Yesterday, I Panicked! That feeling of “Oh, No!–This can’t be happening!” My panic wasn’t the result of the most awful thing in the world. No one was hurt; everyone I love was safe and sound, and the earth was still tilted and spinning normally on its axis. But, it was life-shattering for me in my immediate moments of realizing what had occurred.
I put my photo memory card in my computer, and it wasn’t recognized. Of course, no worry yet. I had the brilliant idea of trying it in my camera. It would certainly read in there. But, NO! No response, no recognition. Hu? Why? What’s going on here? THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! All of my pictures of my son for the last 6 months—GONE! NO! A portion of the story of our life as a family erased. And of course this is when my heart, Sank. And panic flooded my insides…Hot hands, racing heartbeat, uncontrolled thoughts all dismantled, defeat, worry….
But wait a minute...I don’t want to feel this way!
With everything else calm and quiet around my house, I was able to grab a hold of the chaos inside me, and put it on pause for a few minutes. Okay, brain: You work. You got to help me out here: You [mind] got to get this heart of mine under control, and help me FIX THIS! I won’t accept defeat! Normal brain function returning, I was able to start solving this problem like a puzzle: Getting out another memory card, and examining the two together, I realized a significant part of the edge around the access point of my broken card was missing. So of course the panic returned for a minute, and then my mind started buzzing: “I’VE GOT to FIX THIS, I’VE GOT to FIX THIS!”
Stabilizing myself, I began some creative ideas to fix this. But none seemed practical. And then I paused, as I sat at the window, and I began to say a prayer: “Saint Anthony, I know I ask you to help me with things I have lost, I’ve lost my photos. Please help me find them.“—Connecting to my faith calms me down; it re-centers me….What works for you?? Believe it or not, I started to get my answers. I went back to where I was sitting on the couch the night before, and laying on the rug, was a tiny strip of black plastic. After many cross-eyed tries at the microscopic puzzle and with super-glued fingers, I got that strip back on! I put my memory card gently in my computer. And there were my photos. BREATHE, AGAIN. All was not lost.
I realize this was a lesson for me about Life, not just about this particular moment of panic. I know in many situations when I am panicking I lose all sense of hope; i.e., I become hopeless. I feel like nothing will change. And I get stuck. But yesterday, I handled myself well. I need to remember this experience when I lose control of other parts of my life. I know that I won’t be able to fix everything that’s placed in front of me. But I can learn to work at re-centering myself, and being more intentional about asking for help (because we aren’t made to walk this walk of life alone).
It also made me realize, how much I don’t want to sink into that trap of Depression again. It’s funny how proactive we can be with ourselves, when we are working in opposition to something negative in our lives, isn’t it? And that’s the key here: Yes, I’m writing about not wanting my pictures to be lost, but what I am really writing about is: “I don’t want to get stuck feeling this way!” And wanting to change the way I feel, has great power in it. This power is what I want to hold onto. It’s what we all need to hold onto when we want to change our emotional state in life. It’s not the kind of power that dominates, and dictates, rather it’s the kind of power that is gentle and honest. It’s the kind of power that says to each of us in our own unique way, “ You are going to be okay.” ” You are going to get through this somehow.” And thus, it is the kind of power that also says, “It’s okay if I don’t know the outcome, I’ve just got to give myself the chance to Live through this, rather than being a puppet of panic and anxiety.”
The best part of this lesson learned, is that the strength to get through the obstacles in life is right there inside each and every one of us. And life offers us the opportunity to tap into our inner strength daily. Sometimes this inner strength moves us forward to discover solutions (like fixing my memory card) other times this inner strength teaches us how to take care of ourselves (like in my case asking for St. Anthony’s help…maybe for you its taking a relaxing bath, meditating, admitting when you need to rest, etc).
So know you are not alone when you panic. It’s a very real feeling for all of us. Knowing this is healing. Taking care of ourselves in the midst of struggles is healing.
Somehow all will be well…Life will find its way to take care of you, when you open your arms to receive healing.
Blessings of healing and peace to you,
Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All Rights Reserved.
Please visit my photography site: Naturescapes, Flowerscapes & Life: Photography by Bella Bleue