Friday, 15 October 2010
Life's little dress rehearsals
As I reflected on yesterday's blog, I realised that life is constantly preparing us for the next stage. It is constantly providing us with new experiences and the opportunity to learn the skills that will enable us to deal with the next life stage... and the next... and the next...
As I said yesterday, realising that I have no control over when the baby decides to arrive is a lesson in acceptance and surrender... and we adults do like to have control over our lives. But having children demands more acceptance and surrender than we normally experience as non-parents.
Equally, as a first time mother, the idea of caring for another human being sometimes overwhelms me, but I realise that, when I was single, I used to wonder about the limitations of being in a relationship. Yet when I was in a relationship, I realised that what I had perceived as limitations previously actually didn't bother me; there was a deeper joy to be had in sharing life and love with someone. Caring for a child has many of the same qualities I developed through relationships, it's just taking them a step further and providing me with an even deeper experience of caring.
At work we are often presented with challenges that seem just that bit bigger than we feel comfortable negotiating. I remember flying to Toronto a few years ago to present my research findings to an international group of business executives - and I remember my anxiety before that presentation! But what I forget is that most of these challenges simply build on smaller challenges that I have successfully navigated in the past: I forgot all my presentational experience prior to that! This was just a slightly different twist on a well-known theme in my life.
As I reflect on my life, I see that I am never as deskilled or incapable as I imagine. Nor am I ever as abandoned by life as I imagine. I already have building blocks in place to help me cope with each new challenge as and when it arises.
Life is kind, I believe, and it is always providing me with little dress rehearsals and then inviting me to apply what I have learnt in a slightly new or more dynamic way. It would be more accurate to admit that I am just reluctant to grow sometimes: and it helps to remember that I already have the latent ability to surf the waves of life.