The caterpillar has just realized that she is trapped in her cocoon until she is ready and strong enough to fly on her own. What do you think is going through her mind? I’d like to think she is calm, relaxed, and reflecting on what her future will be like once she is transformed. Perhaps she closes her eyes and in a calm voice whispers to herself, “don’t panic”.
They are only two little words, 8 letters in total but when I speak them or hear them there is no calm in my voice. Recently after a Chinese dinner I opened a fortune cookie. I’m usually very excited to see what lies ahead, but this time when I read those two little words my pulse began to race. All I could think of was why? Why should I not panic? What do I have coming that I will want to or need to panic, and how long to these Chinese fortunes last?
Life is full of bumps along the road and hills to climb and panicking through them will only make it harder to survive. I thought about the past few years and wondered if there were any situations where I did panic, and I was able to think of a few. When I look back on them now I can see that being in a panic mode did not really help me to resolve anything. Then I looked even further back into my marriage, to an incident that if I would have processed it correctly, I would have seen what was happening then, instead of six years later.
When we panic we over-anticipate things which can make it look to us like we are over reacting. That is what happened to me. Instead of calmly looking at the situation one piece of evidence at a time and focusing on the facts and what I was seeing, I panicked. I went into a OMG mode and I missed clues, over looked facts, and ultimately that led me blindly into the false explanation that I would soon accept as truth. Those emotions can cause you to look at things irrationally and at times you may even become fearful and hysterical. I had immediately imagined the worst but because I was in that rushed surge of emotions, I convinced myself that I was wrong. The emotions that panicking brought out of me were crazy, therefore I discounted it all. Since then I have learned to trust my gut feelings and I know now that if I want to really hear them and feel them I have to go through difficult situations in a calm manner.
I can’t go back and change that moment but I can certainly learn from it. I can let that moment go and make sure that in the future I pause before reacting. Storms come and go in our lives just like in the weather. At times we get a warning and other times they just drop out of the sky. It is important that we have our emergency response system working properly. At the first sign of trouble, or when the first dark cloud rolls in….pause….take a deep breath and whisper “don’t panic”, I’ve got this. Then try to focus on the facts and what you need to do in order to grow, change, or move forward out of the storm. Learn what ever life lessons are coming from it, accept any changes, and take pride in knowing that you have survived it. As the storm passes, spread your wings and soar!
I do not even want to imagine how many dizzy butterflies there would be if every caterpillar went into a OMG panic mode when they emerged from their cocoon. Don’t be a dizzy butterfly….take a deep breath….close your eyes…..and whisper “don’t panic”.
Have you panicked and it altered your reasoning? Please share in the comments.