I have been told that the Chinese symbol for crisis can also mean opportunity. In family systems theory, it is stated that a crisis occurs when the system is thrown out of equiblibrium; its homeostasis is disrupted; it becomes discombobulated. Systems love stability.
At a personal level, crisis is distressful. We feel anxious, perplexed, upset, scared, confused, and we struggle for balance. We attempt to avoid crises by resisting forces for change. However, as the bumper sticker says, "Shit happens!" People die, get fired, houses burn down, people get sick, etc. Sometimes a crisis is precipitated by good things like a vacation, a birth of a child, a marriage, winning large sums of money. Perhaps we can define crisis as a significant life changing event where our balance, our equilibrium is disturbed.
When dealing with a crisis, sometimes the best thing we can do rather than resist is to "go with the flow", to go deeper into it and hide in the vortex until the dust settles. As the dust settles, we look around and new things emerge more clearly. It becomes apparent to us what we must do and as this awareness and realization dawns, we move ahead with more confidence. While it is difficult at these times, it is our faith and sense of humor which can sustain us. Also the support and coaching and feedback from trusted others whom we have recruited and invited into our lives as consultants is crucial.
One of my favorite bumper stickers says, "Change is inevitable; progress is optional."