by Vaughn M. Bryant, III, PhD, LPC-CCS, LMFT-S, LCDC-CCS
Mental Health Specialist at J Flowers Health Institute
What was once “out there” feels like it is getting closer to “right here”.
Last month, I wrote an article on Stress and Resilience to COVID-19. I appreciate all the feedback I received from people who informed me that the Mental Health Self Care strategies have helped them with the stress of this pandemic.
Master your mind or your mind will master you.
I want to validate you and affirm that the situation we are in is stressful. Our lifestyle has dramatically changed. The future is uncertain and the threat that was once “out there” feels like it is getting closer and closer to “right here”.
The future was always uncertain.
There have been so many times in your life when you feared the future. You may have feared some outcome that eventually never came to pass. You may have feared some outcome thinking that you could never handle it, then once it did happen, you handled it. You survived! Not only did you survive, but you came out even stronger than you were before.
You are stronger than you seem.
I heard it once said that when a broken bone heals, the place where it was broken has a higher density than the unfractured place and the broken spot heals to be stronger than that the rest of the bone. That happened in your psyche when you “handled” the past crisis in your life. You became stronger. You learned that you are stronger than you seem. That strength you gained dealing with an earlier crisis in your life has made you stronger. Access that strength now to handle this situation. Access that strength and have faith in your ability to see it through this crisis.
Lean into your faith.
In Part I “Stress and Resilience to COVID-19”, I encouraged you to enhance your spiritual condition. There is a delicate balance between faith and action. Most crisis situations in our life can be improved by making changes in our thoughts and behaviors. The really stressful situations are those situations where we have done all we can, yet the situation is not getting better. Those are the times when we need to lean into our faith with the acceptance that we have done all we can and believe that God will do the rest – whatever that turns out to be.
That is what it feels like right now with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are doing all we can by practicing universal precautions and social distancing, but it does not feel like it is getting better. The public health experts tell us that our precautions are “flattening the curve” which means that the growth of the pandemic is being slowed down from what it could have been without our successful interventions.
There is a power greater than yourself that intersects your human consciousness, restores your soul and guides your attention toward the divine truth of the power of hope and love. Lean into to that Power now. Access your faith in that Power greater than yourself to help you through this time.
Meditate on these words from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:
Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power. That One is God. May you find Him now! (AA Big Book p.59)
I will publish another blog about Spiritual Disciplines in the next couple weeks so stay in touch as you remember these final words of help from Winnie the Pooh written by A. A. Milne: