The purpose of the “Back to Center” advice column is to provide perspectives for personal realignment and empowered living in the COVID era. Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice about self-development and emotional and mental well-being in these complicated times. Please send your questions to email@example.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!
For all other inquiries, please direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am an American Christian who is devoted to my faith and my country. I know I’m not alone in feeling deeply troubled by the way America is being run these days. The kind of government overreach we’ve witnessed throughout the COVID period and attacks on free speech and personal rights are alarming, to say the least.
Honestly, all of this is motivating me to think seriously about becoming licensed to own a firearm, to protect my family and home. I know that Scripture approves of self defense when necessary, and that the 2nd Amendment gives me full rights to do this as an American…but still, the idea leaves me feeling uneasy. I’ve never thought about owning a gun before; I’m just not that kind of person. I really hate the idea of possibly being involved in violence; no one should ever be put in that position. It’s just that I see the way our times are going, and I feel that I’ve basically been left with no choice. America is different now. Any thoughts on how to deal with these feelings?
Thank you for your question. It’s no simple issue you’re dealing with! You’re absolutely right – the times we’re in now are vastly different than even just a few years ago, and they require us all to deal with new situations and questions.
So, it sounds like you feel confident of your right to own and use a gun, both from a spiritual and governmental perspective, and that it’s really your own feelings of discomfort over the idea that you’re grappling with. You mention not wanting to be involved in violence, which is of course completely understandable. I want to ask you a few questions that I hope will help clarify other feelings that might be going on within you.
You mentioned that when it comes to owning a gun, you’re “just not that kind of person.” What kind of person does own a gun, in your opinion? What kind of experiences have you had with gun owners that have given you certain ideas about who they are and what they’re like? Is it possible that there is a different way of looking at people who have made this choice, and at yourself, if you choose to own a firearm?
When you think about becoming a gun owner, what changes for you about the way you see yourself as a person? What are the specific thoughts and self-judgments that come up for you? Do they come only from within you, or is there perhaps also a fear of what others might think – your family, friends, neighbors?
If you do go forward with this decision, it seems like it will be important for you to make a distinction between the unfortunate reality we’re living in that has pushed you to consider owning a weapon and who you are as a gun owner. Of course - it feels terrible that we’re even in this situation, but you are not the situation. You’re in it, but you are not it. You could choose to see yourself as someone who has made a careful, wise decision to take precautions; as someone committed to having the means to protect his family and possessions if need be; as someone who loves his country and everything it’s supposed to stand for, and who is ready to defend its ideals and future if the need arises. Those are all noble, honorable traits that you could choose to perceive within yourself and stand in.
I hope these thoughts give you more clarity and peace of mind as you face this decision. May we all see more peaceful times soon!
My husband and I are considering taking our kids out of public school and homeschooling them instead. However, we live in one of the most restrictive states in the country when it comes to homeschooling, and we’re finding the requirements really daunting. It’s not impossible, but it would take a LOT of work to follow all the regulations (on top of actually teaching the kids!). I don’t know – we’re not happy with the experience our children are having in their current school, but whenever I think about how hard I imagine it will be to homeschool, I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do…
Thanks for writing in. I’d like to start by acknowledging the thought you’re putting into what kind of education and environment is best for your children! You’re not allowing yourself to just go on auto-pilot and let the school handle everything; you’re really wrestling with this and trying to make the very best decision for your family.
I hear how overwhelming it’s feeling for you when you think about making this change to homeschooling. One sentence in particular in your message jumped out at me: “…whenever I think about how hard I imagine it will be to homeschool, I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do…” “Imagine” is the key word in that sentence. You are envisioning ahead of time how hard it will be to navigate your state’s requirements and teach your kids at home, without having actually tried it yet.
We do this so often. We let fearful thoughts about an unknown experience grow and grow in our minds before we’ve even put one toe into the water to test it out. Before long, those thoughts take on a life of their own, and we often quit before we’ve even started.
