In these difficult days it is easy to lose hope. Many are depressed because they’ve been without a job for months – even years – with no chance to be employed at their skill level. There are a lot of experts with ideas about what we can do, but there are times that we feel we can do no more.
Some of us face issues of survival daily, fearing we may lose everything. Others give up because – somewhere inside us – we‘re aware that we’ve been living quite well. Our fear is that we’ll not be able to rebound to that same level. We may be limiting ourselves with that expectation. We’ve closed ourselves into a closet. We have no elbow-room. No time to do what we really want to do.
The problem is that we have been so busy in our rush to career success that we haven’t had time to explore the rest of our lives. This is a perfect time to do just that. While we need to continue to contact prospective employers, we can relax from the frenetic pace that our former job demanded.
Whether we know it or not, we may have lost some of our deeper needs. There’s actually more to life than work. Yes, really. Certainly responsibilities to us and to our family to find food, clothing and shelter are vital. When these are threatened, we may just hunker down in our closed homes.
Staying in the same place is not as secure, though, as we’d like to pretend it is. Scientists tell us that everything is made up of atoms, including our bodies. Atoms move. That means that change is constantly happening. Do we really want to spend our lives living in fear of change? We need to allow our world to vary from our expectations, to be open to something new, even to welcome it.
Sometimes in life we need to measure our own existence. Many questions come to the surface: Who am I? What am I doing here on this planet? What goals do I have?
Have I changed them as I’ve learned and grown in my life? Why am I alive? What do I want to live for? These are all significant questions that we forget when we get busy. This is hard. However, as we stagger around on these questions, we can begin to actually play with the imbalance, as though we were on a trampoline. Then we lose our fear of it, and begin to see that we want to make life changes.
There’s a theory that an emergency is really an opportunity for emergence – a chance to bloom. It’s time to stop running. Just stop! Get down to basics. Listen to your breathing. Then breathe deeply, slowly. Feel your pulse. Hear your tone of voice. How long has it been since you laughed? Cried? Enjoyed a person? Read a book? Played with a child? Helped someone? These are all motivating actions for our existence. They’re what we truly live for. Without such meaning, life becomes humdrum, driven, or futile. One-dimensional. At least we can feel hope as we wait.
There are other things we could do. Be gentle with ourselves and others. Indulge in day-dreaming. Remember our younger days and the things we’d hoped to do as our lives progressed. Listen to others’ dreams. Share feelings. Tell people we love them – often. Hugs are very satisfying, and we need to give them frequently. We also need to get together with others who share our feelings.
Finally we can truly respect ourselves, our families, our friends. And we can volunteer to help others. After all, there’s power in solving problems together. Then we know that life can be a joy much of the time. It’s true. Cross my heart and hope – to live!