Epochal Moments

So, do you want to do an experiment with me?

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Let’s measure your frustration level on a scale of 1 to 10.

How did you do? (Just keep that number in mind, we’ll come back to it.)

I experienced an epiphany the other day and it has to do with epochal moments.

The word epochal means a point marking the start of a new period in time. Examples in history are the founding of Rome, the birth of Christ, the freeing of slaves in America, the splitting of the atom, signed treaties and more recently, the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York City. All of these events marked a significant, monumental change.

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More personal examples would be the coming of age for a young man or woman, traumatic injuries, marriage, having children and death of a spouse or child.

These are moments that change everything in your life.

The times when nothing of your former life is recognisable.

The idea is like that of a renovation. In our society today, renovations are quite popular; the “makeover”, “redo” or “update”.

I love makeovers. Taking something that is well past it’s use-by date and freshening it up, giving it a new modern look.

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(Before)

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(After)

The makeover I did a few years back (pictured above), was only a cosmetic makeover. We sold our beautiful home in order to concentrate on and be close to our business. So, we decided that we would turn a 20 year old ablution block in an abandoned building into a little apartment. Let me tell you, about some of the frustrations I encountered. 1. There was no running hot water. Picture it, bathing was done out of a bucket with water boiled in the jug (a NZ term for an electric kettle). 2. There were only about 3 electrical plugs that worked properly. So, I lived dangerously plugging everything I owned into electrical strips. I often wondered if I was going to burn the place down. 3. My make-shift closet leaked. 4. The bathroom sink was knee operated instead of hand operated.

The apartment was functional to a degree but not a proper home. The change was no epochal.

In order for the apartment to function as a proper home, the renovations needed to be much more in depth than they were. We needed to rip everything out to the bare bones and replace the wiring, install proper plumbing, replace and restructure the walls. But we didn’t. In our minds, we only planned to stay there short-term. We ended up living there for 3 years. By the time we moved, we were completely over those living conditions. There is no way we ever want to live like that again. I can not describe how frustrating it was at times – even though we calculated the cost of the decision, attempted to keep a good attitude and were learning a lot about ourselves at the time.

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Let’s get back to that measure of our frustration level.

The epiphany that I had the other day is this: I am most relaxed, less frustrated, when I have approached the epochal decisions I have made in my life in the right way. I am most frustrated when I try to live between two moments (events) in time that have nothing to do with each other or that conflict with each other.

The idea of epochal change is that the old has to be completely done away with (ended) and completely renovated.

This is why New Year’s resolutions or diets don’t always work. We try to make changes that are not truly fitting with our lifestyle or value systems. When I have dieted unsuccessfully, I changed my eating behaviours for a short time but then went back to my old eating patterns. For the weight to stay off, I need to change more than just what I put in my mouth.

Not every decision I make is epochal. I change my hair all of the time! Long then short and back to long then back to short. I even dyed my dark brown hair blonde one year–big mistake. My frustration level on these types of decisions is almost nothing because I don’t mind back and forth result.

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Having children was an epochal decision in my life. Do you know how different life becomes once you have children? Everything changes. I had to reconstruct or renovate everything about my life from what I said to how I did everything.

My children repeated a lot of my conversations at the most inappropriate times. It was embarrassing and frustrating. I learned quickly that if I wanted to prevent the embarrassment and lower my frustration (with them and myself) I needed to change what I discussed in front of them and many times I had to change the way I thought about and talked about everything.

I had to change my sleep patterns, my schedule, and my alone time because my time was not my own anymore.

Attempting to hold onto my “no-children” life was not going to work. Living as if children were not going to change my life only heightened my frustration level because that life did not exist any longer. Dee life was going to be totally different post children otherwise, both lifestyles suffered greatly.

Do you see what I am getting at here?

A married man must reconstruct his single lifestyle because single-man and married-man do not mix very well AT ALL. In fact, the two will rip each other apart.

A young person stepping into adulthood requires a completely new approach. Depending on his/her parents to rescue him/her from his adult decisions doesn’t work.

A vibrant, healthy person whose life is drastically changed by trauma must relearn to function in life with the disabilities that resulted. There are some truly inspiring examples of people who have overcome the limitations of disabilities.

Life after loss, spiritual conversions, offering forgiveness…all of these are epochal moments/events and the before and after are diametrically opposed. Once the decision is made or the event occurs, trying to go back to the old way of thinking or doing things limits the potential for happiness and success.