Don’t get me wrong; it sounds like homeschooling where you live may be a real challenge. But what is the worst thing that could happen if you actually take the plunge and try it out for a year? At worst, you might discover it’s not for you, and then you’ll figure out how to readjust from there. And what is the best that could happen? At best, you may find the requirements manageable, even if challenging, and that your family finds wonderful value in educating your kids at home. Maybe you’ll love it and find all the hard parts worth it! But you won’t know unless you try. There’s so much value in getting hands-on and trying something out, rather than just staying in your head about it.
Speaking of staying in your head, let’s go back to thoughts for a moment. I hear that you’ve got many negative thoughts going on about how hard all this could be. Have you given any headspace to the positive possibilities of how beneficial it could be? Try envisioning those positive outcomes, whatever they are for you. Remember why you were interested in homeschooling in the first place, and everything your family could stand to gain. We create our own realities in our thoughts. Do you want to create a hopeful, excited, determined reality for yourself around homeschooling, or a fearful, unconfident, hesitant one?
You ultimately know what is best for your family, and you can feel confident that with determination, resilience, and patience, you are completely capable of succeeding at whatever path you choose. All the best!
I wanted to share something I think about often and see if you have any feedback to offer. I dream of a new kind of world eventually emerging from the darkness of the current global agenda. In this world, those of us who are “awake” break away from the old systems and powers and create new kinds of communities and ways of living that are based on generosity, love, and true caring for each other. I also believe that in the next few years, the corruption of our current systems is going to become more and more obvious, and many of the people who are totally buying into the narrative now will have their eyes opened to the lies they’ve been fed.
When that happens, I wonder how those of us who have been deeply hurt by family members, friends, and colleagues over differences in worldview will deal with those people. I’d like to imagine that those who did the hurting will be asking for forgiveness but granting it might not be so easy for many who were mistreated (including myself). And yet, I think we all deserve to be given the chance to be part of that better world. How will we forgive and move forward together?
Wow, this is a beautiful question, and one that I believe is highly relevant. The lies can’t hold up forever, and in fact have already begun to crumble in many ways. How will the people of the world come together and heal?
Since we can’t speak for anyone else out there, let’s focus in on you. It sounds like you have been hurt by people in your life over these last few years. That’s a really hard thing to go through, especially because we know the hurting was based on belief in lies and misinformation.
Please imagine the following with me: Let’s say that someone who hurt you comes to you a year from now, sorrowfully tells you they now see the truth of the situation, and humbly asks for your forgiveness. How do you react? If forgiveness feels difficult or impossible in that moment, what is blocking it within you? What would it take to remove that block and reconcile with this person?
And let’s remember that forgiveness is not about saying that what the person in the wrong did to you was okay in any way. In a nutshell, it’s about releasing the negative effects that the person and the pain has had on you, enabling you to move forward. That’s something you can work on within yourself even if the offender never comes to you to apologize.
As for how we could welcome the offenders into the positive and healed version of the world that we want to create…How would you need to view those people and the choices they’ve made in order to make that attitude possible within yourself? Who do you want to be in those relationships – someone who deals the pain right back, or someone who extends compassion and mercy, even when it’s completely undeserved? The “how” of this question lies within you. It doesn’t depend on other people’s behavior or worthiness; it’s a choice about how you want to live, what you want to bring into this world. What choices can you make about how you heal from your own pain that could help to further this world of generosity, love, and care for others that you want to see?
I’m excited to join you in the world you’re envisioning. We can start creating it in our lives right now!
I am struggling with being persecuted at work for my faith. For a while now, I’ve had several Bible verses posted on the walls of my office. They’re simply there to inspire me as I go about my workday. I don’t try to push them in anyone’s faces, or anything. However, the other day, my boss told me she received a complaint from one of my coworkers who said that the verses offend her and should not be posted in our workplace. My boss then said I must take them down in order to be sensitive to others’ beliefs and feelings.
I couldn’t believe it. What about my beliefs and feelings?? What about freedom of speech? Free speech is so desperately under attack in this country. It’s like people are looking to demonize anything they have the slightest disagreement with, and “tolerance” only goes one way. I’m feeling so frustrated and wronged, but also nervous and unsure as to how to proceed. How should I deal with this?
