By Dina Evan, Ph.D Never realized I led a sheltered life, probably because I worked my whole life raising kids and teaching. But I had a wake-upcall watching my favorite...
By Dina Evan, Ph.D
Never realized I led a sheltered life, probably because I worked my whole life raising kids and teaching. But I had a wake-upcall watching my favorite show, “The View.” They had an amazing author on, Ben Sherwood who wrote, The Survivor’s Club, and recently just released, The Survivor’s Club, The Pandemic.
I had no idea this pandemic was not only expected, but we had experienced many in our history as human beings. Not only that, but Sherwood discovered there was pattern to how we all react in dire circumstances. We do one of three things. His perspective is that 10% of us jump in immediately to offer and give support. Fifty percent of us just hang out and wait until it’s over…. or someone else fixes it, and the last 10% do nothing. Which are you?
Well that knocked me back about three feet and I suddenly realized that’s exactly what we do in every life circumstance and challenge. I immediately wondered what is it in our DNA or genes that makes that decision and can we change it?
Every day we are threatened with news about war, toxins, medical issues, tragic events and scary statistics, and we start to get worried about how in the hell we could survive any of it. Life at times feels like one big alligator pit we must run through. And, when you get to be my age, you’d really rather just sit on the side of a pool and dangle your feet occasionally. However, we don’t get to do that in life. One of those challenges will come along and push us into the deep end. So what’s a girl to do?
I think we need to get a tool bag because the more tools you have the more willingness you’ll have to jump in and fight for change. So let’s see what we might want in that bag.
One thing that we talked about last month is change, this time I am talking about change in perspective. Ask yourself whether you have survived other challenges and made it. Did the fear kill you, and by the way, if you can answer that it didn’t.
Give it a minute. Sometimes things seem less over whelming if you step back and put them into perspective. Like now. Can we survive if we don’t go to the movies or flock to the park and sit on top of each other?
Break it down a bit. What small steps can you take in the moment to give you sense of power and not be so overwhelmed?
What friends, family members and support people do you have in your life you can pow-wow with and come up with some suggestions for maintaining your sanity. Set up your network of support.
I know you have heard me say this before, but it is my best tool and it’s, ask what the circumstance or challenge is here to teach you.
Remember a time when you went through a difficult challenge and pull up some of those skills.
Einstein said “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” What have you been wanting to do that you could not do before, but can do now? What great thing are you about to discover within yourself or about yourself?
One of the attributes of resilient people is that they do not get paralyzed by obstacles life throws their way.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”– Robert Kennedy
Try to remember that courage is only developed in the face of challenge or fear and fear is more often than not, just a feeling rather than a fact.
All of this is well and good and I hope it helps, but I certainly don’t want to minimize the loss right now. The courage of our caregivers is evidence that there is a big 10% who jump in. Next time you are at your doctor’s office, say thank you to the staff.
Once you determine which 10% you are in, congratulate yourself if you are in the jump in group. Ask yourself what you’re waiting for if you are in the just hang out group or in the do-nothing group. The reason you need to ask yourself is because it’s not about what’s happening out there that is important. It’s about what’s happening in here, to our soul, our integrity and our character. After all, that is what matters most.
Dr. Evan is a Marriage, family, child therapist and consciousness counselor. She has presented nationwide seminars and workshops, written several books and created meditation CDs for couples, individual and mental health professionals. She has also won national acclaim as a human rights advocate. Visit www.drdinaevan.com or call 602 571-8228.