Give up and don’t feel guilty about it. It’s an intelligent strategy to overcome crisis and life situations bigger than you, impossible type. Simply because it is natural. It’s a route out of ‘by default’ mode.
By default mode is the way you manifest who you think you are. It is a biased way of being and living. It is you during the times when your self-awareness is in sleeping or passive mode. It is the replication of patterns that are not your patterns, but the ones of the people who shaped you in your beginnings. They may be real and functional for your tutors and educators, but they may prove artificial and dysfunctional for you. Who you really are and how your life looks in this version is a different story.
For many people it takes a lifetime to realise the artificiality of their lives, lives built on who they are not. Many times, the blessing that puts an end to this type of artificiality comes undercovered in life crisis and painful situations. It is natural to feel painful because it is not your natural. Pain breaks the bias and it reforms judgement.
„Don’t give up”. A headline we see all over. It is meant to be inspirational, I suppose. Something designed to help us get up when we feel we can’t take it anymore.
I don’t know if this motivational mantra really works for masses, but it surely sells. For me it does not work. It is empty optimism, it lacks the vital part that could help: the technique, the How part.
What works for me is following the natural cycle of the human nature that I am, allowing the processes of my mechanism to fulfil their natural rotations and movements at the interaction with exterior factors, and so, to realign and align themselves with the mechanisms of life, people and world. To integrate myself in the bigger equation, and so, to build bridges between my inner world and the outer world. On short, to adapt.
Sometimes, my natural cycles require me to give up. To give up resisting things that feel more than I can take; a moment, a life happening, a person or even a damaging feeling or emotion.
Giving up by not opposing resistance is not the same thing as allowing this type of implacability to take over me, but to go with the flow for a while, until my mechanism integrates the new unknown in the system that I am, until it learns everything this is, so I can understand it and find the best formula to overcome it, to identify my best response to the How question.
Life happenings have their own nature and flow, they are stand-alone processes, many times unknown in the book of our life experiences. New. If some things are stronger or bigger than me in the moment, allowing my nature to fight against their nature will always defeat me, will always weaken me. It does not make me stronger, it just sucks the vitality out of me.
There is added information in things bigger and stronger than us. To figure out the fastest and the most fulfilling route on how to best conquer such situation often means to let it absorb you, to give up for few miles, so your system can ingest and process that information, something that eventually means an upgrade of the system you are, your knowledge and skills. On short, growing.
It is fundamental logic in the middle. Something bigger and stronger than how much you are now cannot be conquered by using your existing arsenal. You are challenged to diversify it, to upgrade it, to add to it until you get to the point when you have unlocked enough new resources of your intelligence , creativity and emotional response, enough to conquer and move on in a functional and powerful way. And how can you add to it faster, if not by leaving the information of an apparent overwhelming or impossible situation flow through you – to teach you, to show you?
To ingest and to process the stress, to adapt, our brain needs time to make sense of the new realities, our human nature needs a time window to absorb the stress of it in a non-damaging way, to integrate the chemical reaction that unlocked in ourselves when we collided with a new challenge or situation. If we allow this time from the moment of impact, we accelerate our way out of it. Despite appearances, the fastest way for that to happen is to give up at times. To allow yourself to be exactly as you feel to be…numb, for example, or even depressed, but without any type of judgement of your current state, so your brain can focus all its resources and energy to hack the code of the new reality you need to overcome.
During such times you may feel nothing happens in your life, you may perceive life as a torturing waiting time. But this life is entirely about you, it has you in its center, you are its source and resource. It may not seem or feel so, but a lot is happening inside of you. The more puzzle pieces match inside of you, the more clear your life begins to look, feel and happen. A type of clarity aligned with your purpose, vision and values. Its sharpness comes from this alignment.
This way of giving up helps you stay still in the midst of fire and very challenging situations, to stay still until you have what it takes to make another step, not to only survive it, but to also conquer it in a way that allows you to become bigger and stronger than it, than what put you down. This is what adapting really means. This is what the essence of resilience is all about.
