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Article: Waiting for the Fog to Clear

Waiting for the Fog to Clear

I was attending a weekend retreat several years ago when I first heard the expression "I'm in a FOG." It was then explained to me that being in a FOG represented "F***ing Opportunity for Growth." Basically it's a crude way of saying that you are facing a crisis or are actually in the midst of chaos playing out in your life. A FOG can be an unsettled legal dispute, a personal health crisis, impending divorce, finding yourself unemployed, or some other unhappy scenario.

The tricky part is not what the actual crisis (FOG) is, but knowing how best to respond to it. It is very easy to become "reactive" when life throws us a curve ball. My tendency is usually to dodge the ball defensively, while others may react more offensively. But, not so fast. FOGs seldom clear away when we react to them in our normal fashion. Taking any action right off the bat is probably not a good idea. Usually just sitting in the midst of the FOG and waiting for any emotional energies attached to it to lift before reacting will be your best recourse. Allow yourself 24-48 hours to have a "pity party," although I don't suggest you invite any guests. But it is okay to have a solitary tantrum in your own private space. Suck in all your "woe is me" energies and embrace any emotional backlash you are feeling. Go ahead and feel sorry for yourself. Curse! Complain! Cry out "Why Me!?!" etc.

Be careful not to get stuck in the "poor me" state of mind for more than a couple of days. A crisis is raging, and you will need to take some kind of action. After the initial shock has worn off it may be a good time to slip into a more reflective state of mind and quietly ask "Why me? Why now?" rather than screaming out "WHY ME?" in despair. But truthfully, even during a calmer, reflective state you may not get a clear answer as to why you are caught in a chaotic situation no matter how connected you normally are to your inner dialogs. That's why it's called a FOG. It's difficult to understand the "why?" of such matters.

You have been gifted with an opportunity to grow as a person... but it won't look like a gift. It may very well feel like a slap in the face. I have often learned from past FOG experiences that, once the FOG has cleared and my life is again flowing less erratic, I will get a better perspective as to why I had to experience the struggles and the emotional stings. It can require a distanced view from the initial impact to see the bigger picture. A FOG can actually be useful when it knocks us out of our comfort zones in order to nudge us into branching out in different directions. Remember, life is a journey. We're not going to get anywhere if we insist on standing still.

After I was able to re-map my course of action due to the detour that a FOG had forced me to take, I realize I was a better person for it. Surprisingly, I always land on my feet afterwards. The ground I end up standing on might be foreign to me, but I always know that, eventually, I will find my best direction to travel. This is not to say that I welcome FOGs to enter my life. I prefer a calmer existence on most days and, for this reason, I try my very best to pay attention to the quieter messages the Universe whispers gently in my ears. If I listen carefully and pay heed to the messages, there is no reason for the volume to get turned up to a deafening roar.

October 12, 2007