Updated: Sep 26
I think that most of you will agree that we are at a pivotal point in our evolution of humanity where the world is shifting on a huge scale. I often think about those who came before us and all of the multifaceted ways in which they did not see hope in their world way based upon whatever major shift in history, technology or sociopolitical issues etc. that was occurring and how they found inspiration to create, develop, and foster some kind of change.
I am not one to sensualize the news or to dwell too much on the chaos that plagues our minds. Nevertheless, even as a therapist, I find it hard at times to be in a mindset of peace when there is so much insecurity about finding safety and security in the world when we are walking through murky and shallow terrain. Trust me, I am feeling it too. There are moments in my life where I am unequivocally uncertain if the choices that I am making today will positively impact my future and the ones that I love, even on my best days.
Now, before you continue to read…this blog is not meant to be all doom and gloom. However, I would like to ask that we take a moment to congratulate ourselves on navigating the complex multidimensional layers of our ife, work, and social interactions with others to create meaning in our lives. For those who have lost friends, family, and loved ones due to Covid, my heart goes out to you. Loss has been a theme for a lot of my clients and friends this year. It has caused some of my clients to reevaluate who and what is important for their lives and to what degree they would like to carve out happiness for themselves. My clients are also questioning corporate work structures and looking at creative ways to form their own businesses and to create a life that personifies how they wish to integrate their core values, beliefs, and take ownership of their time and space in a way that challenges their conventional thoughts about how society states that they should depend upon a system in society.
Here are some suggestions that I have learned in working with my clients that hopefully will help to leverage some of the feelings of uncertainty that we all face.
Swapping Out Pressure for Desire:
I am amazed at times about how much pressure that I and others in our lives place upon ourselves. Navigating through our emotional highs and lows, searching for some kind of hope, reset button, or possibly even escape from the day to day monotony may be at best a routine that we have become accustomed to as human beings. Often in session, my clients and I both take a deep breath and take a moment to reflect on what it would be like to live a life that is filled with things that we are passionate about. Yet, to what degree or capacity is it feasible for us to fulfill a desire? For example, a person’s desire may look like coming home and taking a bath after a long day or cooking a nice meal, or setting aside time to watch our favorite television show, spending time with family or their loved ones, listening to music, or calling that hilarious friend of ours to take our mind off of our day- thank you to those humorous friends who bring us joy and laughter and also insightful comedic relief.
In our society, we often relate desires to something that is usually romantic or something that is extreme (like a desire for something that we want in our life yet it is out of control or without boundaries). It is unfortunate that desire is often viewed in this way because our desires can be the manifestation of something that is pleasurable without the sacrifice of losing oneself to something unfathomable. I encourage my clients to lean into their desires, if feasible, to emotionally regulate the pressures we feel each day to be something other than what we need to be in the moment. I think that learning how to own and express our desires in a healthy way can be a great escape. Along the way, your desire may lead you to a beautiful passion to explore.
Reflect on Those Alternatives:
Options are difficult to weigh in most situations. We often perceive that there are limited outcomes that could result in the “right choice”. However, I often implore my clients to think about how there might be many choices or options that could result in positive change. The question really becomes…What kind of journey would you like to take to obtain your goal? I will be honest, I don’t always take the easy or most direct path, because I like a challenge. I am not proposing that you do the same. However, taking risks, evaluating all aspects of a situation, and evaluating all sides of potential outcomes are not always points we can consider in any given situation, especially in a crisis. Just as we have our own go-to mental gymnastics that we maneuver to help us make a decision, we can begin to start to train our minds to think differently and challenge the preconceived notions within us about our capacity to call into question our thinking. I often find that being comfortable with sitting in silence, being patient with yourself to balance your emotional and analytical mind are the first steps of taking an introspective look at how alternatives can lead to an exploration of self-discovery.
Take A Stand & Make A Change:
Let me tell on myself. I am the first one to admit that I get caught up in complaining at times. It is good for us as human beings to have hopefully an affirming and objective space to speak our truth…even if it is just one’s truth in the moment. There is so much that is wrong in the world and in our daily lives. Wars, famine, environmental concerns, human rights violations, and the list goes on and on. I recognize that at times for myself, my friends and clients that simply surviving in the world seems enough…because working toward thriving might feel too scary and overwhelming. So, I call upon our courage…the courage to do something about the things that we don’t like in our lives and in the world. Getting out of our own way is one thing but being the one to make a ripple to disrupt systemic change may seem terrifying.
However, I see you all doing amazing things. I see people every day making a stand for something, showing up for people that they love, and finding the courage to show compassion, kindness, and equity in a world that at times may feel that we should only take ourselves into consideration. As I continue to work with my clients, I realize that we all have a role to play in challenging ourselves and others to see the best of humanity…if not for us now, for the world that we are co-creating for those to come after us. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” —Desmond Tutu