Who Do You Believe?
In the recent 6 weeks, we have been getting news from around the world. Many people are chiming in as to who, what, and where things are occurring. I am of course talking about information on the Pandemic. We get information from our governors, from our president, from our news stations. Our local mayors are telling us their statistics and viewpoints. Our businesses are suffering. Our faith communities are trying to keep us up-to-date.
This past weekend, we celebrated Mother’s Day in a new way. This is a photo of my mom. It is actually an oil painting that was reinvented for this fun page. My mother died many years ago and I still miss her daily. My own children remembered me beautifully. However, it was different from in the past when they would bring their families. Together we would spend time in the yard, eat hardily, and joke. Sometimes we’d work on puzzles or other family projects. Sports might be on the television and a group watching the latest games.
So much of how we are interacting is different. We are embracing the internet, talking on the phone, and doing things alone. This is not how we were designed. We were created to interact in person, to touch one another, to laugh, and have emotional experiences together. Now tears are flowing as people go into situations alone that really didn’t need to be!
I have two friends who had family members in a hospital. One of them then had a family member in a nursing center for several weeks. In these cases, there loved ones were alone without anyone to advocate or share their problems and pains. Our mental health is greatly improved when we can talk, laugh, cry, and share. We hear ourselves expressing ourselves and refine our thinking during conversations. We double-check our thinking and our behaviors accordingly.
In the course of conversations, we are able to figure out who to trust and how to sort out our thinking. As adults, we have come to cleanse our opinions. We are able to sort out facts. We are able to read and learn by living in different situations. What is bothersome to me is that young children are not able to be with their grandparents during this time, because it is said that children can become carriers of this virus. And yet it is the older population that may be able to lend some wisdom on how to deal with this pandemic.
I don’t know where you are in this. Are you an adult who has the responsibility to provide the money for the family? Are you a spouse who is not able to be with your mate due to this? Are you in a position to be in the workplace in a job that is at risk? Are you part of a medical team like a nurse or hospital or nursing home person? Are you concerned about getting the needs you have? Are you doing without food or looking for shelter? So many people are putting themselves at risk because of the basics. Many are looking for some income during this time.
I know as a counselor and coach, I have been able to do some of my work online, and I am very grateful for that. I also have an office that encourages people and holds comfort for them. To be honest with you I can’t wait to get back in here full time to see and to engage with people. To see their expressions and feel where they are at.
Back to the trusting component of this!
So who do you trust? Is it a friend who always comes through for you? That person who goes out of their way or offers to do favors for you even if it is inconvenient? Is it a family member who shows unconditional love without knowing all the details?
For me, it is a combination of things. Yes, I have a few friends that are available to me whenever I need them. One lives far away, but can be reached in the middle of the night or whenever I would call. Another is a friend who is older and wiser than I am who traveled with me to many places in the world. We used to share money when traveling and a room with one another. She was a safety factor for me and I was the same for here. To this day, we share the most trivial or most significant issues.
Then I had a cousin who died of pancreatic cancer years ago that I was tied into. We would share profound happenings and just be there for one another. We had shared as children many of the same holidays and family changes. She was only 4 years older than I am, but I learned from her, yet we were so different.
On a broader skim of things, I look to people who are genuine and honest. People who would not in any way intentionally hurt me. People who would listen and even though they wouldn’t agree with me would be kind, respectful, and honest.
Now in the past few years, I have become skeptical of outside information. With the news media and social avenues we have available, we are definitely kept up to the minute on things happening all around us. The problem I see is that we don’t always see things in context. As a matter of fact, we don’t know if what we are being told is an opinion or a fact. That makes one weary to believe. On another level, I question if I am being primed to buy something. Yesterday I was listening to a program on leadership and helping others, but in the end, there was a program that I would have to buy into. I was totally annoyed and don’t think I will follow this business again. It has happened several times so I guess I am a slow learner and now I don’t think I am trustworthy of this business. I see them marketing all the time.
The news bothers me lately because everything seems tied to politics. I am not sure I am getting the totally correct facts. The intonation of the voices often conveys a message too. My trust level has been diminished. So where does one go for information? It appears that we have to be discerning frequently and tied into many avenues. I think it means we have to use common sense and see how it affects that way we react. We need to see things in the light.
From a Counseling Perspective
- Individually, we need to recognize our emotions. Our emotions are the basis for our behavior.
- One needs to stay connected to a variety of groups of people and not be isolated from family, friends, and local businesses.
- We need to see what we can contribute to help one another.
- It is a good time to connect across the generations. Talk with the younger and older people around you whether it is in a store or on the phone.
- Be intentional about sharing whatever skills you have without a hidden agenda.
- Listen and try to get the fuller picture.
Trust yourself, especially if you have lived through and survived with positive outcomes. Your gut feelings are often accurate. I hope some of these thoughts move you ahead this week. Don’t forget to take the first step forward on something you want to learn or do, it may put you on the escalator of success.