Simply surviving a life challenge does not guarantee you can still play the game further at your best. We often survive extraordinary or traumatic situations, just to end up dysfunctional individuals, mechanisms with interrupted connections.
I need to give up, so I can overcome my tendencies, my impulses, and on this route, to unlock the potential of my particular form of intelligence, on my unique surviving strategies.
Human nature is the greatest mysteries of all. It is predictable only from the perspective of tendencies. Tendencies are standards. What is not standard is your core, your Xfactor, the unique fusion of ingredients that makes you You.
If you fall for your tendencies and allow them to be your first emotional response to a challenge, you will despair each time life hits you hard or pushes you on the edges, and on this route, there’ll be less and less of you, you’ll get smaller faster. Life never stops happening and its changes today manifest with higher speeds and growing complexity. We are challenged to ingest and process stress on fast forward. We are challenge to adapt faster, in real time.
Our power lies beneath our tendencies, beneath our almost automatic responses.
I say ‘automatic’ because there is always a second available, a small time window, when we can choose our response and reaction, second we often ignore, thing that pushes us in ‘by default’ mode making us behave like broken dolls with no will of their own or a will that always manifests too late or not at the (right) moment when its most powerful impact may have been achieved.
Guilt: an artificial feeling in ‘by default’ mode
When we feel like giving up, we often feel guilty and even restless. Because we think we ‘waste’ time (life). But we don’t waste time at all, we allow ourselves to recompose, to set the unity that we are (mind, body and spirit) for success, we allow our system to put together the resources it needs to make sense of the surrounding realities and to identify the best routes to reach from point A to point B, the meaning of success at the core.
Allowing ourselves to feel guilty in such moments only consumes our emotional resources, it only weaken us…for nothing. It is a useless feeling that vampirizes our vitality.
Feeling guilty is an artificial tendency, it is not natural. It is induced by what society expresses at the interface, by marketing headlines, by biased or outdated educational and even healing and treatment venues.
If something bad or stronger than me hits me and pushes me out of the road, it is natural to fall or to even experience dissolving feelings. I have no reason to feel guilty or shameful about it. When something induces me pain, it is natural to cry or manifest it. When something makes me happy, it is natural to laugh or to be exuberant.
Adding to this natural emotional flow shame, guilt, worry or other damaging artificial feelings means adding stress. By that, you induce frustration in your system, you induce the feelings of LACK and NOT ENOUGH in your system, you diminish your potential of emotional response, the potential of your capacity to feel and live well.
Judging: an artificial tendency that feels natural in ‘by default’ mode
Adding stress is the natural effect of the artificial tendency of judging.
What is judging at its core? If you think about it, judging is the choice to use only a small part of who you are by shutting down the rest that makes you You. At its core, it means using unprocessed words to frame reality before allowing your entire system to ingest it and process it. Unprocessed words express unprocessed emotions and feelings, they are the expression of your ‘by default’ mode.
Pain: a natural way to walk out from who we are not through what we perceive as change
If you noticed, as humans we only change when there are no other options available for our surviving. Change comes as our last choice, as that thing we avoided all along, often perceived as forced by circumstances. For this reason, we often feel different, new or difficult life situations painful or uncomfortable experiences, things that often come into our lives under the form of crisis or violent interactions or happenings. At least this is how we perceive and feel them.
The truth is crisis was there long before it manifested. Its premises started to fall together the day we chose to remain rigid in our routines by ignoring too much the changing nature of the world and life itself. For this reason, we feel uncomfort and even pain in situations that are not as dramatic as they seem or really are, but also anxiety and depression when the challenges we face are really complex and difficult to manage.
During such times, we feel pushed on the edges, we have the feeling of experiencing self and life margins, but the truth beneath this sensation is that we are only pushed on the edges of the ‘by default’ routines and biased thinking, things that mark the borders and limits of a reality that is no longer or not well enough connected with the new realities of the surrounding world, things that sometimes also point out to who we are not (anymore).
