Who and What Can We Trust?
It goes without saying that these are difficult and challenging times. Is there anyone else who is having trouble knowing who or what to trust?
Every day our consciousness is bombarded with an endless stream of information. Mainstream media, social media, conspiracy theories and a never-ending stream of experts, all telling us what we need to be doing and thinking. How dangerous is COVID-19? Has it been blown out of proportion? Will I get it from touching something or someone? How sick are people getting? Are the reported death numbers real, or do they reflect a scenario of comorbidities that skew the actual mortality rate? I don’t know and I wouldn’t pretend to be able to intelligently address that question.
However, I do believe that we have all received a wake up call that will forever change the way we see the world and ourselves. This involuntary stop to our lives has affected people in so many different ways. Many people are in economic strife as a result of job lay-offs and terminations of businesses. Some of us are feeling like prisoners, while others are celebrating a much-needed rest from their otherwise over-burdened lives.
No matter what, you most likely have or are questioning what or who to trust. This unknown and constant feeling of uncertainty is incredibly stressful for our mental and physical well-being. The future is always uncertain, but somehow we manage to create enough constants in our life to keep moving forward with a sense of certainty and trust. The longer an uncertainty looms in our future the more difficult it can be to feel peace. Even the subway platform in Toronto gives you the expected time until the next train arrives in the station. Most people find this to be reassuring. How long until the isolation measures are lifted? We don’t know.
It is easy to turn off the news and social media. But no matter what the conversation, whether it’s on the phone with a friend or family member or at a socially accepted distance with our neighbour, we find ourselves back in the COVID-19 discussion. In our limited interactions we seek commonalities in our beliefs to establish trust in something and someone that will help us relieve our sense of imprisonment. Some of us trust our government ministries, while others of us find faults and rebel against these authorities. Where does their information come from? Do they make wise, informed decisions?
As long as I can remember there has been something to fear and something to mistrust. Simple things like gas shortages, big things like the Cold War and there has always been illness and death. There has always been a battle brewing, but at this point in time, the most important battle is taking place within our thoughts.
The external world will continue to be filled with contradictions, false prophets and fear. The trust that we seek as we move through each day of uncertainty, can only be found by looking within ourselves.
The personal challenges encountered throughout my lifetime have forced me to turn inward. I have learned to trust in the feelings that help me to remain peaceful, the feelings that are more passive, not fearful.
Perhaps others are giving up the battle and are discovering something powerful, yet peaceful within. Trust yourself. You have an internal, reassuring voice, that knows that you will get through these challenges.
How, you ask. There are many practices, such as meditation, gratitude exercises, physical activities like yoga and walking, that can all be helpful in assisting you to find your inner trust.
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