Today’s prompt is ‘Challenges’. I have so many thoughts around this prompt that I struggled a little getting my thoughts organized and deciding which way I wanted to go with today’s post. With everything that is going on in our world today, we are faced with challenges, both big and small, on a daily basis. Initially I was going to share my thoughts about challenges in the office, about how the workload can be overwhelming or about the struggles of working with different personalities but when I sat down at the kitchen table to have dinner with my mom, the news was on and they were reporting about that awful shooting in Florida. Then my mother and I ended up in a discussion about the opioid crisis. As a society we have many world challenges. As individuals we have personal challenges, both within ourselves and from external circumstances. There is so much going on, how do we navigate through it all? I found myself in thought about the issues I feel passionate about and the ones I feel an urge to drive advocacy about – mental health, breaking the opioid cycle, minimizing the negativity and anger that’s in our world today…there’s a lot that can easily fill up my mind. I spent much of the evening working through the thoughts that flew around in my head. Although there are special exceptions in any issue, I found all of my thoughts ending at “if we (as a society) took better full care of ourselves” we could make more headway, more improvement towards these issues. Things we’ve gotten away from like managing our pain, managing our emotions, our grief, our stress – not taking care of ourselves in a full, rounded way. So many times we try to mask symptoms or discomfort with medicines instead of truly working through them (again please note, there are exceptions – clinical depression and mental illnesses are real and should be treated properly, I’ll get onto my thoughts of that a little bit down the road here). I believe as a whole we have less pain tolerance (both physically and emotionally) so we feel the need to medicate instead of being able to breathe through it or in a term I don’t necessarily love, “suck it up”. How do we reform this? We (we being wellness advocates, bloggers, and all of the included) keep pushing through, we keep researching, we keep making strides back to natural health. We keep talking about self-care, we keep promoting positivity and motivational quotes. We keep trying. We keep sharing our stories, we keep giving all we have to inspire others.
Now onto my second thought – mental health and wellness…we need to be addressing this more, we need to keep speaking up about it. There are still too many people out there not getting the help they need. There are people living their whole lives with depression and feeling as if they can’t tell anyone, can’t reach out to who they need to, barring them from getting the help they need. There is absolutely no need to ever be ashamed of how you are feeling, whether it’s anger you are struggling to let go, or clinical depression, or anything above, below or between. We need to create more places people can feel safe in their lives. We can’t wait until it’s too late to open our eyes to it. Maybe this one is personal for me. I have many outlooks on it. I have the “we can’t help them until they are ready to help themselves” outlook and also the we better be damn well available for when they are ready and I have the we need to be recognizing the signs more so we as a society build better systems and help our community. I hear so much about gun control, and though I do think there are some things that can be done there, I am not against guns. I am a big advocate of the thought that we can’t address gun control without addressing mental illnesses. I spent my time eating my dinner listening the news of how this kid (18 years old so I guess technically that makes him a young man) noticeably had mental issues yet was able to own a gun. I have a problem with that. Guns don’t kill people, people use them as a tool to kill people. I was raised as a military child so I can’t consciously admit that I’m against guns nor am I against myself owning a gun (I don’t own one but maybe I would) and I will admit that I would shoot to protect myself and my family but I wouldn’t shoot to kill. I know that I wasn’t in every one of those situations so I can only speak in speculation but it’s heartbreaking watching these things happen in our world. We need to break the cycle of violence. We need to advocate for mental illness. We need to promote wellness in all areas. We all deserve to be well in mind, body, heart and soul.
So as an individual how do we help address these challenges?
- We stay positive and hopeful. Without hope we are lost. The world needs hope. We need to be able to see that things can get better. This motivates us to make positive changes.
- We stay respectful in our advocacy, our comments, our chants. When preaching for your cause it’s important to not create more anger and hate. We don’t fight fire with fire. You can disagree with someone’s opinion or comment without throwing them down and stomping on them. The world needs positive change. There are many perspectives of a challenge. It doesn’t make it not a challenge. It means that we are seeing it differently. I find it frustrating that we spend more time arguing about the problem than actually working on finding solutions and healthy compromises…this goes for world challenges and personal challenges. I am absolutely exhausted of seeing the hateful posts on social media and the road rage and the anger and negativity.
- We educate ourselves. I have many personal opinions about how I feel about situations but if I really want to work towards making changes (in any situation) I have to learn about them more, from both sides.
- We stay passionate. Let your passion drive you (not to the point of crazy though – passion is not defacing property or throwing things at people in protest). Use your passion to not give up. If one letter didn’t work, send more. Build plans, suggest solutions, show people you care in positive ways.
- We find people that share our concerns. Again, this is one of those, I’m not saying go join an extremist group. But build a group of those that also want to advocate and fight for your cause (fight meaning positive ways of protest). Raise money to help improve a shelter if your cause is getting homeless of the street. Get a group of folks together to write letters to send to politicians about saving endangered animals. Link up with wellness bloggers to help get the word about healthy living out. Whatever it may be, numbers and collaboration make a difference.
If we all give a little then we can create a lot of change. We need to be united to address world challenges…but also keep in mind it all starts with the person we look at in the mirror every day.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
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Brita from bellabrita.com. Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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