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Back to Center: I used to be a pretty positive person, but the world is different now

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Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Life Coach and Writer

Offering perspectives for personal realignment and empowerment.

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Thu, Jul 28, 2022

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00:27 AM

'How do I get out of this rut?'

Back to Center: I used to be a pretty positive person, but the world is different now

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 advice@aflds.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!

For all other inquiries, please direct your questions to info@aflds.org.

 

I recently heard that my country’s government is considering reimposing the indoor mask mandate soon. I’m feeling so disgusted and fed up with this garbage. Seriously, is this really not over yet?? It feels like a bad dream we’re never going to wake up from. It has taken so much inner strength from me to resist these mandates in the past, and I’ve been really enjoying the reprieve we’ve had for a little while. I just don’t want to deal with it anymore. How would you advise someone who just wants to scream at this point? 

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. The first thing I would say to you and others who are also feeling at the end of their rope is to acknowledge that these are very real feelings. We have been through a lot, and the feeling of just wanting to be done and to move on is totally normal. I’m completely with you on that one!

Now, what to do with those difficult feelings? When we are so frustrated and fed up that we feel it might all just erupt in a scream, that’s a sign that we’ve got to implement some emotional self-care. What can you do for yourself that would be a healthy way of getting all that negative emotion out? You may actually need to scream – to find a place where you can be alone and just let it all out. Or it might look like venting for a while to a trusted friend, expressing your emotions through artwork or journaling, getting out into nature where you can breathe and let the quiet environment calm you…Just find something that works for you to help diffuse the tension and anger. Keeping it all in will only make things worse. 

When you feel you have some head and heart space cleared up, I want to ask you to reflect on something. I’m interested in what you said about the inner strength you had to summon in order to deal with these mandates in the past. I completely relate to what you’re saying; choosing to swim against the stream can require a lot of strength and inner resolve. But I’d like to point out that it sounds like you did it – you did resist in some way. How did you tap into that inner strength before? What was it that enabled you to make those choices? How could you feed and nurture that place within you to make it even stronger? 

To answer your question: No, it does not seem like this is over quite yet. I believe the best thing you can do is to find out how you can best care for yourself and build yourself up to be able to face the reality of these times with as much courage, hope, and resilience as possible. In doing so, you can inspire others to do the same for themselves, and we’ll all be stronger for it. All the best to you on this journey!

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I’m writing in because I’m feeling so scared these days. It seems like we’re seeing more and more reports in the news of people suddenly dying, presumably because of the effects of the shot. People who were previously quite healthy are just dying. I chose not to be vaccinated, but I have plenty of friends and family who did, and I’m so worried for them. What if I lose someone close to me? I couldn’t bear it…it all seems so out of control, and I don’t know how to handle my fears…

I’m so sorry to hear that you’re living under the weight of these fears. It can be very scary and unsettling to now be witnessing more of the fallout produced by the vaccines as time goes on. What’s happening is truly tragic.

Let’s get into these fears a bit. When it comes to emotions, whether positive or negative, they don’t just exist inside of us. They’re actual energies that we put out into the world. And all of our emotions come from our thoughts; we first have a thought, and then we have a feeling about that thought. So, if I’m making a conscious effort to create thoughts that are positive, hopeful, creative, generous, compassionate, and so on, I’m probably going to feel pretty good. I’ll have more energy, be healthier (because our emotions directly affect our health), my relationships will thrive, and I’ll be able to approach challenges with more determination and resilience. 

On the other hand, if I focus on negative thoughts that create fears and worries about bad things that could happen, about myself or my loved ones getting sick or hurt, about the messed-up state of the world, about all the cruelty and injustice that’s out there, I’m likely to feel pretty bad. It may even be that the negative things I fear will be more likely to happen – the more fear and stress I feel, the more likely I am to get sick – and then it will be like a self-fulfilling prophecy for me. 

Our thoughts determine our reality. If you want to handle your fears, you have to change your thoughts first. Whatever you focus on is what you will see more of in your life. 

You might do some writing to help you learn how to do this. Write down all of the negative thoughts and fears that are coming to you. Look at each one and see if you can transform it into something positive and life-giving. For example, if your thought is, “I’m afraid my friend will be injured from the vaccine,” see what the feeling is if you change it to, “I send my friend good thoughts and prayers today for complete health.” 

Just to be clear, this is not about detaching from reality and just pretending that everything is okay. And I can’t make any guarantees about the safety of your family and friends. What I am saying is that changing your outlook will not only bring you more peace and well-being, but it’s also something you can share with your loved ones. What could it be like for you to be a force for positivity, joy, and hope in their lives? How could your new outlook possibly help those around you to be healthier, regardless of the choices they’ve made?

