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 have been so aware of all the inconsistencies in the official narrative about the last two years. I read about a program of your giving psychological assistance, so here I am asking for help about my mental health. I even tried to create a Telegram channel where I posted all the scientific/medical information I have found for whoever would like to watch it. I can deal with all the collective hypnosis and general discredit to this knowledge. However, the real challenge for me has been to face it in my own home. My wife and I have extreme opposite vision about this topic. We tried at the beginning, but we just cannot talk anymore about this because it immediately [gets on] our nerves (she’s wondering how I can believe in all that bull$#it and I’m wondering how she can disregard facts and data just for officialism’s sake or for thinking [there are] unlikely to be special interests on a global level over people’s health).
It has been hard to live with this over the last 24 months. My worries started when she was pregnant. I felt so scared for the global sanitary situation (just as for many other things), and she expressed her rash desire to get the jab with our son in her belly. At the beginning I tried to explain the findings of the independent scientific community but for her it simply has no validity and only the official [narrative] can be trustworthy; any other thing can’t be serious, reliable and for sure is the product of “conspiracy theories.” She is smart, and in order to show the solid ground it has I collected and structured the info from different specialists, but she could not even stand for the entire explanation. A year later when the time came for her teenaged son to be inoculated, I tried to summarize it in four slideshows talking exclusively about the scientific facts of the young population regarding the illness and the so-called vaccine, but it was of no use; she assumes that in some way all that I showed is wrong.
Although it is not nice at all, I can deal with all the disbelief from my friends, colleagues, shepherd and neighbors and having almost no one to talk with about this. I know I am nobody to be heard and it is not my mission to persuade and convince anybody, but it is especially hard to live this with my own family, my life’s partner. My only consolation is to know that both she and I have as motivation the welfare of each other. We truly believe that it is important to preserve our health - getting [the shot] in her case, and avoiding it in my case) … I would appreciate any help on this. Be safe and thank you in advance.
I am so sorry to hear about the difficult experiences you've had within your family concerning COVID these past few years. It's really not easy to be at odds with the people in your life over such an important issue, especially the ones closest to you.
In the midst of your story about all the conflict between you and your wife, something jumped out at me in a big way. You said you are consoled by knowing that both of you are motivated by the same thing: each other’s welfare. That is HUGE! That means that love and concern are at the heart of the matter for both of you; it’s not about being “right” or “winning.” That’s no small thing, and it’s something that cannot be said for every couple out there. I encourage you to stop for a moment and soak in what an enormous positive that is.
To me, it seems like you have a prime opportunity here to shift the negative energy of the past two years toward something more positive, healing, and connective. Here are my thoughts:
From what you shared, it seems like the two of you are not getting anywhere on the subject of COVID. The conversation seems stuck, like you’ve tried everything you can think of. So, I’m wondering what it would be like if you and your wife decided to take a break from discussing COVID-related issues together for a set amount of time (maybe start with a week)? Consider COVID to be an off-limits topic in your house. Think of it as an experiment.
Instead, find other ways to focus on that shared concern for each other’s welfare and health. Make that the subject of conversation. Talk together about how your family can be stronger and healthier in other ways, and plan activities to do together that help to put you on that path. You might start taking walks together, go shopping together for healthy food, ask what you can do to help the other feel more mentally and emotionally healthy (again, non-COVID related!) …focusing all the time on what each of you can do to help the other person be well.
This doesn’t mean that the COVID issue goes away. It doesn’t mean that it’s fixed. But you might be surprised at what shifting your focus accomplishes…
Sometimes a problem between people seems completely unsolvable. They clash over it endlessly and can’t see any way that things could possibly change. The amazing thing is that sometimes the solution (or beginning of one) lies not in focusing on the problem, but in shifting the focus away from it for a while and putting positive energy toward a different, but related area of life.
If you and your wife focus on building up that love and mutual concern for each other’s wellbeing without COVID in the picture, shifting the overall energy more to the positive, it might help to soften up and dissolve the COVID conflict somewhat. I’m not guaranteeing that you’ll come to an agreement on the issue, but it might help de-charge it, make it less present in your relationship. It may be worth a try.
We can’t ever control another person’s viewpoint or opinion, but we can always control what we are bringing to the relationship. I hope you and your wife will choose to bring more and more positive energy to yours, and that it will bring you to new levels of closeness. All the best!
I’m writing to you because I am angry. Ever since the first COVID vaccine came out a friend of mine has been in my face about getting it. I’ve tried to explain to him why I won’t do it, but no explanation is good enough for him – he just won’t let it go. And now, he’s gone and said some things about me to other people we know that have given them a bad impression of me, and it’s all getting worse…and I’m getting more and more angry…and hurt. I don’t want to feel this way – we were good friends before all this happened. What I really want is to forgive him and move on, but I don’t know how. I’m just too upset. Any thoughts?
I have to say that your honesty about all these conflicting feelings swirling around inside of you in this painful situation is really admirable. Acknowledging your emotions is the first step to healing, so be encouraged – you are on the right track.
So, your friend has hurt you badly. Your anger is going through the roof, but you know you don’t want to stay there. You want to “forgive him and move on,” but the way forward is unclear. There are many different ways to look at forgiveness; I’ll offer one perspective here that has been helpful to me personally and hope it will help you as well.
First, I’ll confirm it: Your friend has wronged you. Getting in someone’s face, pushing an unwelcome opinion on another person, and speaking badly of others are all wrong. This is not the way we should be treating each other.
Forgiveness is never about saying what the perpetrator did was okay or erasing the whole thing and pretending it never happened. Instead, forgiveness can take shape as a realization that the anger and hurt feelings are costing you too much. They are bringing you down and doing no good. When you come to this point, you can then decide to release them and not let them rule your life anymore.
What is it costing you to live with this anger toward your friend? It sounds like it’s disrupting your life in a fairly consistent way and is present enough for you to feel frustrated by it. Are you thinking about your friend when you need to be focusing on other tasks? Are you losing some sleep over it? Is it giving you stomachaches? Is it just really getting you down?
We always pay some kind of price when we walk around feeling angry at someone. It really can eat us up inside. We can think that we’re gaining something by holding onto all that negative emotion toward others. Sometimes, there’s even a little (or a lot) of secret satisfaction within the anger about what an awful person the other is for doing such a terrible thing to you. Living in victim mode might feel oddly appealing sometimes, but does the payoff really compare with what it would be like to be free from that grudge?
And what would it be like for you to be free from that anger? What positive things would you choose to put all that emotional and mental energy toward? You get to decide how you live. You get to decide what thoughts you allow to take up space within you. Rewrite your thoughts about how you want to view this situation, and those more constructive thoughts will bring positive emotions with them to replace all those negative ones.
I’m not saying any of this is easy. I just want to impress upon you the fact that the decision to release your friend’s hold on you is in your hands. He might do what he’s going to do, but you get to be in control of your part in it.
I hope this is helpful. Wishing you peace and rest from the burden of anger!
- ‘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!