‘Little Alice fell down the hole, bumped her head and bruised her soul’. Lately, I’ve found myself using this phrase too often. There are days, which are bright and beautiful, and then suddenly something tries to push us down the rabbit hole. Some disturbing news, a deal falling through at work, untimely sickness, a holiday plan cancelled — we’ve all been there. Those familiar with the work of the great Lewis Carroll would recognise this phrase from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where she literally falls down the hole following the White Rabbit. But over the years, it’s become a metaphor for falling into a deep, dark or even absurd state or situation.
The rabbit hole isn’t a place we’d like to be in. We get sucked in by triggers of relationships, work stress, health issues (both physical and mental), big life changes and other traumatic situations in life. However grave, deep or shallow the hole, we need all our coping skills to navigate our way out.
It has been said, ‘All too often, the rabbit hole is as deep as you have dug it’. And if we know the way in, we also know the way out, so what is the way out? Try the secret code ABCDE.
Awareness: An inner awareness is always step one. Find a solution and ask yourself: What triggered you? Remind yourself to break out of ‘victim’ mode and ask — what is within your control and what isn’t?
What can you do about it? Who else can help?
Breaking it down: Once you have the answers to the above questions, you can start to break it down for yourself, taking one step ahead of the other. It can get way too overwhelming to see the whole path ahead, so train yourself to only look at the next actionable step. Identify that first actionable step.
Commit to change: To do something you’ve never done before, you must change or let go of something you’ve been holding onto. What needs to change so that you can pull yourself up again?
Do the work: Once you identify what needs to change, do the work. Seek assistance, take charge, make changes one by one, create a new lifestyle, release debilitating habits, stop harsh self-talk, be kind to yourself, journal daily, meditate, find a support system, and do all it takes to move on forward.
Everyday: Getting out of the rabbit hole and staying out is an every day job. Take note of your triggers and build your muscle of resistance so that you can identify when you’re getting pulled in — and therefore are able to climb out of it quickly.
“As you go down the rabbit hole or reading into our history, you realise that there are so many things that history books didn’t teach us about ourselves”.
The choice is always yours. Use every tumble down to learn something new, build on a new skill and emerge stronger than ever.
Connect with Delna Mistry Anand across social media @DelnaAnand
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