Have you ever had an event that kicked you on your ass?
Or at the very least, knocked you off-balance a bit? It could be a death of a loved one, a divorce or breakup or a job loss.
You may find yourself in a situation where you want to do whatever you can to get back to “normal.”
There is actually a scientific process that describes this.
Ho * me * o * sta * sis /noun/ the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological process.
I had never heard of the concept of homeostasis until Spring of 2009. I had gone back to school for Health Information Technology and had to take the required Anatomy and Physiology courses. I had spent my 20s underemployed and I started working in a billing office at a local hospital. One of my bosses (and mentors) recommended I go back to school so I could advance my career.
So there I was, looking at an online bulletin board trying to come up with 3 discussion posts on Homeostasis.
After that course concluded, I did not think about homeostasis for a very long time.
Not for another 7 years and three months.
I remember seeing Bryon, critically ill and clinging to his life. Despite unfathomable injury and illness, I could see his body trying to heal.
Even in his fragile state, his body was trying it’s hardest to achieve homeostasis. Of course we know his body was not successful in that feat.
After Bryon died, I looked at the shattered remains of what had been my life and wondered what I needed to do to put those pieces together.
I desperately wanted my life to achieve a state of homeostasis.
Of course, my primary identity was that of wife and mother and without Bryon, homeostasis would not be possible.
I wondered what I needed to do to achieve homeostasis. This seems ridiculous to look back on because my life was in shambles.
At that time, I felt that homeostasis involved being a wife so I figured that after an acceptable amount of time, I would find the next love of my life.
This works for some people but raw, profound grief takes a lot out of you and takes longer than expected.
I was a mess for awhile and I believe that like attracts like so I didn’t want to attract a mess.
I was looking at my Facebook memories the other day. There was a memory from 2017 where I said that when I feel in love again that I wanted it to be at Christmas. While I would love for my life to be a Hallmark movie, it dawned on me that as time goes by, I believe in love a little less each day. But that’s another blog post for another time.
Bryon was my rock and he grounded me.
Bryon had a way of sizing up a situation and making sure things were okay.
If I were upset with people, Bryon would remind me that I was overestimating people and their intelligence and/or loyalty. Sometimes he said things people didn’t like to hear. At times I could find him harsh but he was usually correct. I miss his insight and his loyalty to me, our daughter and those closest to him.
So how could I stabilize my life when my rock was gone?
I am working towards it by making necessary life changes, removing toxic people from my life and doing inner work.
I have often reflected what Bryon would think about many situations going on from political scandals and other news as well as the shenanigans of people we knew.
It dawned on me recently that Bryon was the grounding force for many people. Many people sought his advice.
And it’s no wonder that in some circles I was in, things became off. Everyone is knocked off balance. Bryon isn’t here to ground things. To knock sense into people.
And most of us are probably going through life trying to achieve the elusive state of homeostasis.
But while we physically can achieve homeostasis (and even that is questionable because our bodies are always aging), we are not designed to achieve homeostasis in our psyche.
Our minds and hearts are meant to be expanding. We should be living our lives outside our comfort zones. We should be learning and growing.
True homeostasis is not possible.
So if you are struggling, remember that. You just need to find, as that cliche goes “your new normal.” And as long as you are trying to better yourself, then you will grow.
And you will wind up where you need to be.
Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels
One thought on “Homeostasis”
“We are not designed to achieve homeostasis in our psyche. Our minds and hearts are meant to be expanding. We should be living our lives outside our comfort zones. We should be learning and growing. True homeostasis is not possible.”
You’re right, of course, but ugh! I confess sometimes with regard to personal growth, I feel like Mr. Incredible when he said, “No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for… for ten minutes!”