John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD


Sometimes a crisis occurs when you didn’t see it coming. (Getting fired. Becoming seriously ill. Losing someone you love.) Sometimes a crisis occurs when too many things come at you at once. (The refrigerator goes out but your checkbook is empty and then you get the flu and then...) Sometimes a crisis occurs when a problem you ignored or pretended not see brings unwelcome consequences. (Your spouse decides to proceed with a divorce after months, probably years, of feeling like the marriage is not working.)

No one likes a crisis. We become overwhelmed, anxious, worried, upset, despondent. Sometimes we have to make hard choices. Or experience loss. Or make a change we’d really prefer not to make, thank you very much.

Getting through a crisis is seldom easy. More often than not, we have to put our thinking caps on and problem solve like the dickens. We have to tolerate the inevitable distressing emotions. We have to find the courage to face our fears. Sometimes we cry, or protest, or fight. And when these things don’t work, we go back to problem solving again. Talking about it –- seeking support, wisdom, guidance –- often helps. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to a crisis, of course. Your situation may be different from mine.

And yet sometimes there are
hidden opportunities in a crisis. Maybe the crisis will force us to change something that needed to be changed. Maybe the crisis will result in the creation of new directions and new patterns. Maybe the other side of the crisis, once we get through it, is actually a better place to be.

Maybe, just maybe, your next crisis has something to teach you. Food for thought.