To be or to pretend? That is the question. While the answer may appear obvious, the process of getting there is not always so easy. Last month I read Glennon Melton Doyle’s Love Warrior and couldn’t put it down. The insights in this book are rich and run deep — I had to share.
Love is powerful — but love doesn’t make us impermeable or immune to pain. When things don’t go as planned, we can run and hide, or we can learn to be a Love Warrior. We can choose to be honest, and not pretend. We can learn be our best selves as bravely and as imperfectly as possible.
“None of us wants me to try and pass off cowardice for strength, wilful ignorance for loyalty, codependence for love. … [My daughter] needs me to show her not how a woman pretends her life is perfect but how a woman deals honestly and bravely with an imperfect life.” p.151
When there is a crisis we can choose to show up. I pulled out five insights from the book to help us do just that (p.s. there are many, many more). I hope they help you — do better by thinking better.
How we see crisis.
How we choose to see crisis can shape everything. Crisis can be the end or a beginning. It can be an invitation to show up in a new way. It can be an opportunity to feel things you never felt, to ask questions never explored, and to move in directions never imagined. Crisis is a place you can allow your mental emotional muscles to process new information to take you to new heights. Crisis makes us look in the mirror and re-evaluate. It can make us more accoutable and self aware, if we let it.
Crisis, as Glennon illustrates, is when a great shift happens to show us what really matters to us and what doesn’t.
Then we can use it as fuel and choose growth.
Q. Can you think of a time when you were in crisis and it brought about new insights? How do you apply those insights today?
How we receive the crisis.
How we receive the crisis is just as important as how we see our own crisis. This too is our opportunity to show up. Show up for for someone else. Not with tired platitudes because sitting in the pain and uncertainty is too uncomfortable for you (“The Shover” p. 146). Not by trying to normalise and respond to each point with “yes, that is just like …” (“The Comparer” p. 147). Your job isn’t necessarily to fix it either, moving too fast towards your perceived solution might push someone faster than they are ready to go (“The Fixer” p. 147). Don’t make this about you, your needs, and your process (“The Victim” p. 148). And don’t make this an opportunity to get all the details because that is just satisfying your curiosity — that is not caring or careful (“The Reporter” p. 148).
Crisis is a sacred place, and if you have to honour of being someone’s witness, be just that. Sit with them and hold space. Be there to say that they matter, this moment matters, and you are there just to be there.
Q. Can you think of a time when someone close to you was in crisis and what helped and didn’t? How do you apply those insights today?
How to sit with crisis.
Crisis can be a time of great pain and confusion. Be still with it. Instead of wishing it away, stay. Don’t run from the grief, confusion, anxiety, or uncertainty. Be here, with all the feelings. They are here to teach you.
“Instead of slamming the door on pain, I need to throw open the door wide and say, come in. sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know” p.201
We are sold quick fixes to escape these moments of crisis. Instead, stay in that space. There are lessons to be learned. This is where your grit and resilience are born. This is an opportunity for you to resurrect stronger and truer.
“Don’t avoid the pain. You need it. It’s meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you’ll burn to get your work done on this earth” p.203
Q. Can you think of a time when you were in crisis and you met it with stillness? What did you learn by doing that? How do you apply those insights today?
How we tell the story of crisis.
Watch your narrative. Beware of the stories you tell yourself and ask yourself how they are helping or hindering your growth.
“The way the brain works is this: we make a hypothesis about someone, and then our brain searches for information to verify our hypothesis.” p186
This can be very dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy. Your beliefs are just thoughts repeated. You can box yourself and others if you don’t actively look at your narrative. In a crisis we usually want to be right and make everyone else wrong. This type of thinking can make us blind to what is actually going on and hold us back from our true growth.
Q. Can you think of a time when you were in crisis and your narrative wasn’t helping you move forward? What did you learn? How do you apply those insights today?
How we move with crisis.
It’s all connected. At MINDSHIFT NINJA, we see it as your ecosystem. To move through and with crisis you have to connect your mind, body and soul. You have to learn and trust the conversations happening in your whole self.
“I knew I was put on the earth to love and to learn. I knew that. I just didn’t know I needed my body to do both.” p.194
You can pretend that it is not connected, but eventually the disconnect, the cracks, will show up. It’s not an easy feat at times, and it’s a continuous job to keep everything aligned, but that is where the work and beauty lie. This is a process, it is not about perfection. It’s about striving to connect your whole self and your whole life.
Q. How can your use your ecosystem to create more balance in your life?