Tag Archives: VIRUS

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.

 

LEARNING FROM THE VIRUS

The more we are in this time of seclusion the more I am wondering what it is we are supposed to learn.  I am to learn more patience? I personally never wanted to learn it, but God in His wisdom knew I would need it. BUT patience gives us the time to evaluate a situation to make better choices and wait to not act out on my frustration or anger. Actually, frustration is a kissing cousin to anger. We need time to feel our feelings appropriately so we don’t just do what just “feels” right.

I realize this virus is getting to me. I wanted to get rid of something and it was very heavy, took it to the store and found out they would not take it when they usually do! I reacted with I am going to make you feel sorry for me so you will do what I need. Didn’t work. Afterwards, feeling my feelings of frustration and then my need in comparison to keeping the people working safe, my need was not important.

I realize my reaction was a direct connection to the world’s virus. I was and am tired of “putting up with all this.” I want what I want and want it now! This is enough I have tried to kind, patient, sweet, helpful…. I’m done!” Whew! Yup! That is what came and maybe true for many of you. The bottom line was I needed to do my feeling work which has been building in me– the frustration, anger and fear.  Being short with the store person was not okay. He did not need or deserve my reaction and my attempt to get what I wanted. He deserved kindness and understanding.

Most everyone in this world is struggling, hurting and scared at some level, maybe they can’t see even any hope for the future. We need to pull together as a world community. Stop criticizing and help each other. I you don’t like the way something is happening, what can YOU do to change it. Our complaining, being upset, criticizing people from the president on down hurts us and the world. Gratitude, kindness and understanding puts loving and wonderful healing energy into our world. Criticism puts anger, hurt, and fear into this world. So, that is our choice. Which side are you going to be on?

It is a hard time in the world, we are going to get out of it. Yes, our world will be different, it has to be. I have to become more caring, kind, thoughtful and thankful; not angry and spiteful. We have to share and realize we are not going to get our way from politics to a corner store. We have to learn to see the viewpoint from others point of view. To agree to disagree. The hatred in this county is destroying us individually and as a country.

We can all make a difference. Do something to help someone or support the people who are doing something.  We have to pull together, learn and grow. That is what life is, and we grow and learn when we hurt and struggle.

Blessing and safety everyone

 

 

FEAR AND HELP

For those of us who have been traumatized, this virus may be triggering old fear. We may find ourselves becoming more vigilant and trying to stay safe. Sadly, there is not safe place now, no place to hide or escape to. The virus has permeated our lives from what we do, shopping, relationships, etc.

Before we could sometimes escape, run, hide, stay away; sometimes we just had to endure. Now, with this virus, we are enduring. That creates pain deep inside of us and possibly a panic to run anywhere to escape, but there is no place to go. Which leaves us in the pain and trying to escape it other ways, such as self-harm, drugs/alcohol, hurting others, etc.

I am reaching out to those individuals who relate to the above pain or to those who are caring for them or are in some kind of relationship with those individuals. This is important. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS! Please get help.

If, however, you are in a situation where you or your children are being abused because you can’t get out or away, there is help. Hotlines, police, someone you trust. There is help. Or contact me and I will contact someone to help.

This time is difficult but help is still available.  If you were abused and old memories and feelings are being triggered, surfacing again, call a therapist, a counselor and get going on your healing. Yes, healing is painful, hard and I wish we never had to do it, BUT if we have been traumatized, we HAVE TO HEAL! And when we heal, we find freedom, joy, love and we come to know it wasn’t our fault.  We also discover we like ourselves versus hating ourselves! That is often seen as a miracle. Another amazing thing are the gifts that God gives us when we heal! We always gain wisdom from healing! I love the wisdom! That is special knowledge that helps us get through life.

Please get the help you need. It is available even in these tough times.

Blessings, peace and healing.

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.

 

FEELINGS AND THE VIRUS

I just came back from a walk on my favorite lake, Lake Michigan. Yesterday it was a beautiful day and totally blue skies. The Lake was gorgeous and light blue. Today when I went, it was another gorgeous day with blue skies, BUT the lake was dark and seemed angry. How does it change like that? It should have been blue like yesterday! Maybe our earth is feeling the effects of the virus too? I don’t know I just know when the skies are blue, so is the lake and it wasn’t. This is like our life right now, it is Spring gorgeous and we in the darkness of this virus.

We are all feeling the effects of the virus – still in the house, battling on the front lines, struggling to get needed supplies and trying to maintain our mood without using alcohol, drugs, yelling or hurting someone. We are feeling irritable, stressed and maybe angry. Our stats for domestic violence and child abuse are up and so is the use for some of alcohol and drugs. Please remember alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs we have in our world.

So, what do we do with our pent up, fearful, stressful, frustrating, angry feelings? There are three rules to following to feeling our feelings appropriately so we don’t cause damage with them. These apply to all ages of people, all:

  1. Can’t hurt ourselves. No cutting, suicide, alcohol/drugs, etc.
  2. Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals and PEOPLE! This means no yelling, hitting, etc. Yes, you can pull weeds, LOL!
  3. Can’t damage property you don’t want to damage.

