Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois 

Welcome to the podcast More to Life with Faith and Lois.

 

Faith 

I’m Faith.

 

Lois 

And I’m Lois.

 

Faith 

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and daunt you.

 

Lois 

Good morning Faith.

 

Faith 

Good morning to you, Lois. It’s a good day and, and it’s also a day where we’re very reflective about what’s going on in our world. But it’s that both-and again, right. Both a beautiful day, a day to live a day to celebrate and also a day to reflect and consider what’s been going on.

 

Lois 

And that’s because we are living in the midst of a season of unrest. Now, that’s been added to everything that you and I and all of us are facing in this Coronavirus era. And there’s there’s no doubt there’s some stress around this. And we want to reflect those faith just mentioned on that stress and we want to offer some ideas as to How to be able to step out and to accept what is and how to move forward with those who really need our support and love right now. So you might have noticed that in the last few weeks we have really been focusing exclusively on the Coronavirus era and how it’s impacting you, and all of us. And if you would like to go to www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com –  that’s our website, please feel free to check out all of the podcasts we’ve done in this genre. We also have more than 100 other podcasts if you want to focus on an area that would be really important to you in your life. And every week, we’re creating videos for these COVID-19 times as well. And we will be with you again on Thursday this week. So today we are wondering, how are you dealing with the unrest around you?

 

Faith 

And it’s so important to realize that we’ve been so focused in on the COVID era that we’ve been living in for these last several weeks, that life goes on a real thing. keep happening. And we really have been hit with a superstorm of reality this last weekend, and in all of last week with the crisis of all the riots and and the protests and, and people speaking up and speaking out, which has all been really positive. And there’s been some elements that haven’t turned out so well. But that’s a reality that we’re in. And that’s exactly what we’re going to be sharing today is how do we move through that? We’re still dealing with a crisis of the COVID but also how do we deal with real life at the same time.

 

Lois 

And this, of course, is all following the death of George Floyd who was unarmed and handcuffed, and he died under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis. And I don’t know that there’s many people who haven’t seen that video and been moved so tragically about what life is like for so many people in different communities than maybe your own, or maybe it is your community. And that is why there’s so much anger and fear and pain through all of this. So we want to remind you that you can pace yourself through all of this, or you can get very lost. I just spoke to someone this morning who has done nothing but being glued to her computer, watching episode after story after whatever it is, and there’s nothing wrong with that, other than give it a break if you can, so that you can breathe and then put that attention there. But we would like to speak into that today as best we can, from our perspective as a psychotherapist, and also as a life coach to be alongside you during this very, very challenging time. And we know it’s heightened violence that we’re witnessing. That’s that’s what there is to it. So you might wake up I did yesterday with flashes of just terror and I can’t even imagine what it’s like and yet I’m feeling it as a white woman and I want to speak into it even though I may not even have the right to do that. So we just want to join everyone who is feeling some of this burden today. So one of the issues that may be coming up is in the midst of all of this and how you deal with the unrest is how do you listen?

 

Faith 

What a critical piece of information because listening is a key to actually break through, if you do it well. But listening is a skill. And oftentimes we think we’re listening, but we’re really not. We’re waiting to say that next thing and you and I’ve talked about this, how often that’s been the case like, what am I going to say next? Listening means you really are not thinking about what you’re going to say. You’re listening to what the other is speaking and saying to you. And that means being still being focused and looking at them instead of judging it and condemning it and and finding what’s wrong with it. And that is really excellent skill. It takes skill, it takes practice, to learn to listen well. But it’s something that if ever, there was a time where we need to listen to each other, it’s right now, doesn’t mean that you don’t get your opinion out there. But it does mean you are taking the time being patient, being skillful, being compassionate, to just hear the heart, the mind, the beliefs, the convictions of another person.

 

Lois 

And Faith,  I think some of the most heartwarming images that I’m seeing right now are those leaders who are actually stepping into the protests and saying, What can I learn from you what is going on here that is driving what’s happening with your fear and with your pain and with what you want to express. And I think when we can get to that place and let someone else offer that to us, it puts a whole different perspective on it. And, and I don’t know about you, but it also made me think about how I listen to people with whom I don’t necessarily agree. And am I really hearing some of the issues that they’re going through just because I don’t experience it doesn’t mean it’s not real. And I think this was a, this has been a, an aha weekend for me as I’ve been observing different people in my life and really going to them and saying, maybe I’m not hearing what you’re going through. Would you like to share that with me again? And maybe that’s a lesson we’re all going to start learning through this horrible scenario that we have witnessed, and that we are participating in now with consecutive nights of riots and protests, and a lot of frustration.

