Learning is the Answer to Coping
Learning is the answer to Coping. Coping has a place in life, but a very temporary one. It’s when the unexpected rains down on you and you fall into a tailspin. What’s important changes; ambiguity and confusion run high; and all the usual props in life no longer work. Coping is groping for the next breath of air. It’s so personal that no one could understand why you think or react the way you do, because they are not in the same place. It’s where all your strengths and weaknesses are made manifest.
Coping gets by; Learning grows by. Coping should be a temporary place of regrouping and recovering. If we focus on what hurts, the situation that caught us off guard grows into our reality. Try this. Make yourself a student in life. Everything is something to learn from. To grow from. Be an observer of life and not just the ‘feeler’ of it. Put the pain on hold while you ponder it. Ignore the immensity in your mind to consider it in light of eternity. If this jump can be made, then you can explore more about you. More about God. More about life in general. Life is not good or bad; it’s just here and you get to understand it. And the more you understand it, the more you can choose to change it. And the more you choose to change it, the more you can use your mind, your heart and your feelings toward a positive end. This is called Learning.
Watch your mouth. Coping is just enough to get by. A common expression today, when you ask someone how things are going, is “Just making it.” Just hanging in there. Just getting by. What a damaging way to look at life. It reeks of a victim mentality. We call it the PLOM syndrome (po’ liddle ole me). Sort of like swimming upstream against life. Like Rocky trying to make it through the 9th round.
We speak what we get. If you say you had a hard day, guess what? Your feelings will agree with that. What if instead of “hard” you used the word “full?” Because this is accurate, too. “Full” accomplished something. “Full” experienced something. “Full” learned something. The feelings that complement “full” are more optimistic, “full-filled,” and more like reality. You choose what you say. If life is beating you up, then you are beating you up.
Native Indian proverb: “It’s better to know there’s a waterfall ahead than hear one ahead.” The choice to look at life in a learning mode is best practiced before it’s needed. Trying it in the middle of a deep tailspin is hard to do. So begin now to realize that “just enough” can also be the same as “more than enough.” That life is meant to be experienced (the highs and the lows) and not just to make us happy. So, go ahead. Choose to change today before you have to change tomorrow. Make all of life a discovery process. A learning experience.