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9/29/10

Standing On Solid Ground

Maintaining strong character built on solid ground...


Our society has developed large deserts of shifting sand, 
Our personal selves must be able to withstand sandstorms.

Now more than ever we must root ourselves in a solid foundation of a strong sense of self, keep our values in the forefront and be strong in the face of constant change and adversity. Allowing external events to shake us for more than a brief moment in time will erode our ability to cope in a rapidly changing world. This is easier said than done and for many of us we are having to work at strengthening our selves and any weaknesses in our constitution.

Some days it is difficult to put one foot in front of the other but it cannot be said enough: to stop or pause and tarry too long risks the chance of never getting started again. It's a personal mantra.

One thing is certain for most of us is that everything we knew on how to operate and the rules to play by on three major fronts, employment, living arrangements and healthcare, are shifting in ways that are unclear at best and in constant flux. We see it in our jobs, whether we own a home with a mortgage or lease with a property manager or landlord, in our healthcare. Everything seems subject to change in a flash.

It's key to remember that we have little control over the large changes going on in society right now. What was the method one week for handling things may change the next without notice. We also have to learn to accept that a lot of things important to our feeling economically and psychologically secure cannot be counted on to remain stable. We may think that our jobs are relatively safe only to find the next week that our hours have been reduced or worse, have been eliminated. The deal we thought we had with a mortgage broker or property manager may suddenly be changed, regardless of what we thought was a legal contract. We can suddenly discover that a medication is no longer covered or our health insurance has been cancelled.

There is nothing consoling about any of these things, all of them and more have happened to me, they were all unsettling. It is the product of a social order that has been disrupted by an economic crisis, political winds and social and technological change. Everything is subject to change in ways that are not comfortable and most of us are creatures of habit one way or another. There are moments I wonder if I have what it takes to carry on until I realize the alternatives are not good options.

It can seem as if only the strong survive and the weak fall by the wayside and there is some truth in that. We must make a personal choice to stay as strong as possible.

More than ever, it is critical to have built into our character assurances of our own selves, our own identity and know that no matter what happens, the fundamental principles of our inner selves are built on sound foundations, held up by solid pillars with a sturdy roof and strong walls, to shelter us from the storm. Otherwise we will be tossed around in the wind with each change that hits us. Now is the time to resolve any lingering personal issues, work on self-doubt, seek support if necessary to build and maintain an internal foundation on solid ground, to avoid the proverbial Biblical building our personal spiritual house on shifting sand. That is our only real assurance that external events will not whipsaw us into feeling we are out of control of our lives.