I’m so sorry to hear about your experience! That is frustrating, especially because – as you mentioned – these things tend to only run in one direction these days. If the coworker who complained against you had a sign in her office displaying some kind of thoughts in support of the liberal agenda that you disagree with, for example, and you said something about it, your complaints would likely be demonized.
So, what to do now? First, you may want to clarify for yourself what kind of outcome you would ideally like to see if you pursue this in some way. Do you want to be permitted to keep your Bible verses up on the wall in peace? Do you want to see some action taken against your coworker and boss? Would you like to see a larger policy about freedom of speech and expression enacted in your company as a result of your experience of discrimination? Knowing what you’d like to see happen should give you more clarity about what kind of action to take, and who you might need to consult to help make it happen.
I noticed you said that one of the emotions that’s coming up for you about what to do next is nervousness. I’m wondering what that might be about for you. If you are nervous about the idea of speaking up about all this, I want to tell you something: Those fearful feelings are a good thing! They’re a sign that you are likely on the threshold of expanding yourself into a new level of who you can be. They wouldn’t be there if there was nothing for you to gain for yourself in this, if there wasn’t some kind of growth to be achieved. Maybe you’re someone who is not used to speaking out or standing up for yourself. What would it be like to take this stand over what happened at work? How could it change the way you see yourself? How could you grow from this experience?
Or maybe you’re feeling worried about the potential consequences if people at work don’t like what you have to say. If that’s the case, know that you are in control of yourself only. You can’t manage the feelings and reactions of others. Your only job in this situation is to act according to what you feel is right, what you feel you must do for yourself, and see what comes of it. There’s also a lot to be said for not trying to anticipate what will happen ahead of time. You just don’t know what the outcome will be. It might end up being easier and more favorable than you think. Just take one step at a time, and deal with what arises as it comes up.
I hope that this process goes smoothly for you, that you discover new and exciting things about yourself along the way, and that the outcome is a win for us all in the way of free speech!
- ‘I was an approval-seeking people-pleaser’
- 'God is a God of justice, right? Where’s my justice?'
- ‘I’ve tried my best to be faithful and live a holy life; now I don’t know what to believe’
- 'Kids gravitate toward honest answers, even when they’re tough answers'
- 'I used to be a pretty positive person, but the world is different now'
- 'Do I have an obligation to say something to my friend who is about to inject her one-year-old?'
- 'How do I respond to wild hatred?'
- ‘All my friends have abandoned me’
- ‘Who am I to build a better world?’
- 'The world does not have to understand or approve of your choices'
- 'I get tired and overwhelmed'
- 'I vacillate between feeling inspired and useless'
- ‘I pity the people creating the lies’
- ‘The anger and hurt feelings are costing you too much’
- ‘People who once treated each other with so much love and kindness are now at odds’
- ‘Struggling with my relationship with God since COVID’
- 'I have lost confidence in our healthcare system, including my own personal doctors'
- 'Can you forgive yourself for the years you couldn’t be there with your daughter?'
- 'My wife is willing to take the sacrifice for her sister and I'm sick to my stomach thinking about it'
- 'I deeply regret taking the vaccine'
- 'Married 39 years and I thought we were on the same page when it came to things that mattered most'
- ‘How do I repair this relationship or accept that I may never see my son again?’
- ‘How can I stop fear from controlling my every thought and ruining my dreams?’
- 'How can I pursue my dream to find the person to marry, when it's so hard to connect with new people because of COVID?'
- 'How can I feel safe these days?'
- Advice column premier: Back to Center
Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice! Please send your questions to email@example.com
Sarah Perron is a Certified Transformational Life Coach. Her passion is to help people create a powerful vision for their lives, identify and eliminate anything that holds them back, and step into their own unique greatness and mission in the world. She believes deeply in the power of coaching to bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and motivation to anyone who wants to thrive in life. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and in group coaching programs and presents exciting workshops on self-development topics. You can follow her on her YouTube channel Find Your Fire.
You are invited to book a complimentary coaching call with Sarah! Please visit https://calendly.com/sarahperroncoaching/45min to choose a time that's convenient for you. She looks forward to meeting you!