Challenges and Chaos In your Life Actually Be a Gift?"
by Susie and Otto Collins
Here's a quick question for you...
Has there ever been any period in
your life where things were difficult, painful, where
you experienced what seemed like more than your share of
problems, things seemed wacky, or even felt chaotic?
For most of us the answer is a
For some, these periods of chaos
are shorter and less painful
than for others-- but we all seem
to have these periods of time
where we experience pain or chaos.
It just seems to be a part
of this experience we call life.
Here's what's interesting...
Not always, but very often, it's
out of the painful moments and
chaos in our lives that we find the
impetus to create a better
life for ourselves.
It might have been leaving a
dissatisfying, dead-end job for a
much better one. It might have been
leaving a relationship
that didn't work out and moving on
to a more loving one-- or
it might have been any number of
other "disasters" that
turned into blessings.
For the two of us, we've had
several chaotic periods in our lives
and one of the most painful was
when our previous marriages
What we've both discovered is that
what emerged from the
chaos of the experience of our
previous marriages breaking
up was the vision of what we wanted
in an intimate relationship
and what we have been able to
create with each other.
While neither one of us is a
scientist, we've been studying
people who talk about something
called the "chaos theory."
So, while we're not going to bore
you with a big description
about "chaos theory". ... what we
will tell you about it is that
it's in these seemingly random,
chaotic events that turn
your life upside down where the
growth happens within
you and your life.
What are we saying here and what
does it mean for you
and your relationships and life?
What we're suggesting is that every
time life "throws
you a curve" and these apparently
random, chaotic events
happen that knock you off your
center, you have a choice to
You can let the chaos of life knock
you out and keep you
down OR you can choose to find
meaning and order out
of these difficult times that spur
you into a better life--a life
that is more expansive and filled
with more of what you want.
Most of us usually try to avoid
chaos, disruptions and
problems, but problems and chaos
is where the growth is.
In avoiding dealing with the chaos,
we also try to avoid
feeling our feelings and usually
don't recognize our
resistance to "what is" and "what
We keep repeating the patterns of
the past and just
want to get rid of the "chaos" and
the "problems" that
are created so that we can have
We don't look at the enormous
opportunities that can
come from changing our attitudes
and beliefs about
the chaotic times in our lives and
we stay stuck.
So how do you change your attitude
about the chaotic
times in your life and actually use
them to help you to
create better relationships, more
love and a better life?
Here are some ideas that we use
during those times
that helps us to make sense of
what's happening and
bring "order" to the chaos...
1. Look at the problem or challenge
as an opportunity
for learning something new about
yourself or your
partner. This is sometimes easier
said than done but
we've found that as we are mulling
over the situation,
searching for an answer, if we just
open to seeing
what it is that we can learn from
it, solutions seem to
2. Be easy about all of it. Be more
loving toward yourself,
toward your partner and also toward
the situation. Most
of the time, the situations that we
create that are filled
with problems or challenges are not
nearly as big or as
serious as we make them out to be.
Our minds work overtime and we
start assuming things
that may not be true, creating more
chaos in the process.
We suggest that you stop your
churning mind, bring
your attention and love to your
heart area, breathe and
3. Bring yourself into the present
moment. So often, we
stay stuck in what happened in the
past and what might
happen in the future. We've found
that if we just deal with
our present circumstances, we soon
find a solution to
whatever is challenging us. Know
that this situation is
temporary and will pass.
4. If possible, find the humor in
the situation and find
ways to be grateful for what is
going "right" in your life.
We know from experience that if you
focus on gratitude
and humor, the uncomfortableness
eases and you will
attract to you more of what you
want instead of what
you don't want.
5. Find things that you love to do
and that bring you joy.
One of those things that brings
Otto joy is listening to music.
So when he feels that life is
overwhelming, chaotic and he's
"out of sorts," he listens to some
really good music. When
he allows himself to focus on the
music and how much he is
enjoying himself listening to it,
he usually shifts from his
negative funk to a more joyful
state of mind.
Start focusing on the positive
aspects of something new,
something that you enjoy or that
you find pleasurable--
even if it's a very small thing
that's going right in your
life like a warm bath. Instead of
focusing on your problems
and the chaos, if you begin to
focus on something more
positive, your situation will
As you read this, you might be
saying to yourself that
these ideas sound too easy and good
to be true and that
you have real problems and
challenges in your relationship
and your life that don't seem to be
We agree that life can throw some
pretty rough curves
from time to time that can seem
impossible to move past.
When we're caught in the chaos and
often can't see our way out and may
beat ourselves up
for getting in them in the first
We're saying that these are the
perfect times to change
your thinking about what chaos and
in your life and relationships. If
there truly is perfect
order in the chaos, then you can
begin to take some
baby steps that will bring you out
of your situation
and into a better life.
It seems to be human nature to want
to snap our fingers
and see all of our challenges and
The two of us have discovered that
understandings, growth, and our
ability to connect
deeper have come from moving
through these challenges
and not instantly having the
While it might seem that life would
be easier and certainly
more peaceful if we didn't have to
go through these periods
of chaos, that's where we find the
greater impetus to move
us forward to deeper love,
sensuality, connection and
understanding of ourselves and each
So, this week we suggest that you
take a fresh, new
look at the situations or times
where chaos pops up
in your life and what you can learn
Find order and meaning in it as you
through it and be in gratitude for
the amazing journey
you are on.