ALL OUR FEELINGS ARE GOOD, WHAT WE DO WITH THEM I GOOD OR BAD! All our feelings teach us about us and our world things we need to know to make a good decision. NEVER, NEVER make a decision based on your feelings unless in a dangerous situation. So, following the three rules we can feel our feelings safely. Here are some examples:

Anger – yell into a pillow, beat a punching bag or something else, fill you sink with water and yell into it, throw a ball against an outside safe wall, write an UNMAILED, UNSENT, letter to someone you are mad at and then destroy it. DO NOT WRITE ON EMAIL OR FACEBOOK, INSTANT GRAM, OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Sadness and Loneliness -cry, talk to someone on the phone or online, reach out to someone alone, etc. Fear – feeling the feeling of fear needs us to relax into it, feel it and learn from it.

Blessings and safety to everyone.

FORGIVENESS AND THE VIRUS

This blog may be hard for some people but very very important. These days of uncertainty we don’t know when a person may die. Don’t know if we will have a chance to say goodbye, or even have a chance to, without saying we’re sorry or forgive them before it is too late. We may not even be able to have a funeral. Please hear this, please.

So many times, I have worked with people and helped to comfort them when they are in deep deep sorrow and loss of someone, they really did love BUT became angry for whatever reason, in hindsight these reasons are never important. Or they decided to distance themselves from these people in their lives because they decided never to forgive them. I am not talking about situations where there is danger.

This is also true of the other way when people decide that we have done something so horrible so awful that they can’t forgive us and they decide to punish us for years. And there’s nothing that we can do to change it no matter hard we try.

It may sound like “I will never love you.” “you will never be welcomed in my home again.” ‘I will never talk to you again.” “You will never see your grandchildren again.” They My have believe lies about us that others or family members have said. Or they may create lies about us and get others to believe them.

It could be that WE choose to keep our distance physically, mentally and emotionally and not talk to them or share with them or share our lives with them. And we decide not to be around them. But whatever the reason or whoever does it is because they or we decide they or we are hurt. This may be true or not true. Or we couldn’t handle any more pain from them. Or they couldn’t handle any more pain from us.

At this point I am saying to you is it does not matter. What matters is bringing peace and healing to the situation. Healing is all that matters and is all that is important. Holding on to old hurts or pains or things you don’t like about somebody is wrong. We all goof, we all make mistakes and we all need to and have to forgive to be free of pain.

So, the pain and anger are handled all the wrong ways. We have to feel our feelings fully and appropriately, we do not hurt something else alive like people or animals. Hurt only causes more hurt and pain. It never feels good it never does what we think it should do like hurt somebody else that has hurt us.

Whatever has happened this is a time of forgiveness. Forgive them. Ask for forgiveness, forgiveness has an absolute miracle in it that God has put there for us. The three words” I am sorry.” And “Forgive me.” Are some of the most powerful words that can ever be said. Please, please hear me, please don’t let another day go by without bringing forgiveness in a situation that you may have hurt and pain and anger in it. This is so important.

If you choose, God forbid, not to do this then you may live with major regrets for the rest of your life. Those regrets don’t heal for a long long time and are very painful. You may become bitter for the rest of your life. Medical research says holding on to hurt anger, etc. hurts our physical body and we will get sick and die early.

Reach out to those people in your life where there has been conflict, hurt, anger, and unforgiveness. People that you need to forgive. People you need to ask forgiveness from. The miracle of forgiveness is so powerful it changes our and other’s lives.

Sadly, if the other person will not respond they choose to stay angry, God still has the miracle of forgiveness for you and will bring you peace. Still forgive. Don’t hesitate, Risk everything to do this. It helps you, others your family and it help the world to have less anger in it, and help everyone to heal.

Praying for all of you. Peace and blessings

VIRUS AND OUR CHILDREN AND TEENS

The virus has its loneliness and anxiety/fear. We adults are being affected and we are adults. Our children of all ages are being majorly affected. They are asking the adults in their lives how to handle this; what happened when it happened before; what do we do to get through this….and the questions go on. Many are terrified. The most difficult answer we have to give is, we do not know, we have never been here before.

We need to help them, here is how:

Talk to them, but do not awfulize. Give them the facts that are appropriate for their age. They should not have all the details unless they are older teens.

  1. Be honest that we don’t have the answers yet, but are working to get answers, and will get them.
  2. Talk to them about how they feel without judgment. This includes anxiety/fear, being terrified, sadness, etc.
  3. Teach them about their feelings, if you don’t know about them, learn about them. See my previous post. It is important we learn from our feelings by feeling them appropriately.
  4. Many are having nightmares. Ask them to tell you about their dreams, have them create a story and draw a picture about it. The most important thing is to listen, honor and respect their feelings.
  5. Have fun times. Use this time to get to know your children and how they handle anxiety. Be there for them.
  6. Teach them about their feelings
  7. Talk about the unknown, and maybe make plans for what they would like to do after this is all over.
  8. Tell the good things that are happening with the virus, i.e., people recovering
  9. We can’t meet with friend or family, but what could we do…Skype? Zoom? Write a letter?
  10. Teach them about God and your religion. Give them something to turn too when there is no other place to turn.

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