Is there a way to get ready for when life throws us a curve ball? We can try to get mentally and physically ready, and anticipate what might happen to us, but we can’t predict the future or foresee our reactions to future events.
An odd practice
When I was about six years old, I had a weird habit, the source of which still eludes me to this day.
I used to act as if I were blind and I’d practice groping my way around the house in case I ever went blind in the future. I also used to act as if I had no legs, dragging myself around the living room on my forearms. Just plain weird. And it got worse! I even tried to imagine what it would be like to lose a family member, and I’d try to imagine how I would feel, how I would hold it together and be strong.
Our brains can grasp the concept but our emotions cannot
I couldn’t prepare then, nor can I prepare now, for real or imagined events. No matter how much we practice in order to face and handle life’s unfortunate events, getting emotionally ready is almost impossible. The brain can grasp the concept, but our emotions cannot. We won’t feel a loss until we suffer it; our emotions can’t be predetermined, foretold, foreseen, and therefore controlled before an event occurs.
Anticipating is in fact an act of domination, trying to control the outcome of our own emotions and lives. How we deal with any event has to do with our life experience, background and education, and still, our reactions are somewhat unpredictable.
How often do we say: I would never do that! And then one day, we find ourselves doing just that which we so adamantly claimed we’d never do.
Let life happen
Learning not to anticipate the future is all about letting go, and letting life happen.
We hope that when the time comes, we’ll do our best and cope in the face of a challenge. But anticipating an event or a loss is something we are just not wired for. We can read as much as we like about self-control, dealing with loss and handling whatever comes our way, but in fact, when the time comes, our emotions will take over.
The only way to understand loss is to experience it, or at least be open to understanding it. If you are experiencing loss and struggling, talk to someone who has gone through it, and learn how they dealt with their emotions.
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