The Quest for Stability – Elaina – 6/4/2015

searching-for-stability-amidst-change-magnifying-glassThe Quest for Stability and Security

June 4th, 2015

Dear Elaina-

It’s been a long time since you’ve written a letter to yourself, but events of the last day have dictated you turn your attention inward. Your entire life you’ve sought the elusive reassurance of stability and security. Your childhood, filled with trauma and loss, did nothing to establish a foundation of trust in the world. As life went on, you developed a persona that sought rebellion, frisson, and unrest. Even though at your core you wanted peace, and to know everything would be okay, you’d learned from day one life didn’t come with that guarantee. You took stupid risks, dated boys you shouldn’t have dated, experimented with things you shouldn’t have experimented with because on some level of awareness, you believed if you caused your own demise, the facade of control would be yours.

Somewhere in your thirties you grew up and understood you told yourself lies in the name of self-defense. Life was bad and scary enough without you going out and seeking more of the same. You stopped fulfilling your own negative self-prophecies, found a great guy, and settled down once again to raise a blended family. You hoped by marrying a nice guy you’d find that stability and security you so desperately sought, but life had a different plan.

You two have weathered more upheavals in your thirteen years of marriage than most people do in fifty. Bankruptcy, foreclosure, illness, car accidents, death, loss of job, loss of company, lawsuit, chronically sick children, and some of those things happened more than once. Each time you two picked each other up, dusted each other off, and went back at life, tougher, stronger, and smarter. Sometimes you let your PTSD get the best of you, but David supported you back to health. Sometimes David lost his hope, but you showed him the bits and pieces of silver linings and the promise of tomorrow. There were times when the two of you wanted to strangle each other, but what married couple doesn’t feel that way at times?

Through it all, you’ve continued your search. When you pushed yourself to define what that would look like, you couldn’t. Did it mean enough money to buy groceries without having to check the bank balance? Enough love that if you made him angry you wouldn’t have to worry about divorce? Enough health that you’d live a long life? The reality is, you have those things, and yet you still had this nagging sense of doom.

Then this morning happened. Like every morning, you visited all of your business websites to make sure everything ran smoothly overnight. This morning, everything ground to a halt and you found your main business had been shut down. Unlike any other time disaster hit, you did not panic. You relayed the information to David, got the kids ready for school, and on the way, devised a plan to help resolve the problem. When you returned home, you shared your ideas with David who was already at the office working with all of the managers to analyze the problem and develop a solution. Sure, you had your “oh shit” moment and shared your concerns with a great friend, but in one of those clarifying moments you wish you could have without drama attached, you realized you have your stability and security.

The reality is, you’re breathing. That’s your security and stability. You’re alive. You can make a difference. You can change what needs to be change and if you can’t, you can adapt and start over again. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only thing constant is change.” Over the years, you’ve assimilated that truth into your life and with it, you’ve found what you were searching for. There will always be uncertainty. Unexpected things will happen, but it is your response that determines your future. Stability and security- it’s not as elusive as you thought.

Elaina

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