Back in the High Life (Again)

I don’t know about you but I’ve had to do some serious filtering these past several weeks. Everywhere you turn, we’re talking about sickness and death…literally.

2020 nearly kicked off with a global pandemic that would invariably shut the world down for weeks, or months actually. There was this invisible enemy among us that was making our family, friends, and communities sick. In some cases, this virus claimed the lives of countless people who were just like us, or reminded us of someone we knew. We were in uncharted territory.

Until we weren’t.

As weather temperatures warmed up, and people started venturing outside of their homes socially, there was a swell in racial tensions. We were now dealing with a familiar enemy that has plagued America ever since these lands were “discovered.” It seemed as if you couldn’t escape the news reports, social media stories, and Tweets that highlighted the crimes that seemingly belonged to another era. Certainly we weren’t living in a civilized society-present day, in which regular citizens were intentionally weaponizing law enforcement. And there is no way that in the 21st Century, that any law or elected public official would dare engage in malfeasance that was common place decades ago.

But it was and is happening. And it’s disgraceful. It seems like everyone needs to take or retake some criminal justice, civics, and humanities classes…STAT!

If you judged our society based upon how we were showing up on social media, you have likely decided it is time to ring the alarm. Or as a character in Spike Lee’s movie, “School Daze” yelled towards the end of the film, “WAAAAAKE UUUPPP!”

We all have to decide how we should show up in support of equality and justice for all. However, we must take care of ourselves and our families, loved ones, and communities first. The world will always need helpers, activists, community leaders, etc. If you’re alive right now, you are also needed to fulfill a distinct and unique purpose. And you can’t do it-you won’t do it if you don’t protect your heart, as well as your own best interests.

You may need to take an adult timeout.

Turn off social media or the news for as long as you need to. Read something that invigorates and inspires you. Curate content for its mental and spiritual nutritional value. If the information doesn’t serve you or encourage you in becoming your best self, or help you feel good about your station in life…let it go. Seriously. Drop it. Close the screen, video, book, or whatever in preservation of your health and overall well-being. Limit interactions with “the sky is always falling” people or rhetoric. And if you happen to be the one who has found yourself in a negative headspace, perhaps consider adopting a form of social distancing, by limiting contact with others until you’re able to better process your feelings.

If you’ve been on a quest to find yourself. To reconnect with your purpose and values, I think now is a perfect time to start or continue this journey. If you desire peace or peace of mind, it is yours for the taking. Or, you can allow others or external forces to disturb your zeal. Happiness is literally a solo project. Others can lend a helping hand by making positive deposits into our lives, but the discovery of actual joy-is an inside job.

Be well and be careful out there.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe, Tennis legend

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