Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Joy In Any State

It’s normal to feel anxiety right now. A global pandemic is not a joke.

However, at the same time that we allow some space for these feelings, we also need to give ourselves the space to let them go.

Panic is unproductive. Excessive, unchecked rumination can spin our minds into different frightening directions. 

And, as a result, we  can find ourselves unnecessarily freezed or disabled to take healthy, constructive actions.

As we all take measures to protect our physical health, let’s remember how much we equally need to protect our psychological, emotional, and spiritual health. 

Like some of our heroes in our hospitals these days, missionary doctor Dr. Albert Schweitzer was exposed to deadly disease each day. 

In poverty-stricken Africa, where he served, its possible he could have had all of those kinds of complaints, anxieties, even panic attacks.

But instead, Dr. Schweitzer was full of joy. He had eyes to see life as it is amidst pain and sufferings around him. God gave him the gift of joy.

With apostle Paul as his model, Dr. Schweitzer was able to say with him, “In whatever state I am, I have learned to be content,” seizing and squeezing moments of joy from the dangers and difficulties of his life and work.

For psychotherapy or mental health patients, this is especially relevant now. To futurize and catastrophize only adds to the risks and your vulnerability to disease or virus. 

If you’re going to survive, heal, and thrive during this Covid1-19 pandemic, you’d have to bolster your psychological and spiritual immune systems, along with the physical ones.

As author Dr. Bruce Larson put it, “There’s a lot more to health than not being sick.”

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