Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Tough Out Here These Days

This photo is from Ronn ashore's photo stream.

People are losing their jobs, institutions are crumbling, wars continue...

I think it's fair to say that we are all experiencing a strong dose of anxiety.

You know anxiety, don't you? That vague, unpleasant, sometimes persistent emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune.

I know I'm having my fair share of it. Everything seems to be in flux - economically, politically and socially and as Lucy Bernholz says "it's not a recession, it's a restructuring."

What's a human being to do?

I learned an interesting fact the other day. It's important to complain! Apparently the amygdala - the control center in our brains for emotions - is somewhat soothed by kvetching. You can learn more here. On the other hand, it's also important to get to work. However, I don't mean "work" in the usual sense of going to the office but good work, meaningful work, work that makes the world better.

The form of this type of work doesn't matter - you can volunteer at a school, read to an older person, write a poem or take your child for a long walk. You can read a beautiful book and share it with your neighbor. This type of work is all about CONNECTING to others and (in turn) to the deepest parts of OURSELVES and it's one of the best defenses against going mad!

I hope you'll take time out today to connect with someone else. To slow down, to say "hello," to ask a genuine question. It's tough out here these days and we need to turn to each other for healing, kindness and support.



johnpaulmurray said...

Sometimes we all need to take a few steps back and look at the big picture. Look at what you have (vs. what you don't have) and be grateful ! If you are healthy, be particularly grateful !

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