Many things in this world are out of our control. What we can always control is our attitude and outlook; that’s a choice we can make every day. I hope you will make the conscious choice to fill yourself with thoughts and feelings that bring you joy and peace!

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I am considering moving sometime soon, because the part of my country that I’ve been living in has been notoriously strict and over-the-top on COVID mandates. While things are better than they were, I’m nervous about a possible relapse at some point. However, the idea of leaving the place I’ve lived for years is pretty unsettling too. I don’t really have much in the way of family, so I’d most likely be going to a place where I don’t know anyone. It would really be starting over. I feel stuck – like I don’t want to stay where I am, but I don’t want to leave either. Any thoughts? 

Thank you for your question. It sounds like you’re in a tough place of being paralyzed by indecision. I hope the thoughts I have to offer you here will be helpful.

It seems like you know the place you’re living is not good for you anymore. It has felt bad enough that thoughts of leaving have entered your mind. These thoughts do deserve attention, because feeling unsafe at home is not a good way to live. Home is ideally the place where we should feel the safest and most at ease in the world!

But yes, I hear you – moving somewhere new is hard, especially if you’re doing it on your own. It means looking for ways to make new friends and connect with a new community, figuring out where everything is, perhaps getting a new job…it’s a big leap into the unknown.

In weighing your options, I want to encourage you think about this question: What kind of life do I want to create for myself? 

Try to paint the picture in as much detail as possible, meditating on it or writing it down. What does your most ideal life look like? What kind of environment do you live in? What do you do for work? What kind of relationships do you have? How do you fill your time? What things about the place you live make you feel happy and secure?

When you’ve got this vision for your life, ask yourself if this ideal life is possible where you currently live. If your answer is no, what other places out there could support the life you want? You may need to do some more in-depth research than you’ve done to this point about different areas and communities. 

As you work through these things, write down any fears that come up for you. Often, just the act of getting our fears out onto paper, instead of leaving them to rattle around inside of us, helps to remove some of their power and enables us to see things more clearly.

The main thing I want to encourage you in is this: Please don’t shortchange your happiness and sense of safety because you might be feeling scared to take a risk. It’s not easy to step out and try something new, but what might be the possible payoff for taking the leap? Could the temporary discomfort be worth it for what you might gain? 

I hope that you’ll be able to feel good about the decision you come to, whatever way you choose to go. Wishing you happiness, safety, and all the comforts of a home and environment that’s just right for you!

****

I’m really struggling these days. I feel like I just have no energy or motivation to do anything. I’m sick of the news, sick of hearing about COVID and people’s plans for world take-over. I just want to run away from it all. Life feels like it has this dark cloud cast over it, and I don’t know how to get out from under it. I used to be a pretty positive person, but the world is different now. How do I get out of this rut? 

I’m so sorry to hear that you’re feeling this way. You’re not alone – I think many other people out there today are experiencing similar feelings and emotional struggles. Thank you for sharing what you’re going through.

The first thing is just to acknowledge and accept what you’re feeling. We all have times when we’re feeling more positive, more energetic, more alive…and then we all have times when energy runs a bit lower, it’s harder to find motivation, and we just don’t feel good. No one can be “up” all the time, and that’s okay. The important thing is not to judge yourself for those down times, even if they seem to last a while. 

It sounds like you’re ready to move out of the low place you’ve been in. The key is to take it slow; don’t expect yourself to go out and run a marathon tomorrow. What small things could you start doing to get yourself moving and start coming back up? It could be a five- or ten-minute walk outside in nature, calling a friend you enjoy talking with, putting on music that has inspired you in the past…anything that feels manageable that could help bring in some positivity and clear up that dark cloud a bit. If there’s something you have to take care of that feels overwhelming, break the task down into the smallest possible parts and do them one at a time. Be gentle with yourself, and make sure your basic self-care needs are being met: you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and drinking plenty of water. 

With regard to the news, COVID-related information, and anything else you might take in: Do what feels right for you right now. If you’re sick of hearing about what’s going on in the world, and it feels like it does nothing but drain you, take a break from it. Sometimes looking at the big picture just becomes too much. Focus your attention and the energy you have on things that will replenish and rejuvenate you. 

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and in a dark place after trying some of these things, I’d encourage you to reach out for some professional help. There are so many different healing modalities available these days – traditional therapy, music therapy, art therapy, coaching, energy healing, and so much more. You don’t have to go through this alone. 

I hope this was helpful to you, and that you will soon be feeling like yourself again. Wishing you an abundance of happiness and peace in your life!

Previous columns:

Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice! Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org

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!

 

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