Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An Invitation to 'Odyssey'

Most of us at some time in our adult lives are going to experience a personal crisis -- be it from an illness or accident; or the death , loss or irrevocable separation from a loved one.

By and large, society does not support us at these times. There's a strong cultural bias, especially in America, toward 'feeling good all the time'. This feeling often translates into an unease and aversion toward people in our society who happen to 'not be feeling so good' at a particular time in their lives.  It's as if 'feeling good' is so fragile that it might be contaminated or spoiled by contact with a different emotion.

That begs the question, 'How strong could 'feeling good' have been in the first place?' But that's a different question, perhaps, to be examined at another time.

What I'd like to focus on here is how we get through these times when we are left largely on our own to do so?

Because of all the negative and fearful attention we receive from society when we are in a personal crisis, it is often very difficult to work through our emotions in order to see exactly what happened that got us in to the situation we are in. One first has to get over the guilt of 'not feeling good'. And that's often much harder to do than it might seem on the surface because  the unsolicited advice we receive often has more to do with the solicitor's own issues of avoidance, fear and insecurity. Though in the process of 'caring about us' they are transferred to us.

What a dilemma? Now we are not only dealing with our own troubles, but those given to us by others close to us. Which is why others often get angry and blame us for 'not feeling right' -- as if we are feeling that way  on purpose to annoy them, or to remind them how fragile their own sense of well being is.

This is where it becomes vitally important to take a step back and sort out what has actually happened to us --  without the guilt or fear that we are hurting someone else by feeling the way we do.

I'm not saying that writing is the only way to sort these things out. I'm just saying that it worked for me, and it's why I share those experiences very candidly in my memoir: An Odyssey in the Great American Safety Net.  I invite you to read an excerpt by clicking here

And then share with us your story on my Facebook Page: An Invitation to Odyssey.  (I know you've got one.)

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