Orestes in the Two of Swords is caught between a rock and a hard place, with his mother, Queen Clytemnestra on one side and his father King Agamemnon on the other side.
Orestes isn't happy, nor is he unhappy. He can't move or grow, appearing calm enough but just beneath the surface is great tension and anxiety. Orestes has taken the path of least resistance, thinking if he does nothing he won't risk conflict. But the chaos is really between his ears, and is the loudest noise he hears, regardless of what is going on around him. It is the chaos that comes when we refuse to face an impending consequence that calls for us to find a more creative way of handling this situation, instead of deciding to avoid the inevitable.
Listening to our own quiet still voice can be challenging. So how do we do it?
I think the answer varies individually, but the first part of this answer for me comes when there is an acknowledgment and acceptance of the chaos. This chaos can be external or internal, our chaos or someone else's, and we decide to make it ours or not.
There is a saying I love, " not my circus, not my monkeys." In other words this isn't my problem, and it isn't my business.
Learning to detach with love from people, places and things has been one of the most important life lessons I have learned. It isn't as easy as it might sound and it really does take practice, especially if we've have a pattern of avoiding reality and keeping up with appearances to keep everyone else happy but ourselves. Making a decision to make the first step is the most important. It is so very worth the effort, because it can spare you from a lot of grief and stress.
Ultimately others will benefit from our honesty and so will we. If I have to choose between serenity and storm, I'll choose serenity every time