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  • Writer's pictureHelen Cottee

The gift of crisis

If you've done any coaching with me you'll know that I truly believe that crises can be the best thing to happen to us. A crisis can be painful and hard and disruptive but if you're able to navigate it well, it will also help you to sort out your shit. The word crisis stems back to the word 'to sift'. And in this season of personal and relational crisis, I have found myself sifting just about everything! The gift of crisis is that we start to see what really matters and what actually doesn't anymore. On the back of my sifting and shuffling of a whole life, I have found new and better ways to work that bring me both joy and fulfillment; but also work around my new life. Sifting through crisis brought me to a place where I shook out much of the toxic beliefs and behaviours in my personal relationships, in my work and also in my faith.

They were all hard. Because in a crisis, you wonder if there will be anything left after the shaking and shifting has stopped. You struggle to see what life, love, faith and work will look like on the other side. You have more questions than answers. You're often left with a tonne of grief and loss.

And then there comes the point where you start to see what has fallen away and you can breathe a little easier. And then you start to see the first glimmers of what is caught and kept and you start to smile again. And eventually, you find some answers to some of the questions and you begin to feel firm ground under your feet again.

So if you are in a crisis - in a relationship, in your work, in your faith, in your identity (hello, mid-life and adolescent crises!!!) Try not to rush or panic and grab onto something too soon for fear of becoming untethered. Let the work do its work on you, and invite in others who can help you do the work (shout out to my spiritual director!).

And finally, I want to remind you to take care of yourselves in this strange season we're all living in. Change is hard, especially when it's thrust upon us. Remember to do something that you love, to put down things that steal your joy, to remember you do have choice even when you're restricted. This time may not be what we would ever wish for, but it can still be rich.

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