Connect within and reach out.
We sure had a doozy of a time in Texas last week. If you didn’t directly experience it, you most certainly heard about it.
This week as I reconnect with people there is a lot of sharing of stories. Everyone had a slightly different experience. Some lost electricity for hours, and others for days. Some had electricity but no water, or water and electricity but no heat.
Some needed help, and some were able to provide help. I heard about every combination of factors imaginable. But certainly, no two experiences were the same, depending on what resources one had available, both inside and out.
The Call to Rest
In the aftermath, I’m hearing how exhausted people are, recovering from a traumatic series of unfortunate events and circumstances. It’s not surprising, as many of us were in survival mode, with our “flight or fight” mechanisms turned all the way on (I think this one definitely went to 11!) with no relief.
Last week we were scared, anxious, angry and cold. Now we need to connect with ourselves, feel whatever we are experiencing, rest and digest, and begin to process it all.
On Saturday, I felt as if I’d been run over by a truck and spent the day mostly on the couch, letting myself have a good rest and several good cries. I felt a little more balanced and grounded after that.
However, on Sunday, after getting up, with an intention of catching up from the week, I found myself once again feeling the exhaustion and heeded the call to rest. I felt guilty that I was not helping others. And still I realized I needed to get my strength back in order to help anyone at all.
Time to Restore
Now, after taking some time to restore, I do feel better.
I’ve signed up for a volunteer shift tomorrow and looking forward to lending a hand where I can. I want to help, for many reasons.
First, I realized I couldn’t “do it alone” last week. I love to think of myself as strong and self-sufficient, but last week was a great reminder that we must cultivate caring communities to share and even out the burdens.
Friends and neighbors offered us showers, a place to plug in phones so we could be connected, a warm bed, a hot shower, and time together. It got us through, and we are grateful.
Moving forward, take time to care for yourselves.
Don’t underestimate the extra time you may need to process all of this. Rebalance and reconnect. Take time to care for others when you are able to. Accept help from others when you need it.
And understand that there are so many different experiences happening, depending on access to inner and outer resources, which we know are not evenly distributed in our society.
Needing more help than usual, I am reminded that there are so many who need help on a daily basis just to survive, even when there is no crazy storm. And that reminder calls me to connect inward more deeply, and also have more compassion and provide more help in any way that I can.
Be Well. ~Lisa
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