“it’s just a phase”

I hate this sentence… It makes me feel weak. I am not going to let a phase control me, my emotions or my thoughts!

When we broke up, I was so upset and knew it would takes ages to get over him, and that no one is going to help me. It was just a phase.

When I was unemployed, I was frustrated and knew no one would give me money, I had to make my own. It was just a phase.

When I fall sick, I become helpless and know that this body is mine and those physical battles are mine, I have to stand up again. It is just a phase.

What is a phase, in my own words?

It’s a time interval defined by an event or a process.

And the word phase doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. A vacation is a relaxation phase, engagement is a preparatory phase, writing a script is a creative phase.

We go through tons of phases daily. Which phases matter? And which don’t? 

You whining over how cold the weather is cannot possibly be a phase I am willing to tolerate. This phase, you whining when it’s cold, that begins when the weather is cold and you are grumpy and ends when the weather becomes warmer or when you grab a darn jacket, is not a phase that matters.

You going into hospital for an endoscopy is a phase I am wiling to tolerate. It begins with you going in to the hospital and ends, hopefully, when your results are out. It is a phase that matters.

When do we learn to differentiate?

First of all, let’s start with the mere fact that some phases are worldwide admitted to matter and other that don’t. You cannot possibly tell me that the entire world thinks that Paris Hilton’s process of choosing a new hair dye is a phase that matters, and the poverty that is killing and demotivating thousands everyday is a phase that doesn’t matter.

Second, let’s not neglect the fact that the degree to which the phases matter is relative, and this is a subset of the first point. For example, a Paris Hilton die-hard fan actually cares what her next hair color is going to be and to him/her, this phase matters. Another example is a rich man in Venezuela who doesn’t really give a darn how many people starve to death or cannot afford medical treatment. To him, and possibly his family, world poverty is not a phase that matters.

Third, and this is a mere opinion, let me tell you that based on personal observations, I have come to realize that not everyone is capable of, maybe due to immaturity, categorize his/her phases into which ones matter and which ones don’t.
Let’s take the following example and apply it on adults (18+ officially adult-claimed by law):
Final exams in university and their relation to dreams.
First things first, let me hope you my dear reader is or was a university students. We all had classmates and we all noticed the differences in marks. Studying for a final exam is the phase at hand. There are classmates who will not study and choose to categorize this phase as one that doesn’t matter, and other classmates who want to study and thus are categorizing this phase as one that matters. Would you consider the latter to be mature, and the first to be immature?

If you rushed to say “yes of course,” hold your horses. What if those who don’t want to study are taking this course as an elective and need to pass with a C, and already have their very good marks on the midterm? What if those who want to study are just too paranoid? Who is mature and who isn’t?

Bottom line: Don’t judge based on your assumptions, you should either be emotionally intelligent to do so, or have an idea about the person’s beliefs.


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