Tag Archives: Fear

Masks and Racism

Psychologist here. Well, where are we now? The virus and all its challenges we thought was lifting and we thought life would come to a new better normal. Now, we have riots, racism that has been underground for decades. Now the virus is escalating. Now we have no clue what the politically right words are to use any more.  BUT all of it needed to surface like our trauma that is buried deep in the community so we can heal. Otherwise the darkness and all its pain in world go deep and infect us. This includes hatred, pain, fear and lies to name a few. We have to look at ourselves and see where we can make a difference and change our world.

The damage of racism is deep, old and full of fear. It is a place to put our insecurities, fear, anger, hurt and hatred. When we can blame and dump our stuff on someone else, then we sadly feel better and superior so we don’t deal with our stuff. Repeated thoughts and feelings create permanent neuron paths so racism is usually well entrenched physically in our brains so we have to WORK at changing it. We have to WORK at being kind and caring. My parents were racist due to culture and ignorance. I chose to do better for me and my children which meant I had to change deeply imprinted hate messages to God’s love messages. It took work!

And now to masks which is more complicated than it appears. That tiny mask is loaded feelings, beliefs, thoughts, hurts, sadness and tons of FEAR and ANGER!! We are afraid and angry about ours and the world’s situation. Basically, we can do nothing to be in control or change it, or in our world for that matter, except for the choice to wear or not. Our fear says we have lost control and there is no safe place in the world. Our little mask becomes something we can control. There are many reasons to wear or not so there is constant debate about it.

What is the answer? Feeling our feelings fully and APPROPRIATELY. NEVER act out on your feelings. Never hurt anyone because you are feeling. Seek God. He loves you dearly even if it does not seem like it. He is the only one that can fix and save us and our world. God helps us with the hard choices of choosing to be kinder and reaching out to help others. No laws are going to make the changes we need, only God can save us from ourselves.

 

GRATITUDE AND THE VIRUS

As our battle against this virus continues our situation affects our life situation which affects our feelings, thoughts and mental ability. We may find our thinking becoming cloudy or foggy or we may become depressed. Under all of this is anxiety or fear. The fear may look like irritability, anger, frustration, shortness towards people.

We may have to make calls over and over to reach someone or get a service we were able to get on the first call and did not have to wait for a long time on hold. This is something I struggle with, I just want to make the call, get whatever it is done and go on the next thing. That is not what is happening now. I just had a call hang up on me after waiting a long time. I just wanted it off my list!

Or, as my recent trip to the grocery store proved, I can’t get the brand I want or they don’t even have the item I need, like disinfectant spray. I also noticed that the mood in the store. Most people seemed to be irritable, panicked, and get me out of here fast! We are afraid to get close, not allowed. And with the now mandatory masks we wear that helps keep us safe, we can’t tell if someone is smiling or….

So, what do we do? Medical research says that when we become grateful, thankful our physical brains and the chemistry in our entire body changes for the better! Wow! So, if I am thankful for what I do have and can get, if I become grateful for any brand of the item I am looking for, if I smile with my eyes at someone because I am grateful not to be alone in this virus situation, then I will feel better? YES! That is what research has proved. Not only will we feel emotionally and mentally better, we will also feel better physically better! We will be less tired, less depressed, less anxious/fearful …my entire being – mind, body and spirit will lift.

Another thing that has been proven to help is get outside at least 20 minutes a day. Exercise, walk, bike, garden! The aroma of earth is a natural anti-depressant. There are healthy, helpful bacterial in the soil that helps us when we work in the earth. The sun, even if it is grey out, boasts our trace minerals and vitamins that work to lower depression and anxiety in us. Please also add prayer, talking to someone. If you are stuck at home, then call someone else who is too. So many older people are not able to get out and we can make such a difference by a call. Make a gratitude list and be thankful for all things, it helps just to say the list out loud.

We are going to get through this. The virus will end, we just don’t have an end date. Blessings and safety to everyone.

 

VIRUS AND LONELINESS

I have been talking about loneliness. Now with the virus in everyone’s life one way or another, loneliness has a new difficult dimension.  We are meant to be social, helping and encouraging each other. Now we have a stay at home and six-foot rule. This creates more loneliness world wide that we ever could have imagined.

