Regain your emotional footing by magnifying the good.
I struggled the past week to not drown in anger, frustration, and despair. I’ve been navigating the balance between acknowledging my painful emotions and maintaining some inner peace and wellbeing.
When the ugly forces of the human ego scream as loudly as they did this week, it can feel like they drown out the truth. That’s when you have to take concrete action to part its veil and see humanity’s true spiritual nature.
Here are three stories that inspired me the past few days, followed by some mindset steps you can take to gain your emotional footing when the news gets you down.
Meet Congressman Andy Kim of New Jersey who cleaned the Capitol Rotunda after the domestic terrorist attack.
photo credit Andrew Harnik / AP
It was about 1:00 am, after undoubtedly a very long and terrify day, and Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ) noticed police officers beginning to clean up the trash left in the Capitol’s Rotunda after the insurrection on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
He asked them for a trash bag, and he began picking up debris.
“I was just really affected emotionally. I felt this kind of heightened, kind of supercharged kind of patriotism that I just felt take over.”-Congressman Andy Kim
Seeing images of Representative Kim on his hands and knees cleaning was a healing balm for my soul. His gesture struck me as tender, caring, and patriotic.
That’s the nature of Spirit within us. It doesn’t scream from the rooftop, and it doesn’t carry a sword. It quietly, yet powerfully, takes a step for Good.
“When you see something you love that’s broken you want to fix it. I love the Capitol. I’m honored to be there. …It really broke my heart and I just felt compelled to do something. … What else could I do?”-Congressman Andy Kim
No action is too small.
Your actions are a demonstration of your values.
Even if no one else is joining in, and even if no one else is watching, do the right thing.
“I think it was 1 in the morning. There were a couple National Guardsman and I noticed somebody on his hands and knees leaning under a bench to pick something up and it was Andy all by himself, just quietly removing debris and putting it in a plastic bag. He was clearly not doing it for an audience. It was for me the most poignant moment of the long night.”-Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey
2. Meet James Anderson, the plumber keeping the water and heat on for the elderly and disabled in his town.
James Anderson is a 53 year old plumber who’s spent £77,000 to help families with plumbing and heating emergencies.
After being called to give a second opinion to an elderly couple, he was horrified to see that the prior contractor was attempting to swindle them. That’s when he formed an organization called Depher (Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response). Since 2017, they’ve helped over 10,000 families
With the COVID pandemic, he expanded his scope to supply PPE and food. He’s spent £57,000 since the pandemic alone.
James Anderson is a father of six, and runs a business, but he doesn’t use his busy life as an excuse to not help.
“We’ve all got a social responsibility to each other-we need to be there for each other.”-James Anderson
He has a team of three volunteers, and in the week between Christmas and New Year, they took care of 93 jobs.
“I work seven days a week, 70 hours a week. I haven’t taken a single day off. I’ll have enough rest when I’m dead.”-James Anderson
We all have time and resources to give.
When you see someone being taken advantage of, step in and do something.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are others who will help you help society.
3. Meet Principal Anthony Love and Paul Juarez, creators of a Texas school district’s grocery store for students in need.
photo credit Anthony Love / Linda Tutt High School
Linda Tutt High School in Sanger, Texas opened a student run grocery store for fellow students, staff, and town residents.
Inspired by Paul Juarez, executive director of First Refuge Ministries it was intentionally set up with shelving to look like a grocery store. It was imperative to remove any stigma of needing assistance.
“If we can make our food pantries look like a grocery store and give people a card to shop with as they would at any other place then we can keep dignity in people.”-Paul Juarez
People shop the store like they would a grocery store. They can purchase food, personal care items and cleaning supplies. Instead of money, shoppers make their purchases with points that are assigned based on family size. They pay with cards that resemble debit cards.
Students can earn extra points on their cards for behavior, on campus jobs, staff referral, and mentoring.
“It didn’t take me long to see all the possibilities that the store could bring, especially with it being run by students. The other aspect [is] giving back to the community during these challenging times — even if it’s just a little.”-Anthony Love, Principal of Linda Tutt High School
Resources are there for us when we need them.
At times in our lives, we can give, and at times we need some help. There’s no judgment in either role.
How to regain your emotional footing.
If you feel like your mental health has slipped, it’s up to you to regain your footing. The good news is, it’s easier than it sounds.
Whether you pray, meditate, or affirm, know this:
Healing has already begun. Even if you don’t yet see it, healing is happening.
Help will be available for everyone who needs it and anything lost will be restored.
People are good, caring, kind and generous. There are always people who are helping, even in the hardest of times.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”-Fred Rogers
Humanity and nature are resilient, and difficult times make us more resilient. A tree gets stronger from the wind, and we get stronger when we get to the other side of our storms too.
Give thanks for the selfless efforts of people working in dangerous conditions, and pray for their continued resources and strength.
Have compassion and love for all those affected, even people you feel are perpetrators. Every act that doesn’t look like love is a cry for love. See their hearts being healed.
Focus on what you want to be true for people. Steer clear of ruminating on the concept of loss or labeling others. When you see even a glimmer of good, you allow that good to shine brighter.
Find comfort knowing the Universe loves us all, and Love is present even when the material environment looks bleak. Peace to you.