Over the past couple weeks I’ve been overloaded with a plethora of negative emotions.
I’ve been overburdened with worries.
I worry about the uncertainty caused by being out of work due in the wake of COVID. I worry about not having a steady income and the all too real possibility of being unable to pay my bills or to feed my family.
I worry about family members and friends who are in similar situations as I. Some are worse off. There’s little I can do to help any of them. I worry about contracting COVID, and unwittingly spreading it through this network I cherish so dearly.
I worry when I enter public places. I worry that the only jobs hiring are in those in the kind of places I already don’t feel safe in. They’d be even worse if I had to work for hours on end engaging with the strange and unconcerned public.
I also worry about my community’s ability to withstand the economic impacts of the pandemic. I worry about the blunderings of our misinformed and disjointed national leadership. And I worry about Donald Trump getting elected to second term.
In addition to being overburdened with worries I’m overrun with anger.
I’m angry at all the people still attending large gatherings, like the one in Sturgis happening now. I cannot comprehend that 250,000 people would still spend ten days together not wearing masks or socially distancing from one another, then diverging and returning to their home communities where they will infect and kill others.
I’m mad at all the schools districts and sports leagues converging right now and in the next few weeks, without appropriate health and safety measures. They will essentially do the same as the bikers. I’m also angry with all the protestors for not finding a safer solution to getting their voices heard.
I’m frustrated at the closed mindedness of the people who claim the pandemic is overblown and are unwilling to chance some overreaction in order to save the lives and health of others around them. I’m angry at all the people I consider friends defending and perpetuating racism and poor leadership, both overtly and subtly.
Most of all, I’m angry with myself for all the moments I compromise my beliefs and morals.
All of this has caused me to become overwhelmed with stress. It makes me want to stay inside each day and distract myself from the cold and harsh collective reality. I want to give in to all my negative base instincts even though I should remain positive, productive, and creative.
I’m overloaded, overburdened, overrun and overwhelmed, and I’m finding myself in exactly the place I’d rather not be.
I experience cognitive dissonance feeling these things as the positive, happy, energized, and successful person I know I am. It’s like I’m trapped in a deep pool of negativity that I want out of so desperately.
So I decided I will no longer be overcome by worry, anger, and stress.
Instead, I will be the one that overcomes!
I’ll start by loving more. As love is one of the best places to draw strength from. I’ll send love to my family and friends, immediate and extended, to those close as well as far. I will remind myself how much these wonderful people mean to me and of their immense value in my life.
I will also become a better listener. I will empathize, especially with those who view the world differently than I do. I will approach disagreements and conflicts from a place of respect. I will consider my words and responses before voicing them.
I will let go of things, especially those I cannot control, like people not wearing masks correctly, or at all. I will do my best to not argue, because I am aware, as Dale Carnegie said back in 1936, “You can’t win an argument.”
I will overcome the shroud of negativity that has encapsulated my life. And I’ve already started that work by voicing and affirming my capacity to do so. By smiling and moving forward and upwards I will overcome!