06 Nov











How do we respond when reality happens?

Most of our lives we go about chasing what we call our dreams. Professional athlete wannabes. Rock star wannabes. NYTBS wannabes.

We work to make money to afford the luxuries we call necessities. That pair of Jimmy Choo’s. That new computer or tablet. That 4,000 square foot house.

We try new things to keep our lives interesting. Take up gourmet cooking. Skydive. Run a marathon. We live vicariously though our children, hoping they will make it big where we failed, so they can support us in our old age.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.” He hit the nail on the head, I think. But there are times when Life decides to autocorrect. When we think our lives are stressful and actually we are on cruise-control. Suddenly, the phone rings or the police car pulls up in front of your house…

“I’m sorry sir, but there’s been an accident…” You can fill in the blank with your own worst nightmare.

Life is no longer a passive thing that we just experience. It has just slapped us across the face with a cold wet fish and said “WAKE-UP! It’s time for a dose of reality.” The switch has been thrown, our train is heading down a new track, and our lives will never be the same!

What we say and do in response, helps to define what we have learned in life up to that point and our character is carved out a little more. It might be only one test that we face. Or, it might come at you in waves that seem to never end. Almost before the last news has fully sunk in, the phone rings again… And, three days later, the phone rings again…

It has been said that “God will not give you more to bear than you can handle.” That leaves a lot of room for interpretation. In whose opinion is it too much to handle? I have seen first hand what can happen when someone breaks. It is a frightening thing to witness.

One factor that can make a huge difference in our response, is the size and form of support system that surrounds us. Don’t kid yourself, you still need to deal with reality individually. However, having others to talk to, ask advice from, and sometimes just sit quietly with, can be the difference between making it through your ordeal and not. Support can come from the strangest places so don’t be surprised when a near-stranger stops by and offers a hand up.

The truth is, we will each handle the news differently. There is no right or wrong. You will do the best you can and only you know when you’ve reached your limit. Expect to be stretched beyond where you thought possible. It will happen.

Best advice for this situation: “Take it one day at a time. Do what you have to do to get through today. Worry about tomorrow when it becomes today.”

“This to shall pass.”



Tags: , , ,

11 responses to “Reality

  1. Charissa

    November 6, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Great reminder. When things get bad, I always have to remind myself that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel…eventually. And like when we work our muscles, the most is gained when we push past the limit of where we think we can go–lift one more repetition when our muscles feel dead. That is when we gain strength. I hate when my kids go through hard times, but I’d never wish away their challenges because I have seen how much those make them grow. But like you said, that’s where others come into play–to comfort those who need comforting and mourn with those who mourn until the light can be seen again.

    • Dennis Langley

      November 6, 2015 at 3:04 pm


      As long as the light at the end of the tunnel does not turn out to be an oncoming train. 🙂 Life does go on regardless.

      • Charissa

        November 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm

        Ha ha. Yeah, that sometimes happens too with the train smashing into you. Not fun.

      • Dennis Langley

        November 6, 2015 at 3:51 pm

        Must keep a sense of humor. “A little spark of Maddness”, as Robin Williams used to say.

  2. Matthew Wright

    November 7, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    You’re right! Nobody knows how they will react in the moment, until that moment comes – or unless they have been trained. I’ve mercifully had only a few experiences of having to deal with emergency or crises where others are involved. I know you’ll have had a lot more. What worries me is that sometimes the reaction people have, particularly in a severe emergency, serves only to compound the problem – that fight-or-flight reflex kicking in and shutting down thinking just when it is most needed.

    • Dennis Langley

      November 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

      You are so right. Also, the same individual can respond differently to a similar event on a different occasion. I’ve seen great police officers and paramedics, for no apparent reason freze up ona call that they have seen a dozen times before. It dosen’t happen often, but is does happen. It is the person incidents that can really test your mettle.

  3. Kate Johnston

    November 9, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I agree. Even when you expect a certain bad thing to happen, and you try to prepare yourself, you really can’t prepare 100%, not if it’s a personal hit.

    • Dennis Langley

      November 10, 2015 at 7:34 am

      So true, we can let ourselves think that we will respond in a certain way, but at the crucial moment we may chose a different path.

  4. Sara Flower Kjeldsen

    February 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    One of my worst fears is getting that phone call or police visit. I am very sorry that you had a rough year in 2015. My thoughts are with you, Dennis. Wishing you a creative, peaceful year for 2016.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: