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Persevering through havoc

We have been weathering so many metaphorical storms in 2020 that it has turned into something cataclysmic. It is similar to what happens in nature when multiple storms occur close together in tropical regions, gravitating toward one another like magnets. As a result, they develop rainbands that rotate around a common point and turn into powerful and catastrophic hurricanes.  We’re currently living through one giant figurative hurricane that seems to have been building for a while now. And since all hurricanes have been given names since the 1950s, let’s call the storm of 2020 Hurricane Havoc as it’s caused disruption, chaos, inconvenience, darkness, and turmoil in all of our lives.  Just like real hurricanes where pressure builds to fuel its power, so too has Hurricane Havoc. From its negative impacts on our bodies to political polarization which dehumanizes and lowers respect for one another; to a shake-up and protests of our systems and structures; it seems that Hurricane Havoc as left no ground untouched in its destructive path. While it has revealed some ugliness that deserves immediate attention, weathering this giant storm has also caused some damaging rifts between our communities. 

  • Some of us are trying to be strong by holding on for the ride while bracing for the next blow;

  • Some of us are angry and pointing fingers at anyone and anything that makes sense for us to blame;

  • Some of us are in denial as it’s easier to not look at how big the storm really is or would rather ignore it altogether and just get back to normal;

  • Some of us are numb and don’t feel anything;

  • Some of us add to the storm’s fuel in hopes of creating a sense of control;

  • Some of us want to help but don’t know how; and

  • Some of us are doing all these things depending on the day. 

Regardless of who we are, this storm is impacting us all, but we don’t have to feel in constant despair.  What’s interesting about hurricanes is the stronger they are, the calmer their center/eye they rotate around. By applying this hurricane analogy, we can find a sense of calm throughout Hurricane Havoc.  In order to get to the calm center of the storm, we must get past the eyewall. It’s where the most powerful weather happens. This translates as the negative turmoil you see or hear, such as constant news of death, violence, and inequality or conversely as angry and uninformed opinions shared by those in your community. This darkness can be distracting, powerful enough to leave you feeling stuck in a cycle of hopelessness.  While the winds of Hurricane Havoc are strong, trust that you are stronger. You may not feel that way on days your mood is low, but that’s the siren call of Hurricane Havoc. It can overtake you and keep you in the storm. Hurricane Havoc isn’t the “normal” any of us want to get used to. We all deserve better.  So how do you get to the center of the storm to reach a sense of calm? You prioritize time to recharge. Not passively, but intensely, with intention and determination. This is how you find your compass, keeping you on the path toward better days even in the face of Hurricane Havoc. Recharging can mean different things for different people. Perhaps to you, it means:

  • taking a time out and stepping away to take a walk when you’re at your limit;

  • exercising while binge-watching your new favorite show;

  • calling someone you love and letting each other vent about life;

  • snuggling or relaxing in your favorite spot (pets may be included);

  • writing and maybe even finishing that novel you always wanted to write;

  • cooking (or attempting to cook) a new recipe;