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. And it’s not projecting how you’re feeling and dealing with the situation onto the other person. Just the same way that you were talking with somebody this morning who was glued to the TV I was talking with someone yesterday who is very frightened, and I’m not feeling the fear like this other person is feeling it But it was important that I hear how afraid she was, so that she could actually be able to express it so that we could actually dissect it and break it down into manageable pieces. And what could she do to not be quite so afraid? So, just because you may feel differently doesn’t mean you project how you feel onto the other person. Everyone is reacting and responding and feeling and imagining things uniquely, to their own experiences. And what they’ve been through isn’t something that you’ve necessarily been through.

 

Lois 

So we’re talking about how you deal with the unrest around you. And following right on the heels of how do you listen is giving others a voice and you know, faith. I had a chance yesterday to reach out to a good friend yesterday, who asked me to continue to pray and stay connected with her and her community. Now I am not a woman of color she is and she wanted to embrace me in the process. But it’s true. I don’t understand what she’s going through. So what she offered for me was that was how I could lift her up. And I thought that was I need to hear from someone who’s in the thick of it, how can she have the voice that she wants to be heard? And this isn’t easy for all of us. Because for some of us, who are fixers, and we think we can go in and solve problems, we think we can just step into it. And we may not be the right person to do that. And I really appreciated that when she gave me what would be helpful in her eyes, that I just accepted it and didn’t offer anything else that I thought would be a better way to offer my assistance or help or thoughts or any of those kinds of things.

 

Faith 

On that is really, really good. Yeah. And I think it’s, we don’t always like to own we think we if we can think we can resolve it and fix it. We don’t always like to own that we can’t. But I think that’s important just to be caring with anyone that we don’t fully understand what they’re going through. Through to say that I do not understand the the intense feelings or the emotions and, or the experience that you actually are encountering. But I want to hear you, I want going back to listening, I want to understand. And that’s that empathetic part of us that we can draw up inside and offer to the other person so that we can hear their voice and giving ourselves the right to have a voice to say, I don’t understand, and how can I help? What would be or what would be helpful? I love that phrase. Oftentimes, when I don’t know what to do, I will say to the person, what would be helpful?

 

Lois 

Yeah. And you shared with me a really great post today from Brene Brown, and you’ve most of you know who she is, and she’s an amazing sociologists that works out of Houston and she calls on us by the way today, to see, to share and to honor the lived experiences of friends whose realities are or were very different than ours. And I think that is just so powerful for me because it may not be my experience. But that doesn’t negate it. And I think we have we’re we’re plugging along doing our thing saying, This is how I do it. Well, now we’re watching someone else do it differently. And so what she’s asking us is to see and this lived experience that people are going through. And I love that she said that being held accountable is hard. And it’s painful to your point faith when we finally step in and say, I don’t know what to do. being accountable to what we even don’t know is not easy, and it’s painful for us to know that we don’t have the answer in this moment. But we do have ourselves to offer and so continue to offer yourself where other people can have the freedom to have their voice heard.

 

Faith 

And I think offering an inner voice to ourselves. is it’s an again, this is such an opportunity for us to truly be honest and reflective about what’s going on inside of us. What do we really believe? What What do we feel? What is our reaction and own it, instead of setting it aside and saying, I don’t know what to do with it, therefore I won’t deal with it. No, deal with it. wrestle with it. That’s the painful part. But it’s okay. Because that’s going to lead to a better way of handling our reactions or responses, and being far more partners and compassionate partners in dealing with everything that’s going on around us.

 

Lois 

You know, I mean, we can all think of moments where we’ve had something difficult happen in our lives. And sometimes people are afraid to say anything because they feel that they will say the wrong thing. And that’s what I was wrestling with yesterday, just to your point. Like if I say this, will I offend somebody and so I actually made statements. To a few of my friends with the caveat that if I’m saying anything that causes you discomfort, please leave me in the way that would be more helpful because there are, I totally understand that I could say something that didn’t work out the way you might want to hear it. So I think that’s such a good point faith that we just we, this is a time when there can be ebb and flow. And we may not have the exact right thing to say or know what to do. But that doesn’t mean we don’t at least step into it. And then find out where there can be a level of comfort and understanding and growth for for both sides. And believe me, my friends are reaching, saying thank you for at least asking for listening for stepping into it, even though I got money a little while there and I had to pull out because I’d gone about it not exactly the right way. But I knew that I didn’t know what to do. So they helped me do more of what would be more beneficial for them.

 

Faith 

That’s so good. And then we also have the balance of the COVID-19 concerns with all the violence that’s going on. Oh my goodness when watching the crowds, and I just saw all these people in some head masks and some didn’t. And I was going, Oh, what is going to be the result of this? How is this going to play out over time?

