Do you suffer from spiritual amnesia?
When the chips are down, are you able to draw upon the good things in your Life?
Or, do you find yourself stuck in the muck and mire, weighed down by feelings that things are never going to get better?
We’re celebrating Thanksgiving this week in the United States. It’s a day to summon and celebrate the things you’re grateful for and for giving thanks for your many blessings.
I know it may seem incongruous to be celebrating in the middle of an economic depression that rivals the Great Depression of 1929-1939.
The U.S. unemployment rate soared to 9% in April 2009 and it’s been stuck there for the past 30 months. Families everywhere are feeling the residual effects in some way, shape or form.
One or more family member may be unemployed, or in fear of receiving the dreaded pink slip. If you’re lucky enough to be working, you’re asked to do more with fewer people, so your job stress is arcing.
Maybe you’re worried about losing your house, car or retirement fund; none of which are appealing options.
Given the bleak and hopeless forecast, I know it may seem daunting to think about counting your blessings.
This is when many of us experience what I call ‘Spiritual Amnesia.
We become forgetful of the good fortunes or the riches in our Lives. A fugue state sets in. We become unaware of our intangible assets.
I’m here to argue that when times are tough and you’re hanging on by a thread it’s the best time to laser in on what you’ve got going for you and who’s in your corner.
Counting your blessings and finding solutions to your challenges can help you overcome even the greatest case of spiritual amnesia.
‘But, how do I do that?’ you ask…
- Face your fears. Don’t stick your head in the sand or turn and run. You’re not doing yourself any favors by being in denial of whatever adversity is scratching at your door.
- Identify the challenges at hand. Make a list of everything that’s causing you to lose sleep or snap at the kids. Get it all out on paper. If there’s something on your list that’s out of your control, let it go. There’s nothing you can do about it and your energy is needed to zone-in on what is manageable.
- Create your ‘Can Do’ list. Review your list and put a star next to the things you can do something to improve. The starred items are your ‘Can Do’ list.
- Identify your greatest concern. Review your ‘Can Do’ list and find your primary stressor. Focus your energy, time and attention on resolving the thing that stresses you out, the most. For purposes of this post, let’s say you’re freaking out because you’re short on cash.
- Brainstorm ideas. Create a list of possible & practical answers. Winning the lottery would help, but let’s face it, it’s a long shot. Focus on ways to boost your income; like holding a garage sale or selling items on eBay.
- Brainstorm people. Make a list of people who can help you reach your goal. This isn’t about who’ll lend you money. It’s about identifying people who can help you solve your challenge. Ask an experienced co-worker for yard sale pointers or talk to a cousin who sells on eBay for tips on posting your items.
- Develop your Action Plan. Create a step-by-step ‘To Do’ list to put your ideas into action. This doesn’t have to be big, fancy or time consuming. Some of my most effective Action Plans have been drafted on paper napkins.
- Count your blessings. Be grateful for being brave enough to stare adversity in the face. Be thankful for your creativity and resourcefulness. Express gratitude for your family and friends; especially those who’ve helped you. Make a list of everything in your Life that’s truly priceless; things like your health, your family, your talents, your friends and pets.
Do you recognize when spiritual amnesia sets in? What actions do you take, when you begin experiencing this brain fog? How has examining your good fortunes enhanced your Life? Please share your comments, using the form below.
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