Hi There, is this your first time?
No, I don't mean the first time here to my blog, I mean first time in the front seat of disaster. If you've been affected by the recent natural disasters of hurricanes or earthquakes or even a disaster on a more localized and personal scale, then consider this my way of sending strength and support out to you. If you haven't been here yet, well, you might still want to continue reading on, none of us are immune to the effects of the occasional Life Tsunami Waves!
I understand this is a scary place to find yourself, no matter the cause which brought you here. I know it helps only the tiniest of bits to know you have ever so much more company than you imagine at this moment. Perhaps not hand holding close, but the world and all of us with it go through a Yin and Yang pretty consistently, though it doesn't usually directly affect us, so we might not take much notice. Maybe we didn't know it could be like this.
Recently, whole communities have been devastated by natural events and others by recent terrorist strikes. Yet right now, it's down to You and your ability to get through this day or this week. Chances are you can't think too much about further in the future than that. But you know you don't want to stay here! Not feeling like this.
You thought surviving the Event would be the hardest part.
And yet now you find (or will find, as the days pass) the Event was actually the easier part of this whole equation. No one ever told you how the adrenaline would pump you up during the event and last through those first few days before leaving you high and dry for bone-deep exhaustion to set in.
You didn't know to expect those feelings of overwhelm as your mind and body slowly emerged from the state of shock to this- your new reality. And you go through this every morning as you realize this is really how things are, for the meantime anyway.
No one ever sent you the memo to inform you how every little pain (both physical and emotional) would become magnified as a new insult inflicted on a system already under stress.
It isn't like you didn't expect to get a bit bumped or bruised during the ordeal, but you didn't figure on being SO RAW after the fact.
I hope it helps to hear that all of this is normal. Yes, I have been to this place several times in my life. I hope sharing my lived experience with you helps you. I hope to give you an understanding of this process in a way that makes it easier for you to navigate.
What your body and mind just went through was extraordinary and we simply aren't used to those types of drastic changes in our well-ordered life and climate controlled environments. I can't say for certain it was really ever easier, but I do believe it was. Once there was a time when we lived in more harmony with nature rather than bouncing through the days feeling we held mastery over our environments.
Not to get too far off topic, but we know that a large chunk of the current population is already suffering from a sedentary lifestyle and either has or is in the pre-stages of a chronic disease. Our hearts and minds are so intertwined when one suffers, the other is affected to some degree, but when both are challenged... well traumatic events bring this all right up to the top. This lack of daily Wellness puts us at risk, just when we need our personal resources the most. Again, I'm not going to devolve into a treatise of why we all need to work on maintaining a state of health, but I do feel it's important that we understand a few things:
There aren't any shortcuts to be found on a map to 'Recovery'
Each Individual handles these events in different ways
Our minds and bodies are connected and we have to care for each in this process
These events give us cause to grieve and we will go through the stages of grief
You will get better at this.
Yes, I am laughing- but I'm but I'm not joking!
Think of Resilience as a spiritual muscle if you will. We build this muscle is by going through adversity. We take the lessons learned during these times and apply them to better prepare ourselves the next time. The experience often forces upon us the opportunity to learn skills we probably would not otherwise but this is usually to our benefit.
It gives us the opportunity to see just how strong and how kind the human spirit can be.
We get to see elements of nature that awe us. I gather these memories of strengths and beauty and pack them into my Wellness Toolbox, to be pulled out the next time I'm faced with a traumatic situation. Yesterday I gained a new image, it is a small crepe myrtle bush in my neighbor's yard. Looking more like a war zone with its wreckage of felled trees from the hurricane, no longer the well-manicured yard, yet here was this amazing alive little bush. Newly planted, it was just as likely to not have survived the winds and yet, here it was showing delicate blooms, like a promise of hope itself springing forth.
I challenge you to recognize these moments when they arise for you. Maybe it will be the smile of the utility worker far from home or the zillion stars you never saw in the city sky. These are moments you can pull out the next time you're faced with hard circumstances. Remembering that good can still be found under those circumstances helps keep those resilience muscles strong and supportive.
And if you need a little extra help with that, we're just a click away!