As a society, we are dealing with a global pandemic, race riots, political divide, and civil unrest. As OSR members we are dealing with having to sell our homes, make huge life-changing decisions, and then face all the challenges of making the move. How are we dealing with these challenges? Are we dealing with fear and anxiety, or curiosity and excitement? Most of us are somewhere in the middle.
We have to ask ourselves, “Am I a victim here, finding my life in chaos?” or “Do I believe that there is purpose in everything?” The problem with being a victim or even a partial victim is that life becomes unstable. We see ourselves as being out of control due to events, persons, or circumstances that we have no influence over. This is one paradigm. I submit that this is a false paradigm, one that breeds continued chaos, depression, and hopelessness, all of which can be debilitating, even fatal, given time. What can one do to get off of such a downward spiral?
I suggest three things:
Number one is to just breathe. Take a deep breath and then exhale in one large release. As you exhale let go of everything. Because when you let go of everything that you are clinging to, the worry, the anxiety, the pent-up fear that we all grab a hold of from time to time, they lose their control of us. Even if it is only for a moment. Deep breathing with the purpose of letting go allows the mind to change focus. Now, what one chooses to focus on after the release determines one’s next course heading. That brings us to the second thing.
Number two: immediately smile. Physically smile. Pull your cheek muscles up and smile. Science has proven that with the effort of smiling your body chemistry begins to change. Try it, do it right now. 😊 Feel the change. Repeat number one and number two several times right now. Don’t be afraid, just do it.
Number three: think of something or someone that you are thankful for while you are smiling. This will often bring tears to one’s eyes. Gratitude is a powerful antioxidant. Gratitude is a potent detergent in removing those things that are corrosive to one’s peace and well-being. Taking a moment to allow those things that you are grateful for, to be your focus, even if for a moment, rewires the neuro-pathways in the brain.
These three small, but powerful activities can be implemented as often as one wants to change their emotional condition. Removing toxic attitudes and replacing them with hope by seeing the positive around us can not only change us, it can change a relationship, a family, a neighborhood, and in time even a nation. Self-reliance begins with knowing what is wanted, taking action to achieve it, and in the end becoming a new person, a person with hope, energy, and a new course in life, a course that often involves helping others achieve that same hope, energy, and a new course in life.
Philip J. Gleason,