Updated: Mar 26, 2020
The last time I heard "In these uncertain times," was following the events of 9/11. In hearing and reading it now, I'm more aware of how these four words promote fear and helplessness. It's not the times that are uncertain, but how we handle the fear of the times we live in. Do you remember the response 19 years ago to 9/11? There was talk of going to war that eventually led to war and we know how that turned out. We hear the same talk of war on covid-19 now, but this time its an unseen enemy that's even more frightening cause we have no weapons or know how to fight this war so feel there's nothing we can do about it, making these 'uncertain times.'
When I hear, 'In these uncertain times,' these days I was also more aware that this statement is usually a lead in to an advertisement or commercial at first, but now is slowly becoming part of our language. I understand how stressful these times are. We're feeling scared and helpless to stop this virus. Let's face it, fear is a good motivator to sell you things, to get you to buy into one agenda or another, blame others or be angry about things out of your control, such is the Covid-19.
As a psychotherapist, I understand the more helpless you feel the more fearful you can become because you want to do something about this virus and you can't. One way we see fear being expressed is panic buying, creating artificial shortages.
Then there's the media, social and network and cable news, who's focus is on these shortages making it seem more real then it is. However, the news media platforms primary focus is reporting the growing number of cases of infections, deaths and where they're occurring. This is all well and good, but the fact is people are recovering and that over 100, 000 people have recovered so far and is but a footnote, if that, in the daily reporting of the news.
Then there's mixed messages from our political leaders, as we watch them blame and contradict each other for the lack of a consolidated response to this outbreak.
At the other end are those who see themselves as fearless, defying the circumstances that has gripped the world and putting themselves and others at risk. They see themselves as courageous or invulnerable. Are they? Perhaps defiance is their way of doing something to deal with feeling helpless to hide their fear.
As we see all this unfolding, the question becomes, what can we do to stop or even slow this thing down?
1. Right now, the only topic the news is dealing with is the Covid-19 outbreak. Once you've been updated to the situation in your area, turn it off. Keep in mind people are recovering. Learn more about what you won't get in the news. Find out what you can learn from those who have recovered. What helped them recover? This perspective gives hope and helps promote a positive attitude for yourself and share with others that we aren't getting from the world at large. It's this positive attitude we must cultivate that can make a difference in getting through this for all of us.
2. The helplessness you feel may send you into panic buying, creating an artificial shortages and a sense of lack that contributes to yours and others sense of fear that there's not enough to go around. Panic buying is a way to protect yourself by doing something so you won't feel so helpless and vulnerable. By only buying what you need is something you can do to diminishes the illusion of lack and helplessness, and adds to our sense of security when everyone can go to the store and get the essentials we need so, together we can all get through these times.
3. The most important thing we can do is follow the guidelines of the medical experts and our state and city officials for the prevention of Covid-19 for ourselves and the spread to others. Among these recommended guidelines is social distancing. This prevents body's from coming together, but it doesn't prevent minds from coming together. Collectively we're of one mind and when minds come together great things can be accomplished. Our One Mind need only to join together, focus and follow through on those recommended guidelines to the exclusion of separate interest (this is key) and we can heal ourselves, our state, our country and the world when we all have the same goal, STOP THE VIRUS.
When we come together in a common goal or interest, no matter what it is, we join with others and share that common goal, that idea, or how to get things done and work together at the exclusion of self-interest. It’s the joining of minds that share an idea, a vision, that bring it into manifestation. (Escape from Insanity Illusions and Lies)
Knowing together we can achieve this, who could feel helpless or afraid?