Lupus in Fabula

In "Feeling Stuck? Five Tips for Managing Life Transitions" by Bruce Feiler there is, alas, far too much "I" — but there's also thoughtful goodness. The author begins with an awesome metaphor:

The Italians have a wonderful expression for how our lives get upended when we least expect it: "lupus in fabula." It means "the wolf in the fairy tale." Just when life is going swimmingly, along comes a demon, a dragon, a diagnosis, a downsizing. Just when our fairy tale seems poised to come true, a big, scary thing threatens to destroy everything around it.

Feiler's suggestions (adapted from his new book):

  1. Start with your transition superpower – "... 'the long goodbye,' in which you mourn the old you; 'the messy middle,' in which you shed habits and create new ones; and 'the new beginning,' in which you unveil your fresh self. These phases need not happen in order. Each person tends to gravitate to the phase they're best at (their transition superpower) and get bogged down in the one they're weakest at (their transition kryptonite). ..."
  2. Identify your emotions – "... fear was the most popular reaction, followed by sadness and shame. Some people coped with these emotions by writing down their feelings; others plunged into new tasks. But nearly eight in 10 said they turned to rituals. ..."
  3. Shed something – "... Once we enter the messy middle, we shed things: mind-sets, routines, delusions, dreams. Like animals who molt when they enter a new phase, we cast off parts of our personality or bad habits. ..."
  4. Try something creative – "... start to dance, cook, paint; ... write poems, thank-you notes, diary entries ..."
  5. Rewrite your life story – "... we are called on to revise and retell our life stories, adding a new chapter in which we find meaning in our lifequake. The lifequake itself may have been positive or negative, but the story we tell about it has an ending that's upbeat and forward-looking. And that may be the greatest lesson of all: We control the stories we tell about our transitions. Instead of viewing them as periods we have to grind our way through, we should see them for what they are: healing periods that take the frightened parts of our lives and begin to repair them. ..."

... non-falsifiable pop-psych – and some good ideas too!

^z - 2020-07-29