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Sunday, 13 April 2014

What Makes Your World Go Round?

What makes the world go around?  Indeed. I am not concerned with the science of it, I am asking about what keeps us going.  What keeps you going?  Big time?  What makes you say Ah!  I can do this!  I can get through!  What makes your world go around?

It depends on your starting point, I suppose.  Does your world need to be kept going round?  The assumption there is that it is not going round, or not going around enough, or the effort of keeping it going by yourself is too hard.  Or that your world has stopped turning completely.

It is also possible that your world is spinning quite fabulously, and when you get a moment, you think Yes!  I am in a good place, and x is the thing that is keeping my world turning, or y is the reason all is so good.  And, you may say to your friends, this x and y are universal, these are the things that keep everyone's world turning.  At times like these, it is wonderful to have the answer, and it is wonderful to understand how things are going so well, and the x and y make so much sense, and they are right.  It is true, it is very true, they are the things that are keeping your world going round, right now.

When something stops your world from turning quite so well, that is when your x and y no longer work.  For the moment.  It is possible that they are very good, and in time, they will work again.  When your world, for some reason, slows down, stops turning, or turns too fast, the very fact that you are in a difficult place means that the things that you thought were keeping your world turning, that x and y, have temporarily stopped working.

Here is what I think.  When your world is not going round, when it stops, and it becomes clear that things are wrong, when we are faced with things we would rather not face, when we are surprised by something unpleasant, so much so that we say that our world is no longer going round, one of our first reactions is to feel fear.  We didn't know this thing, these things, could happen.  We didn't see it coming, or we did see it coming, and it is worse than we imagined.  Our safety has gone.  We feel diminished.  Before our world was slowed down, we had substance, we were part of a good plan and we were players in that good plan of our lives.  When our world is no longer going round, we feel we are of no substance at all, and no longer in control, we realise that we are just a speck of dust, we revolve around the world, it does not revolve around us.  We are so small. And this is where we have to relearn.  What will make our world go around again?  When we feel our world has stopped, what do we do?  What do you do?  Do you remember?  Did you have a strategy for recovery, or did you react, like most of us do, into the fear and make things worse?  Did you lay down and say, it's all downhill from now, I cannot cope nor change anything, it is all over?  How did you manage?  Have you managed?

I have spoken to a couple of people about this subject this week.  It seems that the thing that makes the world start turning well again, is a decision.  A decision not to be consumed by the reasons one's world stopped turning. "I decided," said one lady, "that it would do me no good to carry on being so consumed by my distress.  I had to make a decision to stop.  My reactions to these events was harming myself and my children, I was not making anything any better.  It was hard and counter intuitive, but I made a decision to move on." The events in her life could not be changed, and the people concerned would not be affected by her distress, she had to do something about it herself in order to make her own world work again.  To be blunt, no one else particularly cared.  But she did it, and she talks about it now with a smile.

 The second person I spoke to about this was a man who is facing the reality of his cancer, his treatment, and his limits.  He told me that he has forced himself to sit with his fear. "I am frightened all the time," he says. "But I can cope with it if I sit and accept it, if I let myself look into my fear.  I can get through the day," he says, "because I am not just my fear, my fear is just a part of me, and I have not lost the other parts of me."  His decision was to face the thing that was threatening to overtake his life, in order to keep living with all the other things that were good but obliterated by the panic. "I made a decision," he said, "and today, I am OK".

When I am having a good time, all is going well, I will tell you that what makes my world go round is love, tea, cake, friends, lists, plans and being nice.

When I am faced with bad stuff, and I have thought about this recently, I will tell you that what makes my world go round, is me.  It is up to me.  Helped by friends, and kindness, helped by time and thinking things through, the main ingredient of my life going well, is me.

Perhaps then, what makes your world go around, truly, is you.  All the other things that help to make your world go round are still there, and are of great value, but they cannot do the job for you.  I will leave you with the image, light hearted but possibly relevant, of the Kick Ass Angel.  We all need a bit of her.


Kick Ass Angel is no slouch.  Painted by me for me, when I needed her.