The Benefit of Being Overwhelmed

“The enormity of it all hit me as I watched Bishop Jakes’ sermon. Then, it happened. I cried. The real “I” cried, meaning I cried from my soul. I cried for myself, my family and the whole damn world. Once I was done, I felt ready. That release and that emotional/spiritual support was what I needed so I could re-engage and get back to work. Thank you, Bishop.”

Happy Resurrection Sunday to All!

The excerpt above comes from my journal entry from last Sunday. As you may have [not] noticed, I did not post anything last week. Admittedly, I needed to sit with what was going on around me. Normally a Dispositional Optimist (respect to Dr. Jacqueline Mattis), I usually have a tendency towards feeling that no matter what is going on around me, when it is all said and done, everything is going to work out. 

Yeah, my Dispositional Optimism was on vacation week before last. So, my need for some spiritual nourishment was real.

Segue to the sermon.

In my opinion, Bishop Jakes is an amazing adult educator, biblical scholar and entrepreneur. And, he can preach. As a preacher’s kid, you learn that a real preacher can preach to 1 with the same conviction, fire and purpose they can 100,000. His sermon “The Shock of Suffering” is an example of that.

Please know that I am not here to convert anyone to a particular religious orientation. See this information the same way you used to see those little receptacles in stores where you could leave a penny or take a penny (now in the time of COVID-19, leave that penny alone).

Aretha Admonishment
The undeniable  Queen of Soul, Aretha Louise Franklin. Image source: YouTube: A Change Is Gonna Come.

The reason why I needed to hear a positive word was because I was starting to feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by what loved ones were dealing with financially, emotionally and physically. I was overwhelmed hearing stories from friends in New York as they received calls about loved ones who were dying. I was overwhelmed (yet grateful) for the daily briefings from California Governor Newsom. 

Over it (COVID-19) and overwhelmed.

Have you ever been overwhelmed to the point of inaction? Or, in my case, to the point of “Processing-by-Pantry” (#COVIDcalories #COVIDCrunchies)? 

It seemed like my advice was muted. The resources I offered were meaningless. My empathic ear was not enough. I could not shoulder the enormity of this moment by myself. And that is when I was reminded of the benefit of being overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed is like an alert system. It tells us that the current situation requires self awareness, curiosity, additional support/guidance and strategy to navigate.

As an example, I think about the times I have moved and it was time to move a hulky piece of furniture or an appliance. Regardless of how many times I lift the 10 and 15 lb weights, I am not capable of moving a refrigerator by myself (rumor has it though that my father once put a large refrigerator on his back and moved it by himself #daddybrag). Overwhelmed by the size of the task, I have had the wherewithal to know that I am not able and do not have the necessary equipment to move a refrigerator. I had no problem looking for the right people to do the job safely. 

Moving a refrigerator does not equate to the level of current crisis we see globally, but it serves as a decent metaphor. Even if we can handle life’s heaviest challenges on our own, it does not mean there is not a more fruitful and saner way to manage the situations we are experiencing.

On this Resurrection Sunday, I encourage you to think about the various changes you and those around you are navigating, the various support systems available (people, places and things) and how best to develop plans to help move “the refrigerators” around you. For some, the situations around you may be the size of a mini refrigerator while others are dealing with “Double Wides” that are more complex. Whatever the situations may be, take some time to be still and honestly assess the needs around you, then seek support accordingly (Social Distancing ≄ Emotional/Spiritual Disconnection).

For those who need a tool to help you think through how to manage the changes you are experiencing, feel free to visit the Keeping Balanced Instagram page (keeping.balanced). Learn more about a framework that I have used to support those who have felt overwhelmed by career changes, job loss, family challenges and other life transitions.

All 4Ss for Posting

No questions to ponder this week. I figure you have enough on your mind.

Continued health and safety to you and your loved ones.

RESOURCES

You have likely heard about the increase in domestic violence in the wake of the COVID-19 quarantine.  I posted about this on several social media outlets and want to add it here for this community.

There are many forms of domestic violence that are thriving under the current COVID-19 quarantine and social distancing environment: 

– Domestic Violence/Dating Violence
– Financial Abuse
– Reproductive Abuse & Coercion
– Sexual Abuse
– Stalking/Cyberstalking (Digital Abuse)
– Litigation Abuse.

Here are a few helpful websites for survivors and those who are looking to provide support to them:

National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 
Office of Women’s Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Domestic Violence Resource Center 
National Coalition Of Anti-Violence Programs
Womenslaw.org

Remember: Social Distancing ≄ Emotional/Spiritual Disconnection. Please check on those who may need your support.

Speak Your Peace

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