 

Lois 

Well, in an article that was just published in The Atlantic this morning, and there are a number of other articles that are coming out. Robinson Meyer has a really good piece. And he interviewed public health officials all over the country and a lot in the East Coast. And they are confirming what everybody is wondering about that there will be spikes in COVID cases in the next 10 to 14 days, and they expect quite a big spike. And even so the same officials still said these protests are necessary, especially as the demand for justice for black and brown bodies who have been brutalized by police needs to come to the forefront. So that’s a necessary action. And yet we know what’s going to happen as a result. You just mentioned it, people close together. Many people are yelling and if they Don’t have a mask on, you can just understand we’ve been told not to be around with those droplets. I mean, everything we’re watching is like, Oh my goodness. So there were even some tips this morning I saw and you can find these on almost every website about what to do if you’re going to go out to a protest, and that does include you know, the mask and, and maybe instead of yelling, if you could use signs or noisemakers, I love that I am seeing a lot more signs. But that’s the reason for this, by the way, it’s to protect yourself in that and if at all possible to stay in a group that is a little bit smaller, but that’s completely impossible. I totally get it if you’re out there in the middle of it. I know you can’t separate yourself from that. So this is it’s problematic, and yet it’s part of the process that has to happen right now for many people to have their voices heard.

 

Faith 

Yeah, and we are living in again, I use this phrase a lot, but we are in the both and we have both things going on. And it’s the balancing act. You can’t stop one when it erupts the way that it did and just try to stifle it and say, well until we get a vaccine, we can’t really deal with that. No, it’s going to be in the moment, life keeps moving on, things are going to happen to us. And we’re talking about a major crisis that happened in this last week. But this is true for the small things than less are things that may be going on. You might be losing a job. That’s a real life issue. And so there’s things that happened to us that are long side of the fact that we’re dealing with a pandemic, that that’s one issue. And then here’s the other issue, life marches on, and we still have to deal with it.

 

Lois 

Oh, how are you dealing with the unrest around you – is our question and we want to wrap up by reminding all of us that being kind to ourselves is probably the biggest gift we can give in the midst of all this because when you’re kind to yourself, then you can start being kind to other people. And if you find yourself losing sleep and watching and being tense that You’ll project that and take it with you everywhere you go. This is why we urge you to find a way to, if at all possible, you know, monitor how much you’re taking in of the news. And we’re not saying don’t take it and just think about how much you’re taking it and maybe pace yourself throughout the day so that it doesn’t have these big blocks of time. And especially right before you go to bed, if you can find a way to not have that be the last image. And I mistakenly did that on Saturday night faith. I just I thought I was preparing myself I we’ve talked so much about ways to go back to go to sleep, so that you don’t have these kinds of things sitting with you and I, I couldn’t pull myself away and I did wake up and in a lot more distress yesterday. So last night, I consciously decided – All right, I can’t do that for two nights in a row, and how can I be kind to myself so that I can be kind to others without waking up in such a state of frenzy.

 

Faith 

The act of being kind to yourself is not saying – I don’t care about what’s going on – you need to be so intent on taking care of your needs and getting the rest you need and, and taking care of the emotional things that rise up inside of you. Because if you don’t, you aren’t going to have what it takes to step into everything else we just talked about, to be there to be able to listen, to be able to care to be able to find ways that you can offer a helping hand. And so if you aren’t taking care of you, you can’t take care of or be a part of being involved in what really truly matters,

 

Lois 

And do exactly what faith just mentioned, be connected to those you care about and those who don’t, who you may not know so well, but who are really struggling through this time. This is a moment to be able to step in and just ask, like you’ve said, What may I do to help and this is a one of the most fascinating and heartwarming way To deal with this time of unrest around you, while it doesn’t solve that, you may bring comfort to just one person. And if you’ve done that, they might have a different perspective that they can go through with their work and their loved ones and whoever they need to face and deal with on a regular basis. And you know, we are here to talk and Faith is a registered psychotherapist, I’m a certified life coach, and we would love it if you would reach out to us and let us know how we can step into your life if that’s what you would like us to do.

 

Faith 

Staying present in these challenging times, offers you the opportunity to reduce the anxiety that he reps when you focus on the past or on the future.

 

Lois 

And when you choose to listen and give others a voice and balance your fears, you’re going to be able to move into a space of clarity and give that same gift to those around you.

 

Faith 

You are not alone and we are here. If you need to talk

 

Lois 

And join us next week when we explore another facet of how we are managing life in these very challenging times.

 

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen.

 

Lois 

No matter what you face in relationships, your body, spirituality or your craft.

 

Faith 

We are here to assure you, there is always more to life.

 

Lois 

We’ll be back next week.