Navigating Difficult Times

Things have been pretty overwhelming recently. It is difficult to be anywhere near social media (much less the news) without feeling as though you are being pulled almost constantly from productive work to distraction to worrying to anxiety to… and down the spiral we go again!

Where has the Love gone?

It can be difficult to seek a balance between Fear and Love, without succumbing to the desire to run away or to simply go numb and “go along to get along,” as my parents used to say. Who is right? Who is not? Who is to say? There really are several sides to all of the issues now up for examination, or actually at any time there is conflict and discord.

Here are some super ideas for navigating these times and taking back control of your life.

Pendulums Swing.
That’s What They Do

Remember that everything changes. What is now will not always be. Sometimes it gets dark before the light comes; sometimes the light is overcome by darkness. Remember, too, that darkness is not always “bad.” Without darkness, light is meaningless. 

Many people are very afraid right now, possibly you are one of them. That’s OK. It’s a perfectly Human response. In truth, I feel it as well. Yet, there is this voice inside that keeps telling me:

“It will be OK. Everything will be fine.
Just keep going.”

Focus on your chosen path. Avoid letting fear sidetrack you. Breathe. Do what you have to feel safer and still keep moving.

Choose Your Words Carefully

It is perfectly OK to feel what you feel and express what you need to say. My suggestion is to try to do so without judging others for their views and emotion that they are entitled to, as well. Remember to “be impeccable with your words,” because words do have power—the power to harm as well as to heal.

This is a very good time to practice, perhaps especially in the volatile, virtually anonymous, global world of social media. Avoid reacting. Give yourself time to reflect on why it is that you feel the need to respond.

Are you just reacting from anger or fear, or do you have something constructive to add to the conversation? Respond only when you have something useful to add; you do not have to respond to everything.

Be Gentle With Yourself And Others

Do your best to find Compassion not only for those you love, but also for those with whom you find difficulty. This does not mean that you have to give in or give up; it means to go the extra mile to try to see things from all sides.

I hear “I do that! But the [other side] doesn’t!” OK, that’s fair. It happens to me, too. Eventually, all I can do is disengage and move on. Some people seem only to be looking for a fight; they want to WIN the argument and make you see the error of your own thoughts and feelings. That’s actually fine. Don’t take what they say personally.

Have conversations with those who are willing to engage in dialog. Let go of those who are not. They are not your problem. You do not have to WIN, either.

And take time away. Sit in the sun. Read a book. Bury your feet in the dirt. Take a few days off to recover your sense of who you are outside of all the emotion. Take care of yourself, and if you can, be ready and willing to hold space for others. Really listen—to really Hear—when people speak about their own anger or fear or pain.

Stay Plugged In To Your Network, Your Community

Remember that you are not alone. There are people who care about you. Sometimes you need to lean into your network or community for support—whether that be friends, spiritual or religious groups, coworkers, or others. Social groups are there to support you and to offer you opportunities to support others.

Find a way to be of service. Doing something for others is a wonderful means to return to your Center. Do so from Compassion, though, rather than Fear or Anger. Acting from a place of Compassion will help you to feel better, stronger, and more grounded. Acting, even in service, from Anger or Fear will simply make you feel tired.

Support Causes You Care About

We cannot all be Warriors. However, there are many Warriors now engaged for change, and you can support them. Remember always that you (and we) are not alone. There are organizations with talent and experience that you can support in whatever way you feel is reasonable.

You are likely receiving numerous emails asking for financial support. You simply cannot give to everyone who is asking. Choose two or three that feel important to you and give what you can monthly. Then, you can know that you ARE doing something, and you can send a blessing and let the other requests go guilt-free.

It is important to feel useful,
rather than helpless.

These are simply a few thoughts that have come up for me that I would like to share with you. These feel like difficult times, and yet difficult times are great opportunities to do some deep and powerful personal work.

And you can do it!

 

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One Response to Navigating Difficult Times

  1. dannyheim says:

    Well Gerry I wish I’d read this 8 years ago when I started writing on the subject of climate change and the environment in general. I got pretty angry, enough to make the people of my community kinda stand back from me. At least I think that’s why they did because after about two years of posting and commenting and then doing a blog since 2012 I began seeing strange looks and ignore’s from folks where I live to where now I can’t hardly get a hello from people I’ve known for years.

    I do not regret speaking out, but I regret horribly that I did it with so much vengeance and anger. I’ve changed my rhetoric massively the last few months but I still am saying the same thing of which I support without reservation. Of course it’s a message absolutely no one wants to hear and will still make folks mad at me no matter how congenial I present it. Given that I am backing very far away, but not all the way, from activism and am now trying to focus on my own personal life. It feels like a loss, but what’s done is done.

    These truly are hard times to navigate. We are on a road to possible extinction and that is from what is becoming a growing consensus of science, not me. It isn’t just the government and corporations that need change, we the people need to change even more. BUT, I can’t do much about it and it frustrates the hell out of me especially after trying for over two decades. It’s the stupidity and apathy that gets me. Right now drumming is the only way I get past it. Thanks for your support.

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