It’s September, which means it’s officially hurricane season for our Carribean and Coastal friends (though it seems like the season is longer and far more expansive these days, but that’s besides the point).
Our latest threat: Hurricane Dorian.
The news about Dorian started well over a week ago. The announcements. The warnings. The official states of emergency… all communicated far in advance.
And then the fear quickly crept in.
Fear for our lives (if in the Hurricane path). Fear for our security. Fear for our loved ones. Fear for our nation. Fear for other nations. Fear of the unknown of the destruction that could be ahead. And fear that we won’t be able to survive it — emotionally, physically, financially.
The hurricane starts to consume our thoughts, our conversations and every news story. It’s in your face. You can’t escape it.
Then what happens?
After we get a grip over the fear, we accept it. We accept that the hurricane is coming and there’s nothing we can do about it.
So we get into action. Put a plan in place — “Hurricane proof” the house, get water, snacks, call our loved ones, say prayers, provide money, resources & support wherever needed.
We are ready. We embrace it. And we ride out the storm.
What happens after is nothing short of a miracle. We pick up the pieces — of ourselves, of our homes, of our friends and family. We come together with compassion and love and we rebuild. We are stronger, our communities are stronger and we are forever changed.
But most importantly, we are ready to move forward.
We move forward into the new version of the world we have post-Hurricane. It may not be the same version and it may not be a version you even like… but it’s a version built with a foundation of love, support and compassion.
So how can you apply these steps to your personal fears and anxiety and start the heal?
One day you’re going about your routine, minding your own business and BOOM, a weird feeling creeps in. You try to ignore it, but it keeps building. The pit in your stomach, the walls closing in, the quickness of your breath and the feeling like your gasping for air becomes very real and very present.
It’s announced — you’re officially suffering from anxiety.
Fears of the unknown start to surface.Fears about your family, your health, your relationships, your career and all that could possibly go wrong leave you in a state of panic. And the ultimate fear that you won’t be able to survive it — emotionally, physically, financially.
It’s all you can think about. It consumes the breaking news in your mind, it impacts your ability to hold conversations, it’s in your face and you cannot escape it.
What happens next is crucial.
What happens next determines if you weather the storm and rebuild of if you fall apart.
As with an unstoppable, inevitable approaching hurricane, we must accept the feelings that are present. We must embrace the storm coming.
When we run from our fears, those negative feelings don’t go away, they are just suppressed.
Instead of running, accept it and get into action. Welcome the emotions and feel into them. Sit with them. Ride out the storm.
And as best you can, breathe into the feelings and release. Practice letting go.
It might mean your house or cards is knocked down or your left with pieces of rubble. But that’s where you can start to pick of the pieces and grow stronger.
Ask for help. Ask for support. Rebuild.
That’s when you can begin to move beyond what you thought was possible because your anxiety and fears are no longer holding you back.
You won’t be the same version of yourself you were before, but you’ll be a version that has a stronger foundation of love, support and compassion.
Please note that Hurricane Relief efforts are the foundation of rebuilding people, communities and our faith in humanity. Please donate to the Hurricane Relief efforts and provide aid in any way that you can to our fellow people here.