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.


  1. I think what we are as individuals is what we are; I realize that outside forces (human or otherwise) change the game on us far too often to make life comfortable but I think if you stay true to what's in your heart and soul everything else is deal-able.

    It's easy to fall into the idea that troubles now are the worst ones ever, and it's especially easy when they seem to line up like giant dominoes pushing at each other for the chance to crush us. I feel like that sometimes, and I'm sure you do too. I think almost everybody supposedly "sane" would HAVE to feel that way at least sometimes.

    The thing is...well, the only way to say it is: sometime on a really nice day go to an old cemetery, one with a bunch of big family plots. Then look at all the headstones for kids, or the other tiny stones for babies who hadn't yet been named.

    Just an example. And I only say it to remind myself that this isn't the worst time to be alive on earth. I've been through an awful lot of crap and I foresee a bunch more but I think if someone gave me the chance to face that or the chance to bury half a dozen of my children I'd pick the former option every single time.

    I don't think life is supposed to be easy. I'm not sure life is supposed to be anything other than life. And I have no idea what's going to be facing us in the future. And while I tend to sound off pretty strongly about political things that bug me, I have no clue if it's even worth the time to do it...except that it makes me feel like I am showing some character. Which might be the whole point of everything. Or might not be.

    Things seem tough, but they always were. I'd say smile at the wonder every chance you get, but only because positivity and attitude (though they may not make any difference) sure FEEL like they matter.

    And JR: I'm sorry I used up your comment space to talk to myself but your blog and my own thoughts really have me thinking. Pointless behemoth that this comment must be, thank you as always for posting your thoughts.

  2. What I think is that you should use my comment space as a rough draft for your own blogs, or better yet, just write them. You underestimate yourself and your writing, when you comment here it's often your best stuff and you don't seem to recognize that.

    Maybe we should do blog responses like people did video responses on YouTube back in the day...


    My friends and I have to remind ourselves from time to time that we live in a state that is in the cluster of the epicenter of the housing and banking crisis. California, Arizona and Nevada are for all practical purposes in a very real depression, not just a deep recession like the rest of the country. About the only states worse are Michigan and Florida. We all work with, have friends or are related to at least half a dozen people in foreclosure, on the edge, unemployed for 2-3 years and so on. No one is untouched. I know doctors and people who work at Target who are worried how this region is going to work out of this mess. So our perspective is skewed. We will of course work out of it and it's getting easier to see that.

    I try to remind myself and others that if we think this was bad...try the 12th Century! Seriously, from 1972 to 1984 all I remember was a long recession and a lot of political turmoil. There was terrorism back then...hijacking of planes and the holding of hostages by Iran. So you're right, about times always being bad.

    I don't think I made my original intended point in this post that is the case and we just need to carry on.