A response to a crisis follows three phases:
Phase 1: Looking backward – this begins with denial and continues into argument, anger and bargaining.
Phase 2: Looking lost – when anger and bargaining with what was and is no more has been used up, it gives way to confusion. The reference that was used as an anchor is no longer there, and there isn’t a new point of reference yet. Confusion leads to feeling and looking lost which gradually may lead to surrender.
Phase 3: Looking forward – If the second phase has led to surrender it opens a way up into a third phase. From surrender and acceptance there is a shift toward looking forward, to identifying new opportunities and to adaptive emergence.
Some never go past the first phase. Some stay at the second phase for far too long. Resilience is being able to metabolize from phase one through two and quickly move into the third phase.
© Aviv Shahar