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  • Writer's pictureLeslie J. Sherrod, MSW, LCSW-C

You Can Make It

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Saying we are facing unprecedented times may be an understatement. In the loud roars of a pandemic, economic upheaval, racial unrest, and political shouting matches, finding a sense of quiet peace and purpose may feel elusive. While we cannot necessarily change what is going on around us, this is a good moment to examine what is within us.

See, we often bank our contentment on external circumstances. Vacations, sports, shopping, entertainment, fine dining – all these outward opportunities have been stripped away on some level as we battle a worldwide virus. If our sole happiness was rooted in any of these outlets, the absence of them is brutal. Even the essentials of our existence – food, education, health – have not been immune to the impacts of the novel coronavirus. Finding peace and joy when the very basics of our needs are shaken is admittedly near impossible. How can we rest when the very foundations of our well-being are crumbling?

It is okay – necessary even – to acknowledge that these are hard times. We’ve become acquainted with emotions we may not have had to previously endure. Grief, fear, anxiety, anger, and exhaustion are normal reactions to what we are collectively experiencing. Search for solutions, continue your job search, go to the food bank, binge watch your favorite shows, seek and accept help.

However, while you are in the throes of stormy, roaring waves that are threatening to take you under, look inside yourself to examine your anchor. We all have anchors, that is, underlying beliefs and internal conclusions that keep us connected – or disconnected – to a sense of constancy and hope. If you are feeling like you are being tossed around on foamy waves, powerless against the crashing currents, examine the anchor you have in your life.

What do you believe about yourself, the world we live in, the future in front of you? Have you been holding on to false beliefs that you don’t matter, that things can never change, that all is lost and hopeless? Have you been anchored by thoughts that keep you trapped in a cycle of hopelessness and despair? Challenge the negative monologue in your mind. Remember all the storms you’ve previously endured. Recall what you did and how you did it. You were strong. You are strong. You are a survivor of many tough times.

Now, cast your anchor down into the depths, that anchor of hope and optimism, of believing that you can make it no matter how high the waves rise, no matter how much the waters sting with salt on your wounds; no matter how dark the sky, deep the rumble of thunder, or distant the nearest landing place.

No storm is permanent. Even the most ferocious tempest eventually calms down. The seas will settle, and the sun will rise again. Yes, there may be some broken pieces when its over, some repairs to make, some tears to bottle, and new plans to map. However, you can make it. You will not go under. You are anchored and will not be pushed off course. Or, perhaps, you'll discover a better course that takes you to treasures you never imagined.

Herein is your secret joy, your hidden peace: knowing you are anchored in hope and beliefs that are stronger than the storm that is raging.

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