Living in Europe right now is, at the top of the news as well as most people’s lists, the migration crisis. My country has received 28,000 refugees since July alone. I often people hear people say about them, “I don’t have the right to complain about my life, they have it so much worse…”
But here is the deal.
Everyone has his or her own cross to bear.
Someone else’s misfortune doesn’t invalidate your problems.
What we have differently from the refugees, though, is the mental, emotional and fiscal room to work with ours. If you truly want to help and do your part in the migration crisis, whether you are in Europe or not, work with your own feelings. You learn to resolve your own anguish; you will be way more able to help them with theirs.
How do you “work with feelings” many clients ask me.
There are many things you can do. Here are but a few:
Prove the opposite. Sometimes we tell ourselves that everything is crappy. That is the time to ask ourselves how true that really is.
Go deeper into the feelings. Without getting dramatic, stop to feel the stress, hurt or discomfort. See if there are words you can put to those feelings. Can you identify where they started and what is making you so out of sorts? Simply knowing, and not necessarily only the solution, sometimes gives relief.
Get physical. Sometimes there is a problem to which there is no (immediate) solution. All you can do then is to work with the feelings. It often helps to dance, run, and exercise it out. Let the body do the processing.
Talk. Talk to friends, family, a therapist, coach and when you have done all that – talk on paper. Journal, journal, journal. I often tell my clients, “get the poison out”. It feels better and you can also see, black on white, what you are dealing with.
List your issues. In your head, your list of problems is endless. On paper, it is finite. So start listing them. It will come to an end.
Leave yourself alone. If you are down on yourself for something, defend yourself to yourself. Just like you would stand up for someone being bullied who can’t stand up for themselves.
There is more.
Report your findings.