Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the tragedies around us?
And then I got an email from an author named Arianne "Tex" Thompson and she helped me put everything in perspective. She has a unique way of shining light in a dark place. I'll let her explain....
Man, y'all. I don't know what the weather's like in your neck of the woods, but around here it's 70 degrees and sunny. Which hardly seems fair, seeing as how the left side of the country is on fire, half of Texas is working its way through the seven plagues (we've moved on from darkness and flooding to clouds of mosquitoes, now) and the southeasterly parts are about to get hit with a gale-force shit-bat.
Have you been getting that hopeless, dreadful feeling lately? You know, you donate your dollars, you share the call-to-action and helpful info posts, but after that all you can do is watch the grim tidings pile up and feel just catastrophically overwhelmed by it all.
If so, I feel you. I've been in that same place myself lately. But I found something that's been working pretty well for me, that maybe would help you feel better too. Are you ready? Here it is:
Try reversing your help mentality the second time around. First, of course, you look at a given crisis and figure out what you can do to help with it (and go do that). That's the problem-first method I think most of us use. So the second time around, start with your personal inventory: what resources do you still have left over, and who could most use them?
Chances are, those resources do not have anything to do with the disaster du jour, so they don't feel valuable to you. But they are - because whatever problem they would solve is almost-certainly one that the rest of the world isn't thinking about right now. Everybody's attention is fixated on the big thing - which means a whole lot of smaller ones are going unhelped. And you could make a meaningful difference there.
For example: I've given my dollars to hurricane relief, donated some blood I wasn't using (it's free weight loss, y'all! Do it!!) and checked in on the folks I know down on the coast. That's about as much good as I can do on that front.
Now what's left over? Not much money. Not a lot of free time.
At this point she offers to help authors by reviewing their work...for free.
Is that going to save somebody's house, put out a fire, pass crucial legislation, or solve climate change? Not even close. But it's what I have left, so it might as well go somewhere. And if our conversation serves to put a little extra gas in your tank - gives you a little more patience or fortitude for the other fronts you're fighting on - then it's time well spent.
Regardless: that's the thinking that's fortified me lately, and I hope it's useful for you too. When you're out of help for a given problem, take an inventory of the help you have left, and figure out what problem it's meant to solve - even and especially if it seems trivial in the grand scheme of things.
Don't write off the small stuff, y'all. At the end of the day, we're all small stuff, and what we have is each other.
She nails it, doesn't she? Hope that helps you as much as it helped me. Gotta go now. I have to take inventory!
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