Which side is up?
Don't worry that your Life
is turning upside down.
How do you know that
the side you are used to
is better than the one to come?
Human beings are creatures of habit. Change that arrives without having specifically been invited is often viewed as disastrous.
Life is really minimally under human control, but most people carefully craft and attempt to control their lives, to not have to face this reality. Many people think they know what is best for their individual lives (not to mention the world at large); everyone certainly has their preferences ( based on their lives so far).
When that carefully crafted life is confronted with a challenge, when life feels like it is turned upside down, panic often ensues. A health issue, a lost job, relationship or home can all feel catastrophic. It's hard to imagine that the upside down vantage point might be beneficial, might even be better!
How life being turned upside down effects each individual has a lot to do with how change was experienced and dealt with in childhood. Was it something to be avoided at all costs? Or was if faced head on, encouraged?
It can be growthful, although upsetting, to be forced to see things from a different perspective, to shake things up and challenge what has become known, familiar and comfortable. There may be grief for what is lost, but there are new things to experience, see and live when the world tilts in the other direction.
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Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley