The management of your emotions is THE most important aspect of self-care you can gift yourself with this week. If you have a pulse, live in the U.S. or are an expatriate abroad, you have been reeling from events of recent days in our country and around our borders and are wondering what has happened to your country, our country. Familiar are the feelings of rage, sadness, fear, anxiety and depression. DON’T let these emotions take control and cause you to make decisions that you may later regret from impulsively responding to negativity. As difficult as it may be given the circumstances around us, as well as the daily challenges we are all contending with individually, for some of us managing our emotions will be the very thing that keeps us sane, employed, married, healthy, in love, faith filled, and hopeful for a better tomorrow.
Don’t give in to feelings of despair. Don’t lose hope in the fact that there are good people still out there, sane people, people who don’t thrive off of hate, violence, and bigotry. You don’t. Therefore, I must believe, and you must believe that there are more people out there, like you and I, who want to see this country and this world be in a better place. If you give up on them, and turn inward, into your pain, then we delay the progress that can be made when we act in unity. I am not saying don’t grieve for the lives lost this week, grandparents gunned down in front of their grandchild out of an act of racial hatred; worshipers gunned down in Holy spaces as an act of anti-Semitic violence; a country on edge as bombs are infiltrating our U.S. mail system terrorizing the nation; and the many other local atrocities that didn’t make national news this week. These acts are all meant to evoke fear.
Acknowledge the fear if you feel it, then let it go. Acknowledge any emotion that the past events of these few days as well as all of the preceding horrors that came before, constantly reminding us that some seek to “Make America Hate Again” as my Pastor so eloquently stated in a Sunday morning service. Fear and hate that leads to rage, sadness, anxiety and depression cannot be the state of mind that we own this week. I refuse to let anyone or anything have that level of control over my heart and mind. Last week, I asked you to choose choice. This week I ask you to do the same but now, it’s even more critical that you choose to not fall prey and be victimized by the hate of others. It’s important that as you acknowledge any negative emotion, that you do NOT allow yourself to stay stuck in the abyss. You must fight the inner nature and strong desire to wallow in emotional poo. Yeah, I said it, POO. Fighting your way out of the funk and the poo, is the only way to take back control of your life. Control you still have. Control the things that you can and release the things that you can’t.
You can’t change the event of this past week, not individually but you can join a collective of people who decide to find something that they can do to share love in the face of hate, to show courage in the heat of rage and to bring joy to spaces that hold anxiety and sadness. You can serve. The best way that I have learned to get out of my own head, my sadness, my fear, my phobia’s was to go out and help other people. Go volunteer with children, feed the hungry, help the sick, visit the elderly and in doing so, prove that the whole world hasn’t gone completely to hell. This week, look around you, open your eyes and ears to hear and see who around you may be in need of help. By you choosing to show love to strangers, you bring back balance to this universe and emote good in the face of evil. You will go to give hope and will receive hope in return. You will go to bless others and will leave feeling blessed yourself.
If there’s more that you need to do to feel and be emotionally healthy this week, pursue the more without guilt. Love yourself, be gentle with yourself and with oth
ers this week. Care for others but in doing so, don’t forget to care for yourself too. None of this will change what has already occurred but all of this can change the future. Love is the change you can believe in. Love is the change that we need. Love is within your control, so choose love this week and wherever possible, remember one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. Love is a verb, a decision, not an emotion. So this week, manage those negative emotions with intentional action. The determination to act out of a place of love, service and positivity.