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. 22″No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” ~Mark

This explains a wise approach to epochal decisions. Unless you want to destroy both the new and the old, new wine must be placed into new wine skins (or bottles) and life has to be renovated to accommodate those epochal moments.

When we do renovate, we decrease our level of frustration.

So, are you trying to live your old life after an epochal moment?

Do you want less frustration?

Can you make necessary changes in your life?

Is it time for “old things to pass away and all things become new”?

It takes time but I believe you and I can make the renovations in our lives that will produce a better way of living.

D

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arm yourself with preparation.

path/insight from a woman's heart
sometimes you get yourself into unwise situations. if that is the case, all is not lost. harder but not lost. proverbs 6 begins by siting the example of co-signing a loan or becoming a guarantor.

  • realise that you have trapped yourself with your own mouth (ouch!)
  • realise you have given some of the power of your life over to the person you helped (ouch!)
  • humble yourself (no need to get mean…you did this to yourself- i have done this a few times. what i thought was a heart of compassion turned out to bite hard).
  • beg…(not demand) the person to pay off the bill so you can be released.

most decisions can be reversed. the key is preparation prior to making decisions that will impact your life. sounds like my “trauma plan” philosophy. be prepared.

Aphids and ants

proverbs 6 goes on to talk about preparation. have a look at the ant. the way of an ant is a wise way to live.

  • there is no one over the ant giving it step by step directions of what to do to live well. instinct is a fabulous tool.
  • the ant prepares…gathers it’s supplies well before they are needed.

the key is not to waste your time when things are good. that is the crucial time for preparing and gathering knowledge, insight and wisdom…not sleeping and playing in the sun. we all know that all work and no play is not wise; however, all play and no preparation is worse. the result of the latter is you could end up with your life being stolen from you..slowly but surely leaving you helpless. calamity is a crushing weight that leaves the heart broken. i don’t know about you but i can name a few situations in my life that fit this description perfectly.

being clever, side stepping the issues, and attempting to get around doing things the right way my seem cunning at the time but those tactics deceive the heart into thinking success can be achieved when only destruction is ahead. the end result is a crushed heart.

7 of those practices look like this

  • a proud approach-overestimate yourself and underestimate others. this is such a vital key for bulllies and control freaks. do not fall into this trap. ummm…it doesn’t work. it might for a while but once the person you are attempting to control gains their right state of mind…you loose out.
  • lying. we all know the web that gets created when you decide to present half truths, lies or leave out critical facts as a protective measure. it gets messy real fast.
  • thinking and planning ways to get around the situation instead of hitting the issue head on. we can think up some rubbish, can’t we? does it ever work…i can’t think of any examples.
  • trying to pin the mess on someone else…blaming…shucking responsiblity. trying to deflect the spotlight from your responsiblity is an age old tactic. the fact of the matter is that truth seems to have a way of surfacing. truth rarely stays in the dark.
  • pitting one against the other. playing the middleman and getting two parties at each other’s throat shifts the focus but is a dispicable tactic. don’t…just don’t do it.

the heart is the key storage unit for wisdom. the heart must be capable of using wisdom or maybe it’s a God-given instinct that it possesses (like the ant). grab hold of wisdom, insight and the knowledge (of how to do things the right way) and refuse…reFUSE…REFUSE to be tricked into thinking any other way is acceptable.

Foolishness seduces you. fools you. tricks you.

i think we’ll look at that in my next post…this one has gone long.

to summerize, making wise decisions that keep your heart and life safe are easy to make if you are prepared with the right tools.

here’s my practical example. i’ve suffered many abuses along my journey (& maybe-probably-you have, too). one of the things i attributed it to was that i didn’t protect myself by speaking up- having a voice. therefore, i conceived a plan in my heart that i would speak up for myself no matter what. fair enough, right? what I didn’t expect was that in doing so i often spoke out of disrespect (especially when men were involved). did you know that the number one need of women is love? i knew it because i am a woman. did you know the number one need of a man is respect? i obviously didn’t. ☺ so, i had my voice spouting its venom to my husband coated in disrespect and man, did it back fire! when i adjusted my approach (not my goal of having a voice) to a respectful way of dealing with issues…i have been amazed at how many of the issues, i deemed vital to resolve, have been. I might add, they have been resolved without confrontation. dah! what do the Pinterest pinners say? “why didn’t I think of that?” because foolishness is seductive…and preparing for life with understanding is wise!

well, i lost this post yesterday because of a dumb mistake but rethinking it..i’m glad…😍

i hope you find this helpful! let me know if it was. i do enjoy hearing your kind feedback!

D