How Do You Balance the World’s Horror with your Calling?

Jan 13, 2021

Anybody else horrified by the events at the U.S Capitol on January 6?

The shame of seeing white supremacists in the People’s House brought me to tears of rage and grief, and the leaden grief of not being surprised and not being in denial.

It all feels so big, my mind and heart can’t yet process it. I can’t begin to imagine how painful this is for black people and people of color, and for people who have lived through or escaped from countries in turmoil.

Then you add the Covid pandemic explosion and, well let’s just say productivity and new habits weren’t top of mind.

World events do affect you, and allowing yourself to take the time and space to process what you’re feeling is vital…

…and you want to remember that your creations, your writing, your art, your business, still matters.

I was leading a writing retreat for my Non-Fiction Mastermind and when we gathered Thursday morning, we were wrung out and grieving. We didn’t want to work.

But we did. We used our skills of fear and anxiety management. We leaned on the group. We took a dance break. At the end of our retreat, we felt so much better for having focused on what we can do.

We talked about how…

  • Sharing our voices, our ideas, our wisdom is actively building the world we want.
  • Doing creative work dispels feelings of helplessness and despair.
  • When we create what we want, we root out the internalized messages that we don’t deserve a voice, and this helps us keep taking action in the world against racism and hatred.
  • Our empathy and our desire for social justice are incredibly important but we can’t let them become a reason to put our desires last, unless that’s what we desire.

Big world events are always going to be happening. The world needs our direct efforts to make it a better place. So, we must practice balancing what we want with the world’s needs. We can:

  • Live in the question rather than try to find the right answer.
  • Not automatically throw ourselves and our work under the world’s bus.
  • Remember we are one tiny human whose actions matter very much but who cannot single-handedly change the world.
  • Not bury our head in the sand because it’s all too much.
  • Stabilize our mood and use the stress to remember we are strong and resilient.

And sometimes, we need to eat the cookies while writing our representatives and then watch a few episodes of Ted Lasso. That’s good too.

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