We do have to feel what is happening to us. Do it safely. All our feelings are good and help us get information from our world. Right now, the big one is anxiety/fear. So, release it but feeling it appropriately. REMEMBER WHAT WE DO WITH OUR FEELINGS IS GOOD AND BAD NOT THE FEELINGS THEMSEVLES!

To release your feelings appropriately so they don’t build up inside of us, we have to follow these three rules. We have to use these to feel our feeling fully and safely:

  1. Can’t hurt yourself
  2. Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals, PEOPLE –no yelling or hitting
  3. Can’t damage property you don’t want to damage – no phone throwing….

What else can we do with this? There are a number of things we can do to help us and other through it. The important thing is to know we are going to get through this and I know that good will come out of it even if that doesn’t seem possible now. Here are some ideas:

  1. Call people
  2. Skype or Zoom with people
  3. When you see people, we can still wave, smile and say Hi!
  4. Pray for people, the world and the ending to this virus
  5. Attend religious services online
  6. Use this time to develop a hobby, clean, organize, play with your family, do projects, read, etc.
  7. Take time to get to know who you are and explore goals you want to accomplish
  8. Go for a walk, exercise
  9. There are good things happening in this world with the virus, the media seems only want to focus on the awful stuff. Look for the good stuff
  10. The more positive we are, the more we are going to feel better, less stressed and less anxious.

We are going to come out of this.

Please see next on helping our children

BITTERNESS – HOW DO I COPE?

When we are bitter, it affects our all our lives – thinking, feeling, speaking, behavior, and all our relationships. This is because of the pain and hurt inside of us. Sometimes we will even feel it in our physical bodies and the physical pain lodged from trauma can be intense. Please know, we have to go to doctors and have be examined and make sure something is not wrong.

When we have been so hurt for so long we may not even remember how feeling good feels like. We may just know the bitterness, anger/rage, hurt, fear, jealousy, sorrow and loss.  We may have many ways to cope with it, some healthy and some not so healthy trying to settle and stop the turbulence and battle down inside of us.

Here are some NOT healthy techniques;

  1. Ignoring my feelings – feeling literally grow stronger inside of us if we do not feel our feeling appropriately. (See below).
  2. Bitterness grieves even our spirit – ignoring God and our religion hurts us even more
  3. Substance abuse (any kind) – a drug is a drug is a drug that include alcohol. It doesn’t not matter how we get the drug in our system they all damage us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  4. Food – either over or under eating can help comfort us but may hurt our bodies.
  5. Any kind of addictions – food, exercise, shopping, stealing, work, etc.

Note: an addition is a repeated behavior we use to help us deal with pain that creates a chemical change in our bodies. We often get an Adrenalin rush from most addictions.

  1. Hurting yourself – cutting, hitting, burning, sexting, etc. This often gives us a high and reduces the emotional pain inside of us. Surprising isn’t it?
  2. Emotionally putting yourself down – we can be our own worst critic and even punish ourselves for any misbehaving as we perceive it.
  3. Staying in abusive relationships
  4. Yelling or hitting others – includes our children
  5. And the list goes on….

Here are some healthy ways to deal with feelings.

  1. Feel the feelings fully and appropriately. This is so important! Appropriately means to follow these three rules: (1) Can’t hurt myself, (2) Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals or people; (3) Can’t damage property I don’t want to damage. Children get – you can’t damage property.

These HAVE to be followed. Following them we can do many things to release the feeling from inside of us.  We can cry, write, journal, draw, sculpture, etc.

Let’s talk about anger. Anger often gets us into a lot of trouble and we need a safe way to release its physical energy as well as the Adrenalin that comes with it.  Following the three rules, we can beat a pillow, mattress, punching bag (stuffed duffel bags are great); yell/scream (if you don’t want anyone to hear your, fill your sink with water and then scream in the water …or swim and do it; twist a towel real hard or have someone hold an end of a sheet and twist; yell/scream; slam doors (not refrigerator or glass doors – good strong ones); etc.  Again following the three rules we can release any feeling safely without hurting ourselves or someone else.

