The more time that passes from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in March of 2020, we continue to see the ramifications not just on physical condition (everyone gained weight), financial well being (many have yet to recover from the shutdown and may never), relationship strains (isolation and fear to connect) but on mental health (huge increase in depression and suicide since this all began).
By now, every person has weighed in on the Will Smith incident at the Oscars where he punched Chris Rock in the face for attacking his wife, even though it was in jest. I stand by my comment that I understand where Will’s anger came from, but I certainly don’t condone his behavior. This is a classic case of displaced anger, and it is dangerous.
Besides Will Smith, we are seeing more and more outraged people taking it out on innocent people. The frustration and anger are real; however, without properly managing those emotions, they get directed at the wrong people. We are made to feel things, but in today’s climate, we are confused as to what is appropriate and acceptable. Many stuff their emotions until they finally burst.
Mental and emotional health requires more than taking a day off. Resting is great, but unless we tackle the tough stuff and get to the root of the anger, we are one wrong comment away from a meltdown. I am not judging anymore because Lord knows we’ve been through a rough few years and none of us is immune. We have every right to be upset, but we don’t have the right to take it out on others.
Often, we have built up frustration that ultimately turns into anger, and anger warps our perspective. Anger eats away at our joy, piece by piece. We are upset, and we don’t even know why anymore. That’s where the work comes in. We must dig deep beneath the surface and look at what is causing the strong emotion.
In some cases, the way the outbreak was handled and its negative impacts on your life may be triggering a deep-rooted fear of being controlled, taken advantage of or abused. For others, it might have ignited the fear of being alone, isolated or even your own death. Each of us is different, but I encourage you to heal and not hide from your emotional pains because they physically affect you. Take the time to be reflective and soul search what is really going on inside of you.
Hiding is much easier. All we have to do is keep busy, and our society encourages it! As long as you are busy, you don’t have time to think. If you don’t have time to think, well…you can’t feel anything. And if you can’t feel anything, you don’t hurt. This only works for so long before you ultimately crash and burn. Hopefully, you don’t verbally take out someone else with you! The tongue is a vicious weapon.
With upwards of 90 percent of all illness and disease beginning with stress, it is imperative that you find creative and healthy outlets for your anger: journal, exercise at a high intensity, talk to someone, read inspiring stories, pray and praise…whatever works for you. There by the grace of God go any of us!
Over and over again, I see posts on social media reminding us that the “bad” chapters of life end, and we can start a new one. I propose that every chapter of our life is going to have both good and bad, and when we understand that, our chapter goes easier. We aren’t holding our breath waiting for one to end so we can begin another.
Think about any great book you’ve read, and chapters typically have highs and lows. They don’t break them up into separate chapters but rather weave the entire story together. Our lives are going to include some wonderful times, but they will also have some difficult times.
Look back at your life, and I am sure you can recall fun, happy times. Think a little harder, and you will also remember sad, challenging moments, too. As I was battling Lyme disease, I climbed the tallest peak in the Continental US: Mt. Whitney in California. I was stricken with pain, fatigue and all sorts of weird symptoms, but I conquered a massive undertaking during that chapter of my life. I had a victory amongst the defeat.
Not all chapters are the same length either. God deems some chapters are short while others feel as if they will never end. We may not understand His purpose, but we can trust the ultimate writer of our story. Our part is to keep our eyes open for the good that transpires in the midst of the struggles and keep the faith. Your story is yours alone. May this chapter be the best yet!
We have all had excellent bosses and those who are toxic and destructive. I don’t believe anyone enters leadership with malice intentions, just like pastors of churches desire to serve others but can get lost. If they aren’t careful, though, their position of authority can go to their head. They start enjoying the power they have over others, and begin to seek praise rather than purpose.
When they are consumed by this power, they lose perspective, and this is when their original intentions get perverted. Any one of us can go down this path unless we are intentional to stay grounded and rooted in our purpose.
We all need accountability, and this is where many leaders fail. They believe they are above the need for help, or they would be embarrassed to ask for assistance and don’t. Trusted peers can be a great resource for keeping us on the path and holding our feet to the fire.
Group forums are also an excellent way to gain support, encouragement and accountability. What works for you to keep your focus?
If you are looking for a group to join that will sharpen you professionally but also support you personally, my FIT Leader Forums have openings. Take a look at the format and see if it is a fit for you!