In the current American political and social climate with a government shutdown, I'm feeling a bunch of anxiety, fear, and concern for the well-being of my nation. My guess is that others are also feeling stress, especially those directly economically affected by the callous practice. It's a challenge to maintain a focus on good when there's so much stressful stuff going on! The racist and sexually invasive "President" with backers in Congress particularly concern me. I say the "'President' with backers in Congress" because I feel like he's not really my President and that those folks in Congress who encourage this shutdown are not my leaders. I remind myself of good things, though, even as I sign petitions and discuss unfair American policies with other people. One hugely good thing is that there are many in the government who do all they can to help by rallying for legislation that provides healthcare for children; accessible paths for citizenship rights; and all manner of other true democracy.
As world citizens, as people of humanity, my hope is that we come together for the long haul in the ways we're able to support honor inside of and around us. May we remember that we are never alone in this world even if we choose to segment from society for a while or forever. In each moment, we can choose our level of participation with emotion from others even as we remain connected to the reality of the area. Days develop into weeks and years as politics shift and employers do little to truly deflect verbal and emotional abuse from supervisors. There are so many injustices in the world and in daily lives that it's difficult sometimes to remember the good in life, but there is a lot of good in the world when the mind is in a place to observe it.
Sometimes reality feels overwhelming and the thought of our own blood might distract us from the sense of meaninglessness. Not to be morbid, but to observe blood in its own symbolism -- to watch my own symbolism on and around me, this is the stuff of some coping strategies.
The thing is that they're destructive strategies. We don't grow when we self-harm. We destroy growth. So when it gets really hard sometimes, it can help to learn other ways to soothe the emotions that arise. Like instead of a blade, we might be able to walk around the block a few times. Or we could grab an ice cube and hold it with a tight fist. Maybe take a warm bath or gently sip a cup of tea.
Reality contains illness, disability, recuperation, hostility, doubt, anxiety, joylessness, sorrow, and despair for ourselves and others. We eventually let ourselves down here or there. The sensitive among us can find this truth challenging to maneuver. Emotions might be at first distant, or limited in number. We sensitives are a vibrant lot, and we have our ideals. When things don't match up to our internal individual moral code, we can feel beside ourselves with fury or a sense of injustice. Sometimes that means cutting or self-mutilation. Sometimes that means suicide attempts or suicidal ideation. We might berate ourselves with critique or assess each minuscule angle of our being in the world. It's chaotic, extreme, and theatrical. It's real for us.
Some of my favorite people are those who espouse a sense of grit with life. The thing is, that kind of personality trait develops only with practice. We have to go through bad stuff to get to the good side sometimes. It's cliche, sure. And it's true. Good and bad are not these linear things that anyone knows with certainty. We must choose a direction if we want to get anywhere because a trip in every direction keeps us stationary. With that knowledge comes an understanding that we will sometimes need to patch or remedy our own sense of purpose. We will meet bad people and bad things may happen to us, and we can still be the people we want to be in the world. We just might need to ask for and receive help from sources we don't completely understand. Spiritually, we must eventually seek something because that's just how deep humans develop in life. It's how we're made.
Well hello there.