This incredible satellite picture shows Cyclone Yasi only hours before crossing the coast of North Queensland. It looks serene and magnificent from where I sit. That is the thing about a big picture view, and you probably can’t get much bigger than a satellite view.
On the ground though it’s a different story. As I have just seen on the news, people are huddled in evacuation centers and emotions are raw. The winds are blowing stronger and everything is becoming more terrifying. This monster is huge – not just in intensity, being a category 5 (the largest) but is some 500 kilometers wide.
That is what happens when you go into the detail on the ground. Chaos reins. In life it’s the same. While some negative event is happening, we get sucked into the detail, the devastation, the moment to moment happenings.
When it’s over, some of us get stuck in that detail, re-experiencing. In NLP we call this kind of re-experiencing association, but the intensity of our reactions also relates to the chunk size. Our focus stays in the tiny pieces rather than the whole.
Others deal with past devastation more powerfully. They remember the whole. They treat “the event” as though it was one big chunk.
Mostly this happens over time, although some people don’t ever get on top of it, get distance on it. If we can step back, even get a satellite view of “the event” we can see it in the context of our lives.
It doesn’t change anything except our response to it. Standing back makes us better able to cope. It gives us resilience – the ability to bounce back and regroup.