This post is originally from May 13, 2020. Thanks for reading!
These perplexing times are full of confusion and paradox.
I know that one part of me desperately wants to find ways to help those who have lost loved ones, those who have trouble putting food on the table and those who cannot pay their bills.
Another part of me wants to hide and avoid responsibility, and another part of me wants to figure out what I “really” need “to do.”
So……..maybe I should get more stuff done, or maybe I shouldn’t complain so much, or maybe I should join a cause, or maybe I should be more grateful because my life is so much better than many others,or maybe I shouldn’t feel sad, mad, afraid, worried – and on it goes.
One day we feel fine and the next we are drowning in worry and self -criticism. Our inner critic is triggered by this global crisis and the should and should nots go wild.
Do more, be more, be better!
Right now, there are many heroes, rising above these circumstances to encourage and help others. We need our heroes, but we MUST HONOR OURSELVES and our very real struggles as we practice self-awareness and self-compassion.
From Dr. Susan Biali Haas:
“There’s nothing wrong with being productive or creative. It can be a helpful, constructive way to cope. But we must also allow ourselves space to not be “amazing.” Our world has not faced anything like this in over a century.
It’s big. It’s ok, and even appropriate, to not be ok.
… sometimes we must simply allow ourselves to be humbled by a situation. To grieve what’s happening, to not know what to do next. To be messy. To handle things imperfectly…
Allow yourself to feel the reality of what you’re going through…You don’t have to present a brave face to the world, if you’re having a tough time…
If you’re feeling like all of this is too much—it’s because it is.”
Yes, it’s really okay not to know “what to do.” When we are overwhelmed, confused and anxious, we must be very gentle with ourselves.
Most of us are experiencing heightened stress levels which can interfere with our body’s natural healing mechanisms. Our digestion, energy levels, appetite and sleep patterns may be disrupted.
It’s common to learn in childhood that having uncomfortable emotions is “weak, unacceptable and/or wrong,” This belief adds a huge layer of suffering to these essential and normal feelings.
This is the time to practice honoring and allowing all of our emotions which are simply “energy in motion.”
This is the time to practice reaching out to others to give and receive help, talk with trusted friends and family, walk outdoors, rest and play.
This is the time to pause briefly throughout the day to simply notice what we are feeling and thinking with self-compassion.
Yes, there is work to be done. We are involved in the essential activities of daily life involving work, raising and educating children, household chores, and so much more.
As we feel our way through this, we can choose the lens through which we view our experiences. Let’s choose to open our hearts to ourselves.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ― Viktor E. Frankl
Love to all,