In response to the rapidly changing and uncertain times, I want to continue to offer you content that is useful, applicable and appropriate to what we’re all going through right now.
I would like to provide useful information to help see you through this difficult time and empower you to nurture connection within yourself, and with friends, family, colleagues, and the greater world, even as we remain physically isolated.
The recent health events have shaken many of our personal foundations because the greater social structure on which we depend upon is no longer safely in place.
We are certainly living in uncertain times and we can’t do what humans love to do and that is to predict. When we feel we can predict, we feel more in control.
Here is a great visual example that will remind us of the fact we ALL have the ability to act responsibly!
I would also like to include two coping strategies that are categorized as Problem-Focused Coping and Emotion-Focused Coping.
This coping strategy is used when a situation can be changed and there is a way to be actively involved in solving a problem because taking charge of the situation or contributing to its solution reduces anxiety and stress.
When situations CANNOT be changed, we have the ability to act consciously and some examples include; changing our thoughts (negative) to reframing a positive thought, going outside and/or exercising, but more importantly to accept the things we CANNOT change and find new and innovative ways to interact with the people in our lives to stay connected!
People have trouble slowing down or paying attention or being present.
We want instant solutions to our problems; things need to work fast and efficiently!
I believe this unique interruption in our lives provides an introspective opportunity to do some heavy lifting of looking inside of ourselves.
For many of us, our moods have been driven down in the first place by the hurried pace of our lives. We imagined that if we sacrificed upfront in order to savor our lives later, we were doing the right thing but many often realize… their “Later” never comes!
We usually do NOT use our extra time to relax and connect with our friends and family, or even ourselves; INSTEAD…. we try to cram MORE in!
Right now, all of us have the chance to find true meaning and happiness in our lives.
In Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning he writes:
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is OUR power to CHOOSE our response.”
Our CHOOSEN authentic response…. is where our individual growth and personal freedom truly lies.
(By the way, space for me is not saying something as a reaction and taking time to choose a response that is going to help the situation, which is not a very easy thing for a 60-year-old Italian woman like me… boy it takes practice!!!)
We have currently been given a precious gift I would call the “creative space” to reflect on how we can really live the life we want with purpose and meaning.
How can you do this?
Consider the following questions:
- What is truly important to you? How do you express it?
- What feelings have you been hiding from?
- How do you hold yourself accountable? Do you take responsibility for your actions?
- What changes are you able to make to create more meaning in your life?
- You won’t today back, how do you want to change the way you make decisions?
We tend to assume other people are more competent than we are and we want them to tell us what we need to do. Everyone wages this internal battle to some degree. Did you know that every decision is based on two things, fear, and love? Think about this… we really need to figure out how to tell the two apart!
We all want the world to be rational, we want something to control because of how uncertain life is.
Uncertainty doesn’t mean the loss of hope, it means making the most of the life you have. Remember there is only one person in the entire world who benefits from you not being able to enjoy your life and that is… YOU!
Many people have difficulty accessing their feelings. This is known as emotional blindness which is defined as a person who is not able to know how they are feeling and also might not be able to use words to express them.
Sometimes people can’t identify their feelings because they were talked out of them as children. Some examples of this are: When a child gets mad, a parent might say, “stop being so sensitive, it isn’t a big deal.”. Or if a child says they are sad, a parent will distract them and not acknowledge what they are trying to tell them. Another example is if a child is scared, a parent might say, “There is nothing to worry about and don’t be such a baby”.
I believe the least known fact is this: Nobody is able to keep profound feelings sealed up forever.
Inevitably when we least expect it, these feelings ESCAPE when we cry over a television commercial! When we don’t have competent parents in the “driver’s seat” we are forced to act like a grown-up much like an “underage driver” attempting to navigating our lives without a license!
Children in this unstable environment begin to anticipate the outcome of their parent’s inconsistent decisions and it teaches them that joy is fickle; dare not feel joy because they have learned from experience it will as it always does… it goes away.
So they learn to not expect anything too stable and tend to repeat these interactions as adults.
There are always going to be underlying struggles in our lives, we can choose to be a prisoner feeling completely trapped and stuck in our own emotional selves, but there is a way out as long as we are willing to see it!
Sometimes we imprison ourselves with a narrative of self-punishment.
If we have a choice between believing one of two things, both of which we have evidence for—I’m unlovable, I’m loveable—often we choose the one that makes us feel bad.
Ask yourself this question: “Is this something that’s being done to me or am I doing this to myself?”
The answer gives you choices, but it is up to YOU to make them.
During these next few weeks begin YOUR own personal journey to understand the self that you truly are, actually getting to know your authentic self is really to unknow your false self by letting go of the limiting stories you have repeated about who you think you are.
You no longer need to be trapped by this dilemma, you CAN live your life and not the story you have been telling yourself.
We all must allow ourselves during this time to rest in our own sense of being, it is part of our human birthright, it will give us the perspective to shift away from having a mind lost in thought and into having a mind resting in awareness.
Recognize the six signs of resentment:
- Reliving the Past: We can’t change it; we need to move on…
- Tunnel Vision: We are triggered into survival behaviors around a person or situation that has been
- Fatigue: It is a heavy feeling of being weighed down.
- Hypercriticism: Judging others is usually a close comparison.
- Defensiveness: Feeling that we are not understood, defending ourselves.
- Finger-Pointing: Blaming someone else for our discomfort, a feeling of powerlessness.
HOW TO RELEASE RESENTMENT
- BE IN THE PRESENT: Practice living in the moment, and understanding what we are able to control. Letting go and focus on the present is a tremendous sense of release.
- ALIGN YOUR EXPECTATIONS WITH REALITY: Accept that the world is unlikely to conform to our ideals and expectations, be realistic.
- EXPECT AND ACCEPT MISTAKES: We tend to minimize the pain we cause others and maximize the pain others cause us. Our mistakes don’t define us, we are all more than one moment in life, but remember we have all probably hurt others, even if it wasn’t intentional.
- QUESTION YOUR STORY: Ask yourself: 1. Is it true? 2.) How do I know for sure? 3.) How do I respond when I believe that thought? 4.) Where did this response come from, is this really me?
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Realizing we are the only ones that are able to hold onto resentment, if there is going to be peace in your heart, you only have to look at yourself. You have only ONE person to work with and that is YOU!
PLEASE!!! Print this and put it on your refrigerator:
PEACE. IT DOESN’T MEAN TO BE IN A PLACE WHERE THERE IS NO NOISE, TROUBLE OR HARD WORK. IT MEANS TO BE IN THE MIDST OF THOSE THINGS AND STILL BE CALM IN YOUR HEART.”
I would also like to invite you to join a new workshop I was going to offer in the spring, but due to the current status of our country, I am asking for your thoughts and opinions.
Do you feel comfortable signing up for a workshop that would take place in July or August?
The workshop theme has changed and I am thinking about having it on two Saturdays over the summer and it will be called; “Embracing the Possible, My Choices for 2020!”
Stay safe TAKE HEART, we are ALL in this TOGETHER!
Maria Bucci, M.Ed LPC DWC-F. Daring Way Facilitator by Dr. Brené Brown