Change should be our first choice, a daily practice until it becomes a reflex.
Pain does not come from crisis breaking the bubble, but from the changes we need to make to connect our life with the surrounding life, to integrate it in the world’s dynamic.
By embracing pain we accelerate our way out of crisis. By resisting it, we only allow despair to grow, and by that, we diminish our vitality and resilience capacity, we slow down our way out of crisis.
Depression: part of the solution, not a problem
From this perspective, what we perceive and feel as depression is not a dysfunction of the brain or a chemistry imbalance, it would have been easily ‘treatable’ if so. Depression is often a way out of a life mode where we are not who we are or who we feel we can be, it is a flashing signal pointing out the areas where we need to intervene in our lives, the direction we should take.
Depression often comes accompanied by pain because it is born in disconnections. We are not well when parts of us are disconnected, when our natural flow can’t flow through our entire system. Disconnections happen under our supervision through our ‘by default’ routines, from trauma or too stressful or difficult life situations managed with too much self consumption and self judgement.
Many times depression is nothing else but unexplored, ignored, suppressed or unseen parts of you, parts that ask for their right to come to existence, that are vital for you to reach your potential, your good state of being and living, that are essential for your overall well being and happiness.
From this perspective, depression is your inner voice telling you „I am not here as a problem, I am here as part of the solution, as a friend. I am here so you can understand by feeling that you cannot settle in ways that will not take you where you need to be. What you feel is not real pain, it is your calling pushing you out of your ‘by default’ mode, so you can understand and fulfil your life purpose and meaning, so you can be well and happy.”
If you listen that voice, it will guide you step by step in your life journey towards your meaning and purpose. It is your compass in the unknown. You will feel pain each time you step away from your destination path, and you will feel better each time you get closer to it. It helps you know when you are on the right track even during times when you cannot see ahead. It makes you feel there is ahead, even if you cannot see it, feel it or understand it immediately.
On this pathway, you may often feel like you gave up. Or, judged from outside you may appear as someone who gave up. Some may even tell you so. It is what we were told giving up is, a symptom of depression, of defeating. But many times it is not. It is just a natural phase in the not so easy process of finding our way in this life, a phase or phases when our being is ingesting and processing complex information for us, activity that require all our resources engaged.
During giving up phases, by forcing yourself against your natural flow to exercise or do all sorts of ‘healthy’ things, you only delay this process and frustrate yourself. It is also when we again feel guilty because we are not doing the „right” things for our wellness. And people who are not doing all these „right” things are not well, right? Guilt inflicts more pain, unnecessary pain.
In this paradigm, pain is an artificial feeling.
In ‘by default mode’, pain is just something we want to stop, to get rid of. The thing is that the more we want it gone, the more it persists. Taking a pill to not feel it does not address the calling we need to follow to understand and fulfil our life purpose, it just suppresses it and puts us on hold, it slows us down.
If you choose to translate depression as part of the solution and not a problem, you won’t feel it anymore as such. You may not feel it at all. The cross becomes much easier to carry.
if you are down and feel or you are told you gave up, let it be. Stay there, in that point, as much as you need it. Stay there awake, don’t think and don’t judge anything, just listen, just be. You will feel the entire system of who you are aligning and working to hack the impossible or the desperate situation you feel you are in. Trust that everything you are will solve the new Rubik cube.
Don’t panic. Panic allows anxiety to slip in and to take over. Stay still. Give up for a while. It is how patience develops and grows. During difficult times, patience is your most powerful weapon. It is also a golden skill.
If you lost faith in the known parts of you and of life, have faith in the unknown. There is much more inside and outside of us than we think we know and experienced.
Trust you will find a way out, because you will.
Give up and don’t feel guilty. It’s ok. Walk out from ‘by default’ mode, so you can switch to your mode.