- Lisa Bushman LPCC
Fear and Uncertainty
Lots of fear and uncertainty right now, huh? When you begin to think about it, it can become overwhelming. For many of you, an event like this can take you off the charts. Worry and fear starts to creep in and our minds spin out of control. The mental chatter in our head takes off and we begin to get really scared. Life is changing too quickly and it has disrupted our pattern of expecting that tomorrow will be the same as today. We all wish it weren't happening, but it is.
The real problem is that we've spent day in and day out trying to control our lives. We've bought into thinking that we MUST have control. We try to do the right things, be the right way, and control the people and things around us. We try to control what we have, what others think, our relationships, our emotions, our bank accounts, our image, etc.... and the list goes on and on. We spend our entire lives trying to escape our fears by using control.
If we learn nothing else from this event, we must learn that we can't control everything. And for moments like these, we need to be grounded in solid coping mechanisms that will help us control what we experience on the inside, when there is so much chaos on the outside. As a counselor, I often see individuals trying to use shopping, substances, avoidance, relationships, food, money, etc. as a means for coping with life's challenges. I don't know about you, but I squarely fit into the food category! Using external things to control our internal chaos, often leads to a spiral of rigidity and other personal issues.
Listen to this quick clip of Michael Singer, as he talks to Oprah about fear and change. He nails it on the head at the 48 second mark.
Life has definitely changed and slowed down. That "more time" that we've all wished for, has shown up on our door step (along with the packages from Amazon, UPS, FedEx, Krogers, etc.) How will you choose to use the time that you've been given? Will you step out and try a new way of coping, or will you run back and continue the patterns of the past? I highly recommend that you try some new things like meditation, prayer, yoga, or mindfulness. Focusing within ourselves can help to calm the storms.
Maybe connecting with others is something that will help you relax. Last night, I hosted a "Virtual Girls Night Out" via Skype, with some of my closest friends. For 30 minutes, we reconnected and it felt normal again. Try spending some time reconnecting with others. You don't have to worry about coordinating their schedules. For the first time, in a very long time, most everyone's schedule is free! The calendar says "stay at home"
Can you let go of the fear, and trust yourself, to embrace the uncertainty of the moment? If you're really seeking control, accept what is. Give up control, in order to get it....