By Dina Evan, Ph.D I never realized I led such a sheltered life, because I worked my whole life raising kids and teaching. But I had a wake-up call...
By Dina Evan, Ph.D
I never realized I led such a sheltered life, because I worked my whole life raising kids and teaching. But I had a wake-up call one morning watching “The View.” They had on an amazing author, Ben Sherwood, who wrote, The Survivor’s Club, and recently 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. Sherwood discovered there was pattern to how we all react in dire circumstances.
We do one of three things
His perspective is ten percent of us jump in immediately to offer and give support. Fifty percent of us hang out and wait until it’s over — or someone else fixes it, and the last ten percent do nothing. Which are you?
That knocked me back about three feet. I suddenly realized that’s exactly what we do in every life circumstance and challenge. I wondered what is it in our DNA or genes that makes those decisions and can we change it?
Every day we are threatened with news about war, toxins, medical issues, tragic events and scary statistics. We worry 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.
However, we don’t get to do that in life because challenges will come along and push us into the deep end. So what are we 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. Let’s see what we want in that bag.
One thing I talked about last month is a 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. Things seem less overwhelming 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 it. What small steps can you take in the moment to give you a sense of power to not be overwhelmed?
What friends, family members and support do you have in your life to pow-wow with and come up with suggestions to maintain your sanity. Set up your network.
I know you have heard me say this before, ask what the circumstance or challenge is here to teach you. (my best tool.)
Recall 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 now? What great thing are you about to discover within or about yourself?
One of the attributes of resilient people is they do not get completely paralyzed by lifes obstacles.
Remember “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”—Robert Kennedy
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.
I certainly don’t want to minimize the loss right now. The courage of our caregivers is evidence there is a big 10% who jump in to help. To all the first responders and caregivers deserve thanks.
Most of all, once you determine which 10% you’re in, congratulate yourself if you are in the jump in group. Ask yourself what you’re waiting for if you are in the hang out group or in the do-nothing group. The reason you need to ask yourself this 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.