Struggle is part of life, right? But y’all, I have to be real with you. So much is happening, that I am often overcome. I’m watching the damage being done to folks with Black and Brown bodies; I’m watching how folks are making choices about keeping themselves and their families safe in a pandemic; and I’m watching people cope with the isolation and uncertainty of lockdown and quarantine. The sadness, frustration, confusion, and heartache can overwhelm.
I’m struggling, and I know I’m not alone. I guess that’s why I’m writing this. Even though I’m a mental health professional, my humanness absolutely outranks my identity as a therapist. And as a human, I am with you in the trenches. I am with you in trying to make sense of this situation. Sometimes it feels like we are in a nightmare; other times, I am grateful for the opportunity to retreat into my home. In between, I am wading through a host of mixed emotions at any given time.
Sound familiar? I bet it does. And if you’re also in a helping/healing profession, I see you. I see your unique struggle to help move others through this scary, unprecedented time, while still figuring it out for yourself.
We are all struggling through this together, and yet we are not all in the same positions. We are trying to understand the experiences of people whose lives are so incredibly different from our own. The color of our skin, our financial situations, our mental and physical health, our belief systems, and many other factors often dictate how we view and move through the world. They definitely dictate how we move through crises.
We are in survival mode, and our nervous systems only want to fight, flee, or freeze. But those options are not functional on an everyday basis. We have to find other ways. So I want to know how you’re putting one foot in front of the other right now. Are you even able to do that?
- What does your particular struggle look like?
- How are you managing your time when your resources for activity, self-care, and entertainment are so limited?
- Have you found ways to connect with loved ones?
- Are your relationships thriving or suffering right now?
- If you’re stuck at home, are you safe there?
- Are you able to care for all aspects of your health?
- How do you reckon with injustices that flow in and out of our nation’s conscious awareness but live on for you each day you look in the mirror?
- How do you face the challenge of feeding your family when your business is failing?
- How do you stay strong for your children when you feel so unsure?
- What spiritual practices help you find certainty in the midst of so many questions?
- Whom do you reach for in times of need?
- How do you create joy when there is so much fear?
- How do you live in alignment with your core values when it’s so easy to surrender to our basest instincts?
- Where do you find peace right now? Do you know that you can?
- What am I missing that is so obvious to you?
I wonder about these things for myself and for you. I don’t have any lofty answers or advice. I just ask that you sit with these questions, with the struggle, and with yourself. Give yourself some time to consider how your heart, mind, and body are progressing. What do you need? What do you want? And who can help you get it, or at least comfort you when you can’t?
Stay safe, and be well!