I’ve been overwhelmed the past few weeks with the news of the shootings in the Pittsburgh synagogue and in Thousand Oaks, CA. Add to that the horrific fires also in California and the flooding and hurricanes elsewhere. I keep wondering how people get through those horrendous events and emerge sane and whole on the other side of them.
Several years ago I wrote a book, “LISTEN: Trusting Your Inner Voice In Times of Crisis.” I interviewed many people and asked for their best advice about how to get through a tough time. Here are five of their answers:
Turn big decisions into small decisions
When you’re in a crisis, everything tends to feel overwhelming. Put your focus on what’s important. What small decision can you make right now that will make you feel better? Those small, incremental steps have a way of paving the way to making successful bigger decisions. Just do the next right thing.
Turn your worries over to God
Accept that your worrying about every little thing isn’t helping. Write your worries down and then put them in a box or write “surrendered to the Divine” across the note. It’s a tangible way to “let go and let God.” Pray. Ask for wisdom from the Universe. The secret to surrendering through prayer is to ask to be Divinely guided. Trust your inner wisdom.
Choose to feel calm
What if this crisis you are currently experiencing is really meant to bring you to a better place? Embrace the change and trust that you’ll come out the other side of it feeling whole again. Find a positive statement that acknowledges the crisis, but will give you hope. Here are two examples: "This is incredibly painful, but I know the worst of it is temporary.” Or “I’ve gotten through tough times before. I know I’ll get through this too.”
Let your awareness soften
Stop and listen. What do you hear? A bird singing? A car honking? A newspaper rustling? Taking your mind off your panic and putting it into the larger reality around you can often shift you away from your fear and into an oasis of peace even if it’s just for a few moments.
Ask for support
When you’re going through a really tough time you might feel like crying, curling up in a ball and pulling the covers over your head. That’s okay and absolutely necessary. But it’s also important to remember that you have social supports that are there to help. Who are the folks you count on? Depending on the nature of your crisis they might be friends, family and co- workers. They might also be social workers, grief counselors and support group members. Think about what you need and want. There is a lot of love in the world and many people who want to help. Reach out.
What tips, suggestions, or advice can you offer other folks going through a difficult time?