Have you ever been driving as a big storm blows in? Visibility is low, windshield wipers cannot remove the water fast enough, and the windows are fogging up. What would you do as you continue:
- Stop and pull over
- Drive like a bat out of hell to get through it, or
- Slow down and keep moving forward.
Based on what you know, I hope you choose option three.
Option one, while possibly the easiest, puts us at the mercy of the storm. Anything the storm disrupts can affect us. If trees, branches, rocks, dirt, and other cars are displaced due to the force of a storm, we can get impacted by the melee. You do not want to stop and be caught up in the tempest. “Stopping and pulling over” symbolizes giving up. If we give up on ourselves and hope, there is no way to survive except by a miracle. Our minds remain at the mercy of the storm, and the perpetual storm of mental surges bombard us from suicides, complete mental breaks, splitting personalities, and voices; these can be the extreme results of being stuck in a storm.
Being stuck in our minds in a stopped storm state does not allow us much flexibility for the fulfilling life that we all want to live, and desire for ourselves. The storm prevents us from seeing and experiencing the peace and calm that is on the other side.
Option two is the fastest way out of the storm; however, the level of risk can be greater than one might think. One wrong move derails all progress. Option two is sometimes known as the quick fix, a band-aid over something that needs stitches. So focused on escaping, you cannot see the warning signs/signals, the hazards, and detours that may require adjustment.
Treating our minds with quick fixes sets us up to struggle. We can be quick to throw medications at it that alter the chemical makeup of our bodies and brains. Many medications mask the issue, and do not get to the root of the problem. Additionally, the side effects can be even worse than the mental struggle. I urge you to be careful. Medicine is not for everyone. Everyone desires to feel better.
Option three is ideal to me! You are committed and focused on making it through the storm. You are moving fast enough to keep going, yet slow enough to adjust if necessary. Your goal is to go through the storm, and because you are taking your time, you see whatever the storm throws at you. If there is a big bump in the road, an accident, or any type of obstacle, you are now ready for it.
Strategically approaching our mental health allows for the best view into what is going on. We are not using Band-Aids to cover it up, instead we are working to get to the root of the whole matter. It can be as easy as starting a conversation with someone we trust, or a trained professional.
So many of us deal with mental health issues. Just think about it, we spend more time in our heads than on anything else. Sometimes it is only a matter of time before we need a break, a chance to download everything that is up there.
One thing that we struggle with, is the illusion of control. We think we can control everything that happens to us, or we can control people to an extent. I challenge you today to step into a Hula-Hoop and understand that you have control of everyone in that hula hoop. Meaning, you have control over YOU. We control how we react to things, how we interact with people, and how we feel about everything life throws at you.
For example, my son is brilliant—five years old, memory like a steel trap. One morning like any other, I get he and his brother dressed for school. I took out his pants, I showed him his pants, and explained that I needed him to hurry and put on his pants so we can leave. I put the pants in his hands before I walk out of the room. Five minutes later, I hear him bouncing on the bed and singing loudly. I investigate further to see that he is having a blast, and there are no pants in sight. One would think I would have complete control there, but nope. I did not control there, and he is five. Imagine how everyone older than you with more life experiences might react.
Many of the stresses we face come from things that we cannot control. Today, I want you to focus on you. Understand what makes you tick. Understand how you approach people. Understand and know your worth and be the best you that you can be. Start a dialogue with people you trust. Be open and honest with how you are feeling. And know that you are important to me and I need you to survive.
You are NEVER ALONE in this life!
About Andre Powell
Andre is a motivational speaker & coach, brand/marketing strategist, and minister, Andre loves any opportunity to talk about launching a business, faith, taking pride in the work you do, and making genuine connections. Andre loves people, hearing their stories and sharing from his own experience. You can find out more about Andre by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.