I’m not sure who I am writing this for, which usually means that the post is actually for me. During these times of uncertainty and desperation, it becomes easy to find the negative in everything. Unfortunately, the easiest target for our frustrations is typically within. Every person handles that differently. Some deflect. Instead of taking those personal anxieties and dealing with them in a constructive manner, they target other people, usually, a family member or friend who they know will not fight back. This is the coward’s approach and, though understandable given the inherent fear of dealing with one’s own problems and mistakes, is still reprehensible. Some ignore. Dealing with inner turmoil is tough. So, some of you will ask yourselves the question, “What’s the point of dealing with it at all?” I’m sorry to let you know that ignoring a problem and pretending it doesn’t exist rarely does anything but allow it to grow out of proportion. Please see: government actions regarding COVID-19 in America.
Some deny. Rather than addressing the issue, some people like to deny the issue exists or will vehemently assert that the issue is positive. Denial goes hand-in-hand with ignorance. By not dealing with the insecurities, whatever they are, they proliferate. Sometimes those experiencing denial will seek to embrace the negatives and engage in self-destructive behavior in an effort to more thoroughly insist that there is not a problem. The repercussions for that type of thinking are obvious. Finally, some dwell. Dwelling and sulking in your personal insecurities will only bring shame and guilt. Neither of which have ever proven helpful to a person on a mission. Oh, and please believe me; you’re on a mission. Every breath in your body is a gift of time, so it has to be spent wisely. it has to be cherished.
Things are hard right now for millions of people, probably you included. For the first time in forever, humans of ALL walks of life are experiencing hardship and uncertainty together. It’s hard to know how to deal with it all, with news of doom and gloom pouring through your televisions and social media pages all day. Some of you are wondering if you should have prepared better or acted quicker when you first heard the news. Some of you are blaming others: parents, family, the government, strangers who don’t want to stay home. Some of you are blaming God. But blame gets you nowhere. Anger gets you nowhere. Depression gets you nowhere.
You have to find the good. Today. Right now. Look in yourself first. Look for the things that you can control and take charge of them. You may not be able to control how certain things make you feel, but you can control how you respond. Instead of anger at yourself, find what you can do now to try to make things right, then do it. Then tell yourself, “Good job.” Instead of blaming others, listen to their needs, and see how you can help them or find a resource to help them. Then tell yourself, “Good job.” Instead of blaming the government, find what you can do to make yourself a little happier, a little safer, and then do the same for a friend, family member, or neighbor. Then tell yourself, “Good job.” It may seem self-serving to applaud yourself for doing something that, at first, appears basic. However, when you’re down…you need a win. And small wins often count more than big ones because they are easier to accomplish and come about more readily. So, celebrate your small wins. It’s the first step.
Know that you’re not alone. We’re in this together. It’s ok to love yourself again. It’s ok to praise yourself for something, even something as minute as smiling at a person who looks like they really needed it. It’s ok to reach for the good news, to find your happy place, to read a sappy book just to read it, to dance in the rain, and to be ok with things just as they are. It’s ok. I promise.