Opinion: Wisdom Workout

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Assessing the Damage

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

It is time to take stronger control of our physical, mental and emotional energies as we face the continued challenge of this devastating pandemic. The next task is to focus on discovering what is worth investing our energy in.

When we believe that our safety and security, our survival, is threatened by external circumstances, the natural emotional response to the perceived threat is to become resistant. We slam on the breaks and are pulled up short. We stop our forward movement.

The next step that follows in this predictable cycle is resentment. We resent the outcome. We reject it. We don’t want to believe it has turned out this way. We want to fight against it. We want to mobilize our energy into anger as a way to distance ourselves from free-floating fear and anxiety.

Resistance is the first step. Resentment is the second phase of this cycle. The circle completes itself by tempting us to make decisions out of an unacknowledged wish for revenge. We resist the experience of loss. We resent that our expectations have been thwarted. The natural response to a threat is to want to flee or to fight against something or someone.

When we are unconscious of this emotional turmoil, we are in danger of alienating or damaging relationships with people who hold opposing viewpoints from our own. It takes some discipline to stop this cycle from taking over and creating havoc in our interpersonal relationships. If we are able to check ourselves from spewing unadulterated resentment at others, we might still be in danger of turning our frustration and disappointment against ourselves.

Resentment turned inward can take the form of disconnection from outside involvements, depression, numbness and lack of motivation for even mundane daily pursuits.

How can we sidestep this potential cesspool of runaway negativity? The first step is to increase our awareness. Use this three-step cycle as an assessment tool. Are you feeling resistant? What specifically is generating that stance beyond the obvious? Are you resentful? Are you running away from feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed because free-floating grief and sadness will arrive as surely as thunder and lighting come before the rain? Are fear and anxiety about the unknown and unknowable future obsessively pushing the panic button until you can’t hear yourself think?

When you are ready to regain control, it is time to invite your core equilibrium back home. Directly facing the unknown and unknowable is humbling. It is humiliating to our sometimes runaway egos that are fortified by our secret pretense that we are the Master or Mistress of Our Personal Universe. This worldwide pandemic dominates the airways. There is no place to hide. If your investment has been mighty, assess the energy prices you are paying. Perhaps it is time to tend to your own healing. Set small, attainable personal accomplishment goals that will invite your individual and unique pleasures back into focus. Make a list of wishes and wants that will begin to entice you back into a fuller and richer engagement in the business of continuing on with the journey of your life.

Worldwide gain and loss is outside of our control. What remains within our control is the willingness to find in even the bitterest of losses, the truth that we continue to be showered with opportunities to live fully and love well.

Susan is a local author of the emotional resource book “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” She has been writing and producing personal development seminars for over three decades. Email: [email protected]

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