Mercury Retrograde. PMS. Midlife Crisis. Menopause.

These are just some of the examples of when we feel lost, that things go spinning out of control, there are crashes and explosions, it seems like people become the worst of themselves, things get ripped away, our mouth cops can shut down completely, and people turn into aliens we have never met before.  It’s horrifying and can freeze us in place or leave us wailing “Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy…!!!!”  These are the times when not only can we not manage to cope well if at all, but we can’t seem to even find solid ground from which to pull together a coping skill or two.  In fact, it can seem as if our coping skills got tossed out with the garbage and the garbage pickup was yesterday.  😛

What’s interesting is that it doesn’t have to be this way.  Our culture sets us up for these massive repeated failures and face plants by teaching us that life is to be coped with.  Our true selves, our nature which doesn’t fit into the rhythms, or lack there of, in “normal” life is something we are taught to suppress, confine, control, and constrain so we can fit in, make progress, achieve, and have.  We should be linear, mechanical, dependable, and conforming in our relationships, our work, our hobbies and our habits.  So of course we cope on a regular basis, forcing ourselves into unnatural shapes and behaviors and taking ourselves to task when things don’t go right.  Then when something disrupts our coping life is like a cartoon destruction where everything goes sproing and we’re left with stars and birds circling our heads and our eyes rolling.

Instead, if we see life as being meant to fit us and not the other way around, we start needing to cope less and we’re able to live more.  This doesn’t mean magical thinking, but claiming our right to have a life with work, family, friends, and activities which support it instead of the opposite.  If we are doing that, living instead of coping, then these moments when things stop being uniform, when things turn inward, where we become sensitive to our inner life and inner balance, won’t spin us out of control or cause an explosion.  We won’t need to blow up with repressed rage, spew truths we can no longer hold in, tell our boss to shove it, walk away from a life that is killing us, have the affair, or crash and burn from the accumulated ills of all our addictions.  Instead they will be welcome moments when we can acknowledge who we are, what’s left to be done, and where we are headed.  They can be great checkins to see where things need a bit more balance and where there are new doors to explore and new adventures to embrace.

It can be very good to stop coping.  As we come out of this years last Mercury Retrograde, how are you’re coping skills doing?  Ready to let some of them go?