Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Do Things Go Awry?


Art Therapy Exercise


Why Do Things Go Awry?


Why is that? Life is going on smoothly then all of a sudden a friend gets angry, a job opportunity goes out the window or family member is in trouble. Whatever the scenario is, it appears that life is falling apart. If two things go array, then I wait for the third. Habit I guess. Or a belief that things will magically turn around after the third disappointment. When we are happily moving through life why do we seem to miss a step and then fall flat on our face? Well, we could blame it on the Wheel of Fortune, the concept that we will eventually become down, or karma, or that things fall apart so we can appreciate what is working.
Maybe dips, dark periods, down times, chaos happens so we can wake up, let go of old ways and become liberated from our patterns. Maybe things fall apart because they have run their course and there is nothing sustaining them any longer.
I have just experienced a disappointing run of what I would label bad luck or bad things happening to me. When I examine each one, the truth is that I always had a doubt or halfhearted desire or fear that they were not what I wanted. I just ignored that feeling and hoped that things would be okay. When these relationships fell apart and the conflicts occurred, they really were just a reflection of my original doubt, fear or not wanting. In truth I see that I was not emotionally, cognitively or spirituality really aligned with any of them. But I also did not want the relationships or opportunities to be disruptive. A part of me knew that they could be and would eventually be.
This is not a one-time event it is a universal experience that when we travel through life some events and relationships that we engage in will go sour and others will fall away or become conflicted. I personally find that I grow faster if I stop associating disappointing times with bad luck, or negativity. If I genuinely look at these times I can see how I should have been clearer from the start with this person or not taken on a job that I knew was going to end in a loss. I can also be kinder with myself knowing that I grow when I take risks, make mistakes and I can try to see breakdowns as a way of breaking through and becoming clearer about my true intent and desires. My preconceived ideas that the world should always work for me is a sweet idea, but not exactly good for my growth. It would get boring to never have my dependence on safety, desire to be liked, and want to have everything in my life run smoothly to be challenged. I don’t like chaos but I do like getting clearer even if it hurts a little.

Try this Art Therapy Exercise:

Do some deep breathing, get centered and calm. If one of the disappointing events involved another person, try to visualize them there with you. Imagine your first meeting or initial responses to this person. Let yourself enjoy the pleasurable parts of this remembering, but also check and see if there had been some red flags. Now take yourself to the present moment and write down three things that you did in this relationship that you are proud of. Release this with a breath. Now write down three things that you learned or would like to not repeat in your next relationship. Release this with a breath. Now draw three things that you are grateful for in the here and now.


5 comments:

Ms. ∆×∆p×≥h/4π said...

Perfect for a friend of mine today, and for me when the time comes round again. Thanks for sharing your honest wisdom. the exercise is such a good idea. We tend to push away those hurts, or make them worse by stewing over them rather than nurturing and healing them, when the simple act of turning towards them with acceptance, and understanding could be the better choice.

Karen Wallace said...

Thanks for your comment. Always love hearing from you. Hugs Karen

asahi princess said...

very thought provoking.

Café Ciza said...

As I read through your post, I found a reflection of my thoughts in your words on the subject. It didn't happen over night, but I did learn to look at such events as learning experiences, and recognize the "red flags" early on, which is not easy to do under pressure: peers, society "norms", expectations, and other "noise" flowing through your mind day in and day out. While it's important to hold yourself responsible for the outcome of whatever decisions you may have made at any point it time to get you where you are now, I believe it is even more important to step outside of yourself, recognize the value of the event and add it to your ever-evolving “brain buckets” of do’s, don’ts and other “can do it better” tricks to maintain a healthy mind balance when things go awry. It’s a bit too wordy, I hope it makes sense 

The Creative Beast said...

I've had conversations with an acquaintance about the concept of 'good/bad' in the world and the idea that we could always be experiencing joy and happiness at every moment, but I often wonder if such a thing is truly possible - how would we know what is 'good' if we do not experience the 'bad' to make a comparison? Your words about the dark times and chaos happening to help us wake up or let go of old ways really resonates for me.

Also, your words regarding not listening to one's inner voice or instinct is spot on. I am trying to listen to my instincts when they are telling me that I may be taking on more than I should =-\

Thank you for another thoughtful post Karen! And thanks to your readers for their great insights - the comments are great to read here =-)

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Karen Wallace M.Ed. BCATR is an art therapist, artist, and art instructor living and working in Regina SK. Canada. She has a private practice with adults and children and specializes in depression, trauma, life transition and abuse work. She facilitates art therapy, creativity and art groups. She teaches internationally. She shows her mixed media art in galleries in Regina, Victoria B.C. and the Gulf Islands. Karen is known for her enthusiastic and dynamic teaching style. Her workshops are rich, playful and creative. Karen’s art work is a reflection of her art therapy work. She expresses her love of nature, her practice of Buddhism and her family in her art. Web site: www.islandnet.com/~kwallace