Have you heard yourself say? “Here we go again” or “I’m tired of this”. You may say this when feeling letdown or even frustrated, anxious or sad. These feelings often carry with it the metaphorical sound of a cringing kerplunk. You may say, “Oh no, not again?” or “I’m not sure I can even talk about this anymore.” For some, this feels like punishment. Like fingers on a chalkboard, the crash of a jarring kerplunk may be experienced when one is not being heard, over and over again. It may occur when someone refuses to “get it” or when we have worked too long in order to get someone else “to get it”.
Kerplunk may be felt when something has taken place that is unkind or unjust. Or when situations cause dramatic discords that harness our anxieties, which are often accompanied by the feeling of overwhelming fatigue or complete exhaustion. With awareness the kerplunk can be transformed, making it more momentary or less potent to our experience. We can learn to work with it differently. Being aware of the feeling of kerplunk helps us see its full power and how often it may amplify the discord. Think of it like a song of disapproval, disappointment, and frustration that can also help us to disconnect, refocus and regain our balance.
The kerplunk can be abrupt. Similar to a collision on the highway. Its impact is quick. Tangling us into the snare of muscle memories, which are filled with familiar emotions associated with disappointments and uncertainties we have encountered before. It may signal a repeated pattern or situation is taking place. One that jumbles our interactions and conversations related to specific topics or people. These situations wear us thin. We may wish to avoid them as they cause us to believe we have fallen “victim” to a drama. We may lose perspective. Yet we must remember our values are stronger and they will pull us through when we remember to apply them. It is possible to bust away from drama. It is possible to apply compassion and let go.
Like an alarm, kerplunk resounds when someone does not value trust yet requires their prodigious points of view and opinions to be understood, agreed with, and acted upon by others. If someone offers these types of limitations, they may operate from a belief that the world is a difficult place filled with competition. Those who believe this may also believe they must win, at any cost. Unfortunately, this mindset often refuses to accept personal accountability for the ways they treat people, or responsibility for how they use their words. From their vantage point, this is simply the “rules of the road” when traveling in a competitive world.
We can learn from people who operate from a competitive belief system, for a period of time. We can learn about what is destructive to collaboration as a competitive mindset often leads to me-centric thinking. We can learn to support our vitality and find new ways to avoid becoming exhausted. Something that is often experienced by those who are more collaborative when working with a me-centric, competitive thinker. Thus, the great kerplunk. The signal is telling you it’s time to pause and move yourself and any energetic investment you have made away from the current situation. The lesson is simple. Make space. Step away. Do not further engage. Gather your composure. Do the work of letting go of any energy and emotions surrounding the experience. This may require the ability to make room or to move your body, like taking a walk, to help yourself let go. As you are letting go of the drama look within and ask yourself: What are my authentic values?
Focus on a value that is core to your beliefs, like love. Tell yourself something you truly believe about that value. Define what it means or apply this value to your situation. As in the case of love, you may remind yourself: “Love matters. Love supports me in all situations.” You may also realize it is possible to bring more love to this situation by taking the time to determine what you will do or offer up rather than trying to explain the situation further or get someone who is refusing to listen, to hear or understand what they are doing or have done.
Whenever you are experiencing a kerplunk, remember to remind yourself to “cause the pause”. This will help you generate more patience for your situation. When you experience renewed calm and you are ready, decide it is time to create something new. A new approach or solution, and especially a new attitude. Do not let your true enthusiasm be altered. Life is not only competitive nor is it a video game. You have not lost, and you have not been required to return to the first level to start over. If you feel the kerplunk, know the impact is real, and it is possible to work differently with each situation. Breath deep. This will help you let go and create space for yourself. Step away from the drama. Give back its unkind grip and any despair or sadness it brings with it. It belongs to the drama. Do not allow the cynicism of competitive thinking, which is often filled within comparisons and stories of “winners and losers”, to wash over you, nor take you away from your real value.
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Contact Beth Wellesley at 612.824.0454 (o) or 612.325.5104 (m). Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the CONNECTING menu.