Coping with feelings of frustration and hopelessness in modern society. 

Lately I find that I am furious. Like REALLY REALLY REALLY angry.  It's not that good things aren't happening in my life. They are. For instance, I just got back from doing some talks in India. How cool is that?

The problem is politics. Polarized politics. Fake news. The fact we can't seem to have rational conversations about anything because our knowledge bases aren't the same. I feel gas-lighted when stuff I saw with my own eyes I'm being told didn't happen at all. I'm sure others feel the same way when they are told - what you think happened - didn't happen at all.

And I say this to people all the time!!! Because it's true!!!! And I'm aware at how infuriating that is for people to hear! And yet - I do it anyway - because what is true really matters. AND - more importantly - what is true is knowable.  If you and I have a disagreement on what is true - we can actually resolve that. You know - with facts! No facts to back up your claim - then sorry - you are mistaken. Deal with it. 

1 in 3 people in America believe things that aren't anywhere close to being true. This is not fringe anymore. It's not. And it's maddening. 

What else am I mad at? I am mad that sexism is still a problem. I am furious that women around the world have their futures stolen from them by the men in their lives. That they don't have the opportunity to fully participate in society because the men in their lives can't handle it. In fact, this makes me furious! I am made that sexual assault is still a problem. I am furious that kids are being shot with guns because politicians wont' do anything to stop it - except pray!!!!! AAAAGGHHHH!!!  

I'm sick of being told that I can't express my anger and frustration because apparently my anger over the death and the destruction I see happening around me is not just upsetting, it's infuriating. The flat out refusal to use reason and compassion to create good solutions is infuriating.

I am furious that white nationalists are still holding our country hostage - on a huge number of issues. Why can't we get universal health care - it has to do with racism. Why can't we get an agreement on immigration - for the past 2 decades - racism. And no - despite the nice lady at my republican congressman's office telling me - eventually they will die and then we can fix this - no - it's not working and in the meantime, we as a society have spent decades killing black people, allowing them to die from neglect, imprisoning them, destroying their communities and preventing them from participating fully in our society. That makes me furious!  And me saying I'm furious about that isn't going to cause good people to suddenly become white nationalists. It won't!  Someone declaring themselves a white nationalist - is someone who is just making their bigotry public. Their bigotry was always there just as the societal injustice has ALWAYS BEEN THERE. The denial-ism on this is deadly. And it's infuriating. 

I am frustrated at stupid friggin arguments against doing something about gun violence. The arguments make no sense. They are just put out to stop us from talking about actual solutions. And this happens ON everything.  Name the topic. We can't have rational discussions on how to protect ourselves from terrorists, or whether women should actually have access to health care when they are most in need of professional health care. AAAGGHHH!!!!

I'm really sick of being told to shut up and not express my frustration at this because - it makes other people uncomfortable. I have every right to be furious. And so does every single person who is sick of kids being killed and who is sick of white nationalists continuing to have the power to exclude black and brown people from society. 

So - how do I as a Humanist cope with all this raging anger I have building inside of me. By channeling it into productive things.  By reminding myself to feel compassion even for the people who are blind to the truth. And to wield my compassion as a sword. 

I cope by trying to make sure that I am not part of the fake news problem. By researching everything to make sure I know what the actual facts are and not just sharing a narrative that makes me feel good.  I cope by working actively to help elect people who understand what is wrong and are willing to work to fix it - with science and reason and compassion and to vote out the people who are preying on people's fears with demagoguery. 

And - I take the time to enjoy the world I live in. Because even though there is a LOT of really bad things happening, there are good things happening too. I have friends. I am alive right now.  I have my work. I am making a positive difference in people's lives - even though that impact might be small. I try to notice the little things. In other words, I remind myself what it is I am fighting to protect and defend.

And yes- I recognize that as a white middle class woman - I have the privilege to do that. A privilege others don't. And that infuriates me too. Everyone should have the ability to claim space and peace. But I claim that space anyway because I know if I don't I will burn out and won't be able to join the fight at all. I view this as a tag team relay. We have to work together. And that means making space for people to drop out temporarily while they regroup and tend to their personal needs.

And having won that small slice of peace - I can return to fight for what I believe is right. Why? Because I can't do it when I'm gone.

If you want advice on how to cope more effectively and make better for reality based decisions - I have two options.
2) My online course Living Made Simpler. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...