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 

Hi, there Faith.

 

Faith 

Good morning, Lois. it’s springtime and I’m loving it right now.

 

Lois 

I can hear you so clearly I’m like beyond myself right now you sound fabulous Miss Faith.

 

Faith 

Headphones make all the difference. Right?

 

Lois 

You know, it’s taken us some time to figure out different things out for each of us. So, you, you know, we were concerned sometimes about what this all sounds like, because it’s different. Faith and I are practicing social distancing in More to Life with Faith and Lois. And so to do that, then we have to find a few more gadgets and we are and they’re working and well, here we are in another week Faith. It’s exciting.

 

Lois 

It is Exciting. So let’s do this.

 

Lois 

Let’s do this because you know, most of you like us are still experiencing some sort of stay at home or safer at home order and, and some days, let’s just face it, it’s easier to adjust. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the birds that come or the sunshine or you get a great phone call. And then other times, it does feel like that Cabin Fever just whacked you upside the head and you wonder what’s going to happen. When is this going to end and it’s uncertain and we are living in uncertain times, Faith.

 

Faith 

Oh, we indeed are living in uncertain times, because we can’t predict what tomorrow is going to be like or next week or next month. And we’re dealing with a lot of pressures on top of it. So it’s a heavy time. And yet, as we’ve been talking about these last several weeks, there’s so much good that we need to not just get absorbed into the negativity of what we’re going through, but to be able to balance it with all that is good as well.

 

Lois 

So that’s why for the last few weeks we have chosen to focus on how this Coronavirus era is impacting you. It’s impacting us. And it’s impacting everyone we are in connection with. So if you’d like to hear any of the other topics, by the way, you can go back in time a little bit on our website, which is www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com. You can also sign up there for a free email that comes in your inbox every Tuesday, which is also the same day you get our podcasts. So voila, it all works like that. And by the way, every week, we’re also recording and creating new videos for these COVID-19 times and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for those of you who are sharing them. Please continue to do so. So today we’re asking the question, How are you showing compassion during COVID-19? And we thought we’d look at four different areas:  yourself, others, those who challenge you and how you use compassion when you hit that wall.

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. It’s gonna be good because it’s necessary for all of us to reevaluate into establish, how are we going to move through the days ahead of us because it’s still going to be very different. It’s not going to be the same, and, and how to be compassionate and caring for ourselves and for others. And for those that stretch us a bit. That’s right.

 

Lois 

So let’s start with being compassionate to ourselves. Because you know, at the bottom line and core of all of this, when we lose that self compassion for ourselves, it’s really difficult to share that or show that or display fat or do anything with anybody else. So we must start in a really great way with ourselves and how we demonstrate compassion to ourselves, face how do you go about bringing that into your presence in life?

 

Faith 

Well, the first thing I have taken off and I’ve been taking this off of me for many years now, but I’ve had to remember Mind myself a bit more during the season of going through the COVID. And that is to not ‘should’ on myself or ‘shouldn’t’ on myself. So I guess I’ve gotten rid of shoulds and shouldn’ts, because all they do is torment you, I should be doing this, why am I not doing that, you know, and I shouldn’t have done that. And that just wears you down. So I have been very compassionate about saying, I’m not doing that I’m not putting that on myself. And then second to that I’ve allowed myself the space to say this is a gift of time, a time like an opportunity for me to really focus in on some of the things that I’ve been working on for the last many months but have more time to focus in on myself and not feel selfish about it. But to say this is important, because what I’m doing for myself right now is going to play out for many months and many years to come. So it’s a critical opportunity for me to say, now’s the time, rather than Oh, I’ll do that some other time. Right now I have to get all these other things done. I’ve let a lot of other things go.

 

Lois 

That is so fantastic. Because this is the time isn’t it? Faith. I mean, we always encourage people, and you spoke so well and beautifully about intentionality last week, and now we’re getting a chance to practice it. And it doesn’t always come easy. But right now, I don’t know about you or anyone who’s listening. Maybe you’ve had something that fell through recently, this may be your moment, for us that time because it may not come again. You may have everything fall into place for the next couple of days and you’ll be so busy. I love you know when you’re able to use that time. I’ve finally as a self compassionate person that I’m trying to be is recognizing that I’m not perfect that everything I do isn’t going to turn out the way I want. And especially in these COVID-19 times. I don’t have the things I need to Do what I thought I could do, I can’t just zip to the store or zip to this place, or even get it online. Sometimes I have to make do with what I have. So I’ve had to give myself grace and compassion that you know what this is going to work out to the best that it possibly can. And one of the things that I’m reminded of every time I remember these kinds of things is I’m watching the suffering, if you want to call it that the loss, the emptiness that many of my neighbors have, that many people around me have. And I’m reminded that I’m not alone. And so, as I practice self compassion to myself, I get to watch and say, Wow, these people are going through this too. I am sharing in this human toll that this has taken on all of us, which is emotional, which is physical, which is all of the above. So as I become more compassionate with myself that I can’t fix this, that this is the way life is for all of us right now. I tend to be more gracious and breathe through those Those trying times. And I remember that I’m part of a shared human experience and faith and I talk about this constantly. And we do it because we want you to know that you’re not alone. And boy, am I reminded of that when I’m self compassionate. I remember, I’m not alone.

