to remind myself that I'm needed in the particular situation I'm in.
      - just taking one action, even if it's small, towards meeting a few impending deadlines
      - remind myself that if I don't get some of these things that I need to get done on time, the other person will probably understand, and I can let them know ahead of time. Most people try to be understanding/compassionate.
      - as long as I know I've done my best, I'll be at peace with the outcome. If the outcome isn't what I would have hoped, I know that there was truly nothing else that I could have done.

      Hope that helps!

      Nisha

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  7. Oh Mara - Amen. This is so so good. When I look back at my life every time I have also made peace with the doom that is when something shifted (often miraculously in physical circumstances too) and I found freedom.

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    1. P.S. Also - how exhausting it is to try and control things we have no business controlling.

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