Pick Myself Up and Start All Over Again

Lately there have been unexpected family crises—nothing that couldn’t be solved, mind you, but challenges for sure that involved money (or the lack thereof). As such, when problems arrive—some large and some small—I tend first to panic, then my heart sinks a little, sometimes I cry, and often I can feel myself plummet to a dark land in which I would prefer not to dwell.

Joan Erikson, my mentor, deplored such situations preferring as she would say to remain in the muck as little a time as possible.

Fortunately she left behind her now famous Life Cycle chart which is becoming a more than practical guide in times of trouble.  Based on the fact that we actually grow from adversity and conflict I glanced at the first four challenges to overcome on her list of eight.

So I tried to see if I could, on top of my impending doom, apply her principles:

How could I trust myself in this present situation?  The identify and cling to a small piece of my autonomy principle? If I did that, I would begin to use my innate initiative and become industrious in the process. Taking such action would give me hope, will, new purpose, and a sense of competence.

Voila! I crawled out of the fit and got my power back.  Of course I would have to go through the same process the next time panic hits but now at least it would not stop me in my tracks but propel me (and others) as well.

Thank you Joanie for a “cure” you and your husband designed for all of us years ago.

14 thoughts on “Pick Myself Up and Start All Over Again

  1. hi Joan

    I’m not sure where to start, I have been immersed in your books during our Australian summer and am feeling so inspired. I am in my mid fifties and have been assessing the next part of my life journey. I feel i am on the way with the help from two wonderful women called Joan A and Joan E. Thankyou, Much warmth Helen Rutherford, Sydney

  2. Your writings have been so helpful to so many women in times of trouble. I would love to send back to you the same kind of help and encouragement during this time of your own need. Know that you are loved and appreciated. Be gentle with yourself.

    Peace be with you.


  3. Each time I find a post on your blog you seem to echo my thiughts and offer wonderful and wise words. I loved bing a mom and devoted so much energy and love during those years. My husband travelled and worked long retail hours and was mostly detached so I often felt like a single mom. I have raised 3 wonderfu,l productive and intelligent children who are all professionals. Two have moved away and the son who stayed here, married a spoiled only child who has proven to be quite a challenge in forging a relationship. I am now struggling with an empty house and a detached husband. I survived Brest cancer this past year and hope to attend one of your retreats this year. Please keep your heartfelt words of wisdom coming on your blog. I am off to read your books again. I hope you post 2012 event dates soon…..

    • wendy set yourself a schedule of me things to do…classes, walks, girl time, meditation time…in order to fill up the vessel so drained by others. Go girl, it is your turn and remember joy is a duty.

  4. Several years ago when studying Human Development, I found your books and gained so much from them as they applied to life transitions. I also have found many applications for Joan Erikson’s strengths-focused life cycle stages…what a gift walks on the beach with her must have been. Thanks for sharing…

  5. I’ve quietly been awaiting your return, but I know how challenging life is sometimes, and it’s not always the “hard” stuff of life that is challenging. Good stuff takes over your life at times as well….like planning a daughter’s wedding . But for me, in between all of this stuff, I started a new writing class with seniors (at 58 I qualify now) and I’m constantly amazed at how much we classmates have in common, even though we’ve lived such different lives. For me, this once a week adventure is a breath of fresh air that fills me with renewal. The best to you and yours.

  6. Joan, what a gift this was to read today. I have been so down in the dumps for 10 days. Beating up myself because of my decision to rescue my husband once again.
    And wondering what in the world is wrong with me. Well, I just have to pick myself up again. I can do it. It’s not harder. I just need to stop second guessing myself and realize it’s just a process I have to go through every now and again.

    My family loves for me to be this way. What in the world do they know about me?

    all my love

    • we deserve autonomy…to be just ourselves for ourselves…they all go on with their lives getting what they want from their lives while we notice their problems and make them our problems…we need to work on making our problems disappear so we can have clarity and grace! I love you

  7. I just sat down at my computer and noticed you had a new addition to your blog. When i sat down i had on my shoulders the weight of a problem that i had to figure out how to solve and still keep 4 other people happy. After reading what you wrote i realized everybody is trying to figure out some issue or another and it is just something we have to forge ahead through and get to the other side of. So now i am going to get out your books and find that life cycle chart, re-read it, and apply it to myself regarding my current problem. Thanks for your honesty. Thanks for what you share of yourself. It really does help!! I am sending good thoughts your way….

    • since returning from Iona I have used the mantra “I trust all will be well…all will be as it should be.” And then I calm right down. I have also taken to wear a bracelet of hemotite (I think) which repells negative energy.

  8. As an unfinished woman, I too explore possibilities of surviving crises. Your book “A year by the Sea” inspried me to surge forward and accept, or challenge what I face. Wanting to share my journey of beginning to know myself, I have invited friends to a silent retreat, November 12th, at our “fishcamp” on the bay in Mobile, AL. We are calling it “A Day at the Bay……a womans silent retreat”. The only rules we have are….silence. We will join together for lunch and dinner and a bowl of gumbo at which time we may talk… otherwise there will be silence. Although reading you book was not a requirement, it was a strong suggestion. Do you have any suggestions for this event or guidelines? Thanks, Susan

    • Yes…when you break the silence let there be form to it…some music perhaps and then each person saying what they “heard” in the quiet of their hearts, what the worth of silence is, and for each to read anything from their journal entries.

      Each of my weekend retreats include silent time and the women reappear with blissful looks on their faces.

      I think the best part of silence is not having to respond as women are trained to do in almost every circumstance.

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