The BP oil spill has leaked into every American home which owns a TV and reads a newspaper, reminding us of personal memories that made us feel powerless as far back as childhood. There are really no new hurts and this ongoing, out of control cataclysm adds a new layer to “our scar tissue.” We feel helpless, but not completely hopeless that the “experts” will rectify it. So far, it has become a roller coaster ride with solutions that have not panned out. Already stressed by job loss, environmental pollution and hurricanes, we are de-stabilized by this man-made disaster.
The oil spill presents the potential for a good life lesson when we get hit by an emotional spill in our personal lives. This is the time to reevaluate and rebuild when we or someone we love gets hit by a terminal illness, death, the loss of a home, job or marriage.
We have no choice but to accept the current devastation and do our best to learn from it, moving forward to rebuild more carefully and in greater awareness. We have to prepare and implement better warning systems – to see it coming. Stress management means preparing, improvising, adapting and overcoming. Then we can leave our narrow context and resolve to put back some goodness into our world like donating time, money or a smile.
There is opportunity for self-growth during adversity. Here are six questions to help you heal and turn your stress into strength.
- What have I learned from this painful situation?
- Can you release your holier-than-thou judgment- there is nothing to judge, only to learn and rectify. Use the energy of righteous anger to protect the earth and its inhabitants from corporate greed.
- Can you let go of what you resent doing in your life?
- Do you swim against the current exhausting yourself and getting nowhere or can you flow to where your heart leads you?
- Are you drowning in distractions, so busy and filled with responsibilities that you are not taking the time to breathe or enjoy your authentic life?
- Do you remember what makes your heart sing? Can you hum this song even if you have forgotten the words?
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show