You know how Indiana Jones or James Bond get into a scrape, there they are just doing their job when all of a sudden Indiana James is fighting with a really mean guy, and just when it looks as bad as it can get . . . it gets even worse.
Suddenly others have been alerted and now there are a squadron of truly mean guys after Indiana James — but he ekes out an escape — somehow, narrowly, daringly — really he should have died. And just as he’s wiping the relieved bloody sweat off his brow . . . it gets even worse!
Why do writers write this stuff?!
Because they’ve lived life. For every one of us going through something awful — I’m not making light of it here, whatever it is, it is awful — we’ve lived this plotline too.
The writers may not have lived the Indy James adventure they’re writing about, but they’ve lived long enough to know that loss gathers upon loss. Our writer may have lost a job, then a girlfriend, then an apartment, then his car, then his pet fish he won at a carnival . . . .
That’s how calamity feels. You go straight to the bottom. Then you go through what you thought was the bottom. You go through successive bottoms. You may even utter, “The worst is behind us.” And then . . . it gets even worse . . . .
I write this in the middle of losing something so dear in our business it’s more important than money, though it is money — a lack of it — that precipitates the loss. I’ll write about that loss in a future article. I note this here because just a week and a half ago I had to face what I felt to be an unimaginable loss. This is not abstract to me.
The worst point is the realization point. It’s not the physical low or the financial low — it’s the emotional low you experience once the severity of the situation dawns on you.
It’s important to reflect on this: It’s the thoughts we have about a crisis that unmoor us! Not the circumstance itself.
I know this because I’ve lived merrily through situations in the past two and half years that in my mind, prior to their occurrence, filled me with dread.
It was the dread of the imagined circumstance, not the living out the actual circumstance, that was the abyss.
Have you ever tripped into a crisis and suffered a brooding paralysis bordering on catatonia — and then discovered that once you decided to face it square on you felt liberated?
That’s the thing about dire circumstances, you never know true, absolute zero till you’ve come through it. Then you’re looking back and you recognize, oh yeah, that was the very lowest point right there — right before I made a decision to confront it full on.
You even think, had I known how freaky beautiful it would be on the other side I wouldn’t have mourned the losses so greatly.
That’s the other thing. We always get to the other side. Even in an illness that leads to death there’s always the other side. In that other side there is all that we deem good.
There is peace there.
It’s also on this side too.
This post was inspired by a conversation with my Brony today — my brother Tony. Thanks my bro!