I'm out of town this week, doing research for my travel guide. So I'll be posting a few quick thoughts to help you consider how you're handling your own challenges these days.
One thing I'd like to point out that occured to me during my bike rides--and it was something that I learned later to apply to other areas in my life--was the need to be aware. I believe I've mentioned this before, but riding a bike on a street that carries a lot of traffic meant I had to pay careful attention if I wanted to arrive back home safely.
There were several times where I could have easily gotten clipped by a car that pulled out too far past a stop sign and didn't see me. It's a bit jarring, to say the least, to see a big truck, for instance, coming at you full speed and you're just on a skimpy little mountain bike. Even though I do wear a helmit, I wouldn't be so sure that would save my life. So I learned quickly that when I'm riding anywhere near traffic I do need to pay attention. In certain circumstances, I may have the right of way, but it won't matter if the driver in a car is speeding, can't slow down soon enough, or doesn't see me coming. It was easy for me to see that I really needed to be responsible for my own life. I couldn't exactly expect someone else to do that for me.
It's like that in a relationship as well. If it turns sour, you may not see it coming, but if you're paying attention, the odds are that you will. You might even be able to turn the situation around if you catch it in time. But if you can't turn it around and right the relationship, at least you can save yourself. If you know what's coming--and you don't ignore it--you'll be better prepared to handle what comes next. That is, if you pay attention.
Learning to become aware is about developing that sixth sense, your intuition.
So here's a question for you to think about as you begin a new week:
Can you think of a time when you felt that something wasn't going quite right in your life, you didn't know exactly what it was, but you were aware--what did you do about it? If you ignored it at first, did the feeling coming back? What happened then? If you can come up with several instances of awareness, journaling about them might help you begin to see a pattern. What you don't want to see is a pattern, for example, that illustrates that you tend to ignore problems even when you're aware of them.
This was an issue I had to work on with my therapist. I wasn't aware I ignored my problems in the hopes they'd go away, or that they'd correct themselves over time. I wasn't aware I was doing that, but I was. And problems don't just go away. They generally just get worse...until there's no turning back or you reach that dead end.
Awareness is key to solving many of our personal challenges. I'll say this again and again, because it's that important. If you think you have an issue with this, don't hesitate for a second to call a counselor. A good one will help you correct this behavior pattern. Sometimes, all it takes is becoming aware that you're not aware.
All my best,