What do you do when the dots don't line up? When something that has happened to you, or another, just doesn't make sense? My new pal Rick Jetter helped me come up with "Entropic Events" to describe such things. Sounded super cool, but what does it mean? I of course had to look that up :), but it fit! Here are the definitions I found for "Entropic Force" in Physics:
1. A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system. 2. A measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message. 3. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity. 4. Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.
So Rick summarized it for me: "Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder."
I have recently heard some heartbreak stories from friends in leadership positions. These "entropic events" seem to have no explanation, yet they knock people down and when they get back up, they are left to pick up the pieces and reconcile with it. What I have found; in working though and talking about such situations...there is a common cycle. I have been hearing and reading a lot about different cycles AND a lot about different versions of "E's"...so when I awoke at o' dark thirty this morning...the above graphic was in my head. This is the cycle that I have discovered to help during these "entropic events":
6 E's of Entropic Events
1) Event: Something happened. Something has triggered us. Something has us hooked. What is it? We need to really look long and hard as to what has a hold on us. Is it the actual event? Is it the person? Has this triggered something else? At this point, it is best to just acknowledge that something has happened. Don't bury it, don't compartmentalize it. Acknowledge it.
2) Emote: This one seems to be a tough one for many, but it is important. For some reason, people are embarrassed of their emotions, but we need to allow ourselves to feel. Give yourself permission to have emotions, whatever they may be. They are yours and you are entitled to them. Are you hurt, angry, disappointed, confused, deflated, defeated, sad? Whatever it is, feel it. We have to get those emotions out or they will take over our heart and mind and that won't do anyone any good. Exercise (I personally like to hit and kick my heavy bag), cry, write, cuss, clean...do what you need to do, but just do.
3) Evaluate: This is a time for reflection. This is the why. Why did this event occur? What part did we play in it? Did we? What is in our control and what is not? Why are we letting this get to us, it's important to get to the bottom of this one. What if anything can WE change? Our attitude? Our situation? Our reaction? Our action? But sometimes, often times...it has nothing to do with you at all. I think that is the hardest one...what do you do then? Do you just reconcile to not reconcile it? Do you ignore it? Do you fight it? I wish I had the answer, I really do...but I don't think there is one. We can only control ourselves, our feelings and our actions. I just think it is important to take the time to think about the situation and ask the questions.
4) Educate: This is where we need to take the learning from the situation. What is the lesson? There is a reason you are going through this...find it. You may need to dig really deeply to find it, but it is there. What is it? What is the point of going though your struggle? There has to be one, if not many.
5) Evolve: Here is where you take all of the above and use it for good. Use it to grow yourself. I don't know what that looks like for you. Everyone's path is different, but I believe we are always on a journey of growth. It is through these "entropic events" that we can gather the most courage, the most strength and the most knowledge about ourselves and our surroundings. This is when we start to see the light, this is our breakthrough moment. Do not skip this one!
6) Extend: This is when we keep moving forward. You have to, you are important and you are needed! You can't fall down that rabbit hole. You need to muster up all of your strength, all of your emotions, all of your learning and all of your growth and use it to propel yourself forward. As you are on that forward trajectory, try to grab some others to join you. Our "entropic events" might be different, but we all have encountered them...it's so much easier to deal with, when we know that we are not alone. Knowing that others have been through the same cycle is empowering. But here is where the cycle is broken...when you extend; you go forth...you are not spinning, you are not continuing...you are changed...you are new. Share that new you with the world.
I am no expert, I have not researched any of this...this is based purely on experience, discussion and observation. All I know is there are two choices when faced with such events: Fight or Flight. What do you do? YOU need to fight to move forward...always, always, always forward.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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