Opinion: Wisdom Workout

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Back To Basics

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

Predictions abound. Financial forecasts are grim. No wonder free-floating anxiety and fear have taken hold.

   Conventional wisdom says to suck it up, stay alert, and hold on tight. If you can isolate yourself enough, this approach might work. Unfortunately, with the domino effect of multiple industries collapsing, many we care about are experiencing the emotional devastation of loss of external safety and security.

Facing the unknown is frightening and therefore, threatening. Once threatened, defensive behaviors follow quickly. Some of us use tight-jawed, stoic rigidity and make herculean efforts to beat life into submission to counter unwanted circumstances.

Being swept away by a torrent of uncontrollable negativity, hopelessness, and erratic emotionalism, is often another response to out of control circumstances.

These responses are natural when our survival is threatened. Threat triggers our fight or flight response.

You can’t muster up enough proactive energy to fight and there is nowhere you can flee. As a result, we freeze in place.

You can’t flee because “everywhere you go, there you are.” How did your life get reduced to the seemingly negative realities that you are currently facing? This isn’t how the story is supposed to play out.

You are too old, too stressed, too burdened, too busy, too (fill in the blank) to have this happening to you. You can’t move forward to better times because you can’t envision how things are going to play out. You can’t retreat to the imagined safety of the past because it has unraveled into a heap of rubble that used to be your safe and secure life. Seemingly, you are trapped.

To get unstuck, there are some realities that must be acknowledged and accepted before any forward movement can happen.

First, assess your energy level. If you are depleted from worry and stress, admit it. Truth is you don’t have the energetic juice to contribute at this time.

The antidote? Get healthy. Pull in your hyper-vigilant antenna and take on the task of getting rested and sane by taking control of your frantic mind. If you are feeling insecure, admit it. We are all capable of being overcome by feelings of insecurity.

Insecurity is a common reality. We only have control over whether we choose to be kind and respectful to those around us or we take our insecurities out on others.

Stop and assess your behavior. If you are punishing your loved ones for your insecurities, stop it. Take a deep breath, apologize, and correct your bad behavior.

Here is the good news. Life is fluid. Change is constant. Change your mind first, so that you are ready to take small, positive steps when the external environment does shift. Treat yourself with liberal doses of kindness and gentleness and extend it out to everyone around you.

It is your duty to contribute your brand of beauty to the situations you find yourself in, no matter what the external climate.

It is fairly easy to shine when life is going your way. The true test of your character is when you are pressed to stand up and be true to your basic goodness and the basic goodness of your life. Allow beauty and duty to marry and birth a new reality infused with dignity and courage, as we face the unknown together.

Susan is a local author of the emotional resource book “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Reach her at susanvelasquez.com.

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