Ever noticed that just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, something changes and you feel like you’re back to square one?
This reminds me of having a newborn. I remember how much I tried to control my babies. I tried desperately to get them on a schedule so they could accommodate my life and my work schedule. It didn’t go well. I’d get so frustrated when I’d get them into a semblance of routine, and then they’d get a cold, or be teething, or go through a growth spurt, and be up two or three times in the night. Intellectually, I knew this was all normal stuff, but it felt so overwhelming because I didn’t know how to cope with the constant change. I felt like a victim, convinced I was either doing it wrong, or that life just kept screwing me over. When you’re still under the delusion that you can control your life with more grit, discipline, and determination, disappointment is even more crushing when you don’t succeed.
“Nothing is constant but change.”- Buddhist proverb
It’s transformative to reframe the challenges we face into positive indicators of personal growth. The new “devils” are simply new gifts and opportunities for stretching toward fulfillment. Being able to see life’s challenges as gifts and opportunities, rather than punishments, allows us to access the wisest parts of our minds where the circuitry is wired for creativity and problem solving.
Rather than spreading yourself too thin, engineer flexibility into the busyness and anticipate constant change. Remember that the “new devils” that show up in your life aren’t intended to put you through hell. They’re indicator lights signaling that you’ve either already leveled up or that you need to. They’re meant to help you evolve.
If you’re going through a rough patch, know that these levels and devils are stepping stones on a path toward deep wisdom. And, just like the milestones that babies cross over in their early years, it’ll be difficult to remember what life was like before you acquired the skills to manage them.