Note: If you were abused and have a fear of hurting someone when you are angry, always do your anger work by yourself when no one is around. Know also you may be afraid of anger because of what you experienced.

  1. Get into counseling or psychotherapy and stay there until you find more of you, have less intense painful feelings, gained insight and wisdom and life has gotten better.
  2. Talk with trusted friends about how you feel
  3. Pray and spend time with God.
  4. Attend religious services
  5. Find your passion and purpose. That often involves using what has happened to us in a way that makes a difference in the world.
  6. Start thanking God for everything in your life – the good, bad and ugly. This helps the brain physically shift old patterns of thinking to more positive ones.
  7. Develop the skill of forgiveness, forgive often.
  8. Forgive and pray for those who hurt you. This is a process and takes time. I usually does not happen overnight. The more we heal, the more we can forgive. The more I heal, the more I forgive, the freer I become.
  9. Exercise, but not to the extent it becomes excessive and abusive to you

These are only some of the way to cope, I am sure you can think of many more. We usually have to try different ways to find the ways that work best for us. People seem to have favorite ways to release them appropriately.

Feel free to contact me.

Blessings

 

BITTERNESS – THE HURT

Bitterness comes from pain, agony, hurt, sorrow, shame, etc. that we turn it into anger that comes from being traumatized. I am going to share my journey of dealing with bitterness from my journals during a very traumatic time my life when people I trusted betrayed, persecuted and mentally/emotionally attacked me over a long period of time. Maybe some of you can relate. I would value any thoughts and feelings you have about what it has been like for you.

The Hurt of Bitterness:

“I have and am struggling with bitterness…I didn’t recognize it as bitterness but saw it as anger, hurt, depression and criticalness. I feel they (those people out there) deserved my bitterness, yet they don’t.”

“I have been hurt by so many people in my life so many times, not just now ….. so many that it has created deep wounds in me. Deep, deep wounds. They are like the fjords of Norway in my soul (Norwegian ‘grand canyons’) and are still ripping into me deeper and deeper.

“The hurt with all its agony and anguish is almost not describable. The book called ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’ are the only words that come close. I am dripping in blood – black, deep red blood. I’m dripping in it, standing in it and it doesn’t stop. It keeps bleeding and bleeding and bleeding. The pain never stops. It has shredded my soul and only God can knit me back together.”

“I keep trying to stand up, but I bleed more and hurt beyond what words can express. My enemies hit hard then harder. I reel. I stand again and their tail hits hard and I am down again.  I want so much to stand and to keep going, keep working. I do, but limitedly. Sometimes it allows me to stand and take a few steps, but only for a short time. Because the tail hits again and again and I go down again.

“I finally get so I can stand, but there is no energy and little hope. How do I keep going? How? I have little hope and nothing left. They took everything, everything – my home, animals, work, and safety. I am in touch with my anger and the deep grief that has built up over and from decades of being hurt other times, but nothing like this. When I sleep there are nightmares. I watch endless TV trying to get tired enough and zoned out enough to just pass out on my bed and maybe not have nightmares. Better yet, to pass out on my couch downstairs, I don’t have nightmares there.

“I am so tired, a shower is exhausting, and putting a spoonful of food to my mouth is more that I can do, I have no energy. When I do eat, it is something I just grab that takes no effort. Soup is too much work.

“I don’t want to feel this vile stuff. I want it gone, but it doesn’t leave. It is my constant companion. I use the techniques I know – cognitive, behavioral, prayer and it helps for a while. I have to keep at it or it builds and builds and wants to become anger which wants to obliterate everything like a burst dam. My confidence is zero, but I can’t let people know. I have to pretend. Gratefully, my work with my clients stays free of the pain and I can still make a difference in their lives. This is God’s gift through all this.

“I watch for good things, loving things and caring friends. As a friend said to me, ‘We are loving you through this.’ I try to keep focused on them, but the hatred and anger that keeps coming at me from them overwhelms me and I have to find a way to keep going, have to. My trust with people is so low, so I struggle even with friends. I have to find a way to cope with all the pain and take the next step and keep going somehow….so I am turning bitter because I have no other way to deal with all the pain and, anger. It seems to have won for right now. I don’t know how else to deal with all this black, vile grief.