In the build-up to this crisis, I felt familiar helplessness. I could see the ineptitude of the government; I could see how much we depended on Government to fight for us at times as these and I could also feel an almost uncontrollable rage rising at the corrupt system that feared equity so much that it would rather prop up the system than side with equity and justice.
I saw a lot of us trying to see the good in the situation. Talking down the fear and talking up the hope. That is fine if that is actually what we are feeling. However, to be honest, that was not what I was feeling. I felt anger – a ton of it; anger at the ineptitude and even worse the selfishness of the people in power; the shameless corruption out in the open; the utter disregard for life despite all of the talk of “ right to life”; I felt helpless; the helplessness was accompanied with a deep sense of fear because I could not control anything; I felt like I was helpless against this freight train coming at us; I felt sad; a deep deep sadness at the dreams broken; the lives upended; the careers seemingly ended; the weddings canceled, the savings lost – the lives lost; I could not slap a happy smile on my face and pretend that everything was fine. I wanted to scream and shout and jump up and down while yelling “ THIS IS NOT FAIR”! I wanted to break down sobbing; loud deep sobs that seemed to pull my heart out of my chest; I wanted to kill something or someone. As I scrolled through various social media platforms, I realized that almost no one was giving us permission to feel all of this. That made me even madder. “OWN YOUR S*IT!” I wanted to shout. This is no time for platitudes. This is the time to feel all of this. This is no time to be “nice”. We should all be shouting and screaming and sobbing and yelling.
It is important to do that because stewing in these emotions keeps us frozen in inaction. A lot of us are in full stress response right now and we are less in fight & flight and more in freeze mode. When we are in full-fledged stress response, our physiological responses are reacting as if we are in imminent physical danger and our creative faculties are sacrificed to the more important immediate task of keeping the body intact. We are in some physical danger of getting infected, but the body is acting as if the danger is just behind you – not somewhere in the future. It is in this kind of panicked state that we hoard toilet paper rolls and masks and curse out Asian Americans. We are not able to act out of the highest part of us; we act from our lowest fearful self.
So – I give you permission. Feel everything you are feeling. Scream if you need to, punch a pillow or scream into it if you need to. We have to move this energy. That is what I decided to do. I decided to let myself feel all of it. I screamed and sobbed and cursed. I used the emotional freedom technique (EFT) to help me deal with the stress response. The link to the video that I recorded with the tapping is here
Once we allow ourselves to feel our true emotions we can move a space of authentic power. We begin to learn to truly live in the present. The truth is life was always uncertain and only ever existed with any certainty in the present moment; that is what we will learn to do once we acknowledge what we are feeling in this moment and letting it flow through us. Also, besides moving from a space of frozen fear and grief to one of presence, this is how we learn to love us in all exactly as we are.]]>