If life feels a little unsettling lately, it isn’t you. We’re all feeling it. We’re all feeling somewhat out of control. Okay, maybe way out of control.
Financial pressures. Health fears. Government mandated self-imprisonment. Depression-era GDP. Parents stuck with their kids. Kids stuck with their parents.
The worst part is there’s little we can do about it. That’s where feelings of helplessness come from. Persistent feelings that it’s always going to be this way, that things will never return to normal, can lead to depression.
But is that really as foreign as it sounds?
Turns out, you’ve been living in this situation since the day you were born. And you know what? You’ve done all right. You’ve adapted. You’ve handled it. You’ve survived. We all have. Because we’re made for this.
Life is a never-ending struggle between control and chaos.
While we seek to maintain consistent financial, physical and mental health, random forces act upon us to upset that fragile balance. That’s just the way of the physical world, so says the second law of thermodynamics. The universe tends toward increasing entropy.
Then again, the universe doesn’t always get its way. Not if life has anything to say about it.
It’s no coincidence that the words organ, organism, organize and organization all share the same root, organ, from the medieval Latin meaning “that which performs some function.” Biological organisms and all their works are nature’s answer to chaos.
And yet, biology is no pushover, so says Darwin and his survival of the fittest. Predators can harm us. Bacteria and viruses infect us. Organs fail. Organizations fail. It’s inevitable that we all succumb to the entropy of nature. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Okay, so that does sound a little depressing. But hey, that’s life. And that is the point.
The problems may change. The pressures may wax and wane. But we are built to deal with them. We have mechanisms for dealing with them. We are smart. We figure things out. We solve problems. We have feelings that guide us. We act on what we can change and learn to live in peace with what we can’t.
And get this: We even create our own chaos by taking risks. We buy homes with mortgages we’re not sure we can afford. Have children we have no idea how to raise. Take jobs and promotions we’re not sure we can handle. Create startup companies without knowing if they’ll get funded or not, let alone succeed in the long run.
How is that different from the curves the laws of nature and physics occasionally throw at us?
So chill out. You’ve spent your entire life learning how to do this. You can do this. We all can. We’re made for this. And if you’re worried about when things will return to normal, you can stop worrying. They already have.
Image credit Reema / Flickr