by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday morning, and it couldn't be more typical as each day of the week becomes more and more like the one before it. The pandemic is challenging my creativity. Melody Beattie has never been more helpful than through the last month or so. This morning though I was surprised at the feeling of indignation her words, normally inspirational, created.
The thought for the day was called Freedom.
Many of us were oppressed and victimized as children. As adults, we may continue to keep ourselves oppressed. Some of us don't recognize that caretaking and not setting boundaries will leave us feeling victimized.
Some of us don't understand that thinking ourselves as victims will leave us feeling oppressed.
Some of us don't know that we hold the key to our own freedom. That key is honoring ourselves, and taking care of ourselves.
We can say what we mean, and mean what we say. We can stop waiting for others to give us what we need and take responsibility for ourselves. When we do, the gates of freedom will swing wide. Walk through.
Today, I will understand that I hold the key to my freedom. I will stop participating in my oppression and victimization. I will take responsibility for myself, and let others do as the may.
Remember, Melody Beattie is writing about codependency. In that context, she's always right on the mark, but she got me thinking about victimization. We do hold the key to our own freedom and need to honor and take care of ourselves.
Right now, we're ALL victims of an invisible terrorist, the coronavirus. We're also victims of a political system with too many politicians who would rather argue over who's to blame instead of finding ways to help their constituents. Last but not least, we're victims of ourselves, having taken so much for granted in the way we lived our lives before Covid-19.
I was at WPPI when the news from China was starting to peak and still felt safe. We joked about my buddy Bob Coates always doing an elbow bump instead of a handshake or bro-hug. After all, this is the United States, and what was happening in China couldn't possibly happen here.
We're all victims right now, but the one way to not feel victimized is accept there's been a severe climate change. There's nothing we can do in terms of losing some of our freedom, but there's everything we can do to maintain a presence in society. We don't need to allow ourselves to disappear under the stress of anxiety, depression, or even loneliness.
My emotions throughout the day go up and down like the Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney. I worry about everything outside my control; I find myself in writer's block on and off, and when I'm on overload, I procrastinate and hide behind some absurd time-sucking game on my phone!
So, here's my point - the only way to fight the ability of the virus to take over my life, is to focus on everything else.
When you complain, you make yourself a victim.
Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.
So, we can't leave the situation, but we can change it and accept it...for now. We can use this time to become more skilled and creative. We can keep in touch with friends and associates and together create a level of cyber-energy to fight the anxiety and depression we're feeling.
I'm not suggesting we can do this alone - but together, there's nothing we can't accomplish.
I'm wishing all of you a day of acceptance without complacency. Use the downtime to grow your skills and keep in touch with people important to you. Share your frustrations with other business owners in your community and utilize social media and meeting online to create ways to expand your reach. And while those therapeutic hugs I used to suggest are limited - they're still available to give and receive in the virtual world.
And as always, in the words of Sgt. Esterhaus (Michael Conrad):
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.