I opened my email this morning to find an article from Child Mind Institute that address how to manage you and your child’s anxieties while reopening.
“Uncertainty is really uncomfortable,” says Dr. Busman. “Uncertainty and this situation are not good friends, but they’re forced to cohabitate.” The impulse to try to force things to be more certain is strong but, she says, in the end it’s a waste of energy. “It’s very exhausting and ultimately, you’re not going win.”
Why is uncertainty uncomfortable? There have never been any guarantees. But marketing in the 20th and 21st Centuries have subliminally taught otherwise. Likewise schools promise that if you do this and that you will secure a good job and become a success. See your healthcare provider regularly to secure good health and fix your ailments. Then many a motivational preacher positions Jesus as a comforting magician. They dole Him out like a box of chocolates or flowers while empowering you to be the god of your own life able to control and manage all that comes your way.
The root of the majority of our anxieties is false teaching, control mongering role models, and misplaced faith. All three can be teased out to show how modern humans expend the bulk of their energies trying to control the future which has never been able to be tamed.
I am forever grateful to a principle Harriet Lerner wrote about in her book, The Dance of Connection. Instead of trying to control the outcome of any situation mentally prepare that it may or may not happen. It’s quite empowering to view yourself as being able to survive and possibly thrive if something does or doesn’t happen. This was a key principle in helping to unlock the prison of expectations for perfect that enslaved my emotions and bogged me down in years of depression. It freed me to embrace scriptural principles of faith that I had been taught to utter with my lips, but to live completely apart from.
Another helpful read You are What You Think by David Stoop, Ph.D. is one of the most highlighted, stared, and underlined book of mine that reiterates how powerful our expectations are. This is why marketing experts play them in each advertisement and sales pitch. In essence, it’s what churns the modern American Economy. But, it also could be what has led all of our souls astray to wander about aimlessly in a wild unsafe world.
At one point in my life I felt the need to travel away from a culture that is so obsessed with safety. I began to feel suffocated in the northeast coast of the United States. There was something refreshing about romping around in Latin America where there were no guarantees and lawyers waiting to be hired to sue anyone who may have failed you. But it was also incredibly dangerous. Rumors circulated about a couple on their honeymoon who were kidnapped while hiking a popular volcano. It is a fine line of balance that must be achieved of safety and risk. That’s why I included it in
Then trauma adds another level of complexity. Circling back to the article I started discussing, Dr. Bushman also points out, “There’s a myth that because everybody is having a hard time your stress doesn’t count.” I wrote about this earlier in April about how we each need to take turns in listening to the various grievances we bear in order to navigating through these turbulent COVID-19 waters.
I have concluded that the 20th Century has produced insanity as normal, converted humans to machines, switched good for evil and evil for good because the world was traumatized by World War I with the Spanish Flu of 1918, followed by the Great Depression and World War II. When “everyone” is having a tough time, there’s a tendency to ignore, deny, and cover it up. It’s overwhelming to go back to find resolution, closure, and heal the wounds. Besides, that’s painful, difficult, and sometimes ugly. The war is over it’s time to eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.
Consider the underlying philosophy in this attitude. It justifies hedonism because humans are just matter that cycles in an out. There’s no loving Creator who’s worthy to consult for wisdom or to bow to in adoration. It’s all an accident that just miraculously pulled together over billions of years. Or is it?
I would like to propose that this COVID-19 situation is an opportunity to get your values and beliefs straightened out. But first you may have to find the courage to face your own pain that probably is generations deep, work through each personal grievance, and make many lifestyle changes. That’s all very overwhelming. There is one who wants to make that possible. But you must search for Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and value the truth like a hidden treasure of which few know where to find.
#Uncertaintimes #COVID-19 #Stress #Anxiety