What Is a Crisis?

meditating gnomes
Andy's meditating gnomes in his Berkshires garden.

What is a crisis? How can you stay calm in the face of uncertainty?

A crisis is a state of mind, it is not a state of being. A crisis is imagining a set of potential circumstances and potential outcomes. In many cases, the outcomes don’t even happen. The worry, anxiety, and fear are real. These are destructive and debilitating feelings in the present about possible future scenarios. I have learned the value of slowing down, and stopping to breathe.

In Jonah 1, the sailors on the ship Jonah boarded panicked in the face of a turbulent ocean storm.  After stopping and asking some questions, they then prayed to God and maintained their faith. They calmed themselves down in the midst of the storm. They complied with Jonah’s request to throw him overboard. Then the storm calmed down as well.

I am amazed at how slowing down puts events in perspective. The crisis can be averted. The uncertainty may remain, but the negative energy doesn’t capture our bodies and encapsulate our minds.

When I face uncertainty, I find that remaining calm, meditating, and breathing enables me to live with the questions.  I feel I can live with the uncertainty. I feel calmer, centered, and peaceful.

There are three periods of anxiety. The Past; the Present; and the Future. It is so important to digest the past and free yourself from the potentially paralyzing narrative from your past which may impede your ability to process the present. There are three moments in the present and the future. The future moment which contains two possible scenarios – one with the unwanted outcome and the second with the desired outcome. If you create stress through your anxiety in the present moment, then your present moment and one of the two future scenarios are negative. If you are able to relax and remain calm in the face of the uncertainty, then your present moment will be more peaceful and one of your future scenarios as well. As a result, two of the three moments will be positive.

Jonah’s boat rode the storm waves up and down. Nevertheless the sailors were able to stay calm.

Can you have faith in God that your uncertain future will unfold and trust yourself to remain calm in the present moment?

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