Seeing through the Storm

Think of the eye of a hurricane. It is the mostly calm region at the center of the violent, high-powered storm that experiences the least amount of pressure as everything swirls around it in complete chaos.

In the eye, there is sunshine, peace and clarity.

Now that is a metaphor for facing the stresses of life if I ever heard one.

In good times, it is easy to maintain a clear, peaceful perspective since we don’t feel threatened or pressured. But what about when we are being criticized, insulted or having our buttons pushed?

Or what if we hate our job or the career we’ve chosen?

Can we keep our perspective then?

This is the real test. For life is just that, a series of tests with numerous quizzes and bigger exams along the way to make sure we are honing our life-coping skills and taking good notes at every step.

And, fortunately, there are things we can do. The next time we find ourselves in the middle of such a ‘stress test’, we can remind ourselves of these three helpful items:

1) Don’t get so caught up in the moment you are unable to see through or around it. Reacting with similar emotions to the emotional folks criticizing you is a recipe for disaster. For if you become the storm yourself, as opposed to thinking clearly and rationally, you’ll never be able to locate the calm eye in the middle where you can see your next best step. And if your life or career path stresses you out, then get a new game plan.

2) Find a quiet space, even if just for a few moments, to breathe deeply. Convert your fear, anxiety or emotions into positive energy by shutting the negative voices out for a moment so you can regain a sense of self, perspective and clarity. Then move from there.

3) Recognize the eye of the storm you are looking for is already within you. In the midst of turmoil, you should recognize you don’t have to look elsewhere for your answers or peace of mind. They are already at your core, you just have to listen and enable them. Sure, you can take advice or seek the counsel of others but, ultimately, you have to decide how you navigate the situation or, at least, which recommended course to follow. And you can’t do this if the storm is blowing you away from your center in a bunch of different directions at once.

So be the eye.