 

Faith 

And that good. We don’t have to be perfect. Yes. I love it.

 

Lois 

I love it. It’s about time.

 

Faith 

I know, right?

 

Lois 

We all come out of this going, you know what, my hair is really curly. I may never do my nails again. Or, or I may never be able to, to engage in a level of activity that I did before because I changed patterns. And I’m realizing this is good. This is okay.

 

Faith 

It is okay.

 

Lois 

Another way to look at compassion is how we demonstrate to others and share compassion with others and faith. You know, I know this is a big piece of your life and it’s important in how you interact with people.

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. absolutely will. I’ve been far more compassionate just hearing first and foremost, even with my clients, how are you doing, because this is a whole new experience for them. And so I kind of get into the wrestling match of what they’re struggling with initially so that more awareness can open up so a little more tender, a little less challenging at times, just because of the fact that this is the kind of tender routes that we’re dealing with right now. And and it’s time for compassion. I show a lot of compassion toward some situations like on Facebook if someone has been sick and I’ve had friends who have gotten ill from COVID-19 and just really making sure that I send a warm encouraging email or no to them or and I’ve been sending out more cards and as a means of connecting with people that I know are struggling and wrestling with things. Another thing I love to do is to just pop somebody, a wonderful video that pops up or something, or music that I know is going to be in line with what they like. And I and I will send it to them, and that just brightens their day. So these are little small things that I do to show it. But ultimately, I think one of the things that I have stepped into is where can I literally financially give? And that doesn’t mean we’re not all struggling financially we are, but finding ways of Where could I put some dollars to make a difference for someone else. And that has been a huge feeling of being a part of the bigger picture for me that I can share compassion tangibly. By offering money that I know will go to people that really need it.

 

Lois 

That is, that is beautiful. And there’s so many places where people are in desperate need right now. And it’s great that that’s at the top of mind for you faith because there are people who need that so much. I really noticed the one area of compassion that I’m becoming so much better at because of what’s happening. COVID-19 is reaching out by text or by calling or by zoom or setting up zoom calls with people who don’t normally do them, just to connect, not even all as clients to as friends to just have, you know, happy hours if that’s what we want to call them, whatever it is a place to connect, and not expecting anything in return. I think when we have friendships, one of the things we do is, oh, I reached out this time and we did this now. Are you going to invite me and I think for many people, this is a time where they feel paralyzed, and they can’t reach out in the same way. It does. doesn’t mean they don’t want to engage. It just means that for whatever reason, they don’t feel the ability, the capability, the confidence to do it. And this is one of the first times in my life that I’ve looked at that and gone Yeah, that’s okay. I’m just gonna keep reaching out every week, even if I never get a call back. Even if I never get this because they don’t ever hang up on me. They clearly want to connect, they just are in a place where they don’t feel as comfortable. And that has been really freeing for me. There’s no, I don’t believe I had a ledger before. But I really don’t have a ledger now. And I think that’s where it’s a compassionate level. Because before I wonder, you know, if you really care about me, aren’t you going to reach out to me too, and I’m getting my fill, by the way. So they’re providing a great resource for me as I connect, so who cares? Who made the output on this one? And I this has been a really freeing thing like, wow, you can just keep giving, giving, giving now it’s always good to receive. I mean, I’m not going to say I wouldn’t take a call from someone. And faith always does faith did send me this wonderful thing this week. About what to do with my egg shells because it is true that while I may use egg shells, Faith, I don’t put them in the oven. So you gave me a new idea one morning. I listen you very much so she is absolutely correct. She sends you videos or informative articles and it was so hilarious because I know I do a lot of crazy things, but I had not put them in the oven. So one more crazy thing that Lois will add to our list courtesy of Faith Donaldson, thank you very much.

 

Faith 

I didn’t know that you you know that was such a key ingredient to such good broken eggshell. So so that’s good to know.

 

Lois 

But I’m in your garden, so I’ve always composted them in but I had recently seen something about roasting them and then crushing them down to small things my garden, my little worms have to deal with bigger pieces but new news for my garden. The next round of compost is going to have the crushed and roasted eggshells, they’ll be very happy.

 

Faith 

That’s fun. We learn something new every day.

 

Lois 

That’s right. That’s right. So as we’re talking about how we show compassion during COVID-19, there’s another element here. That certainly is part of how we function and that is showing compassion to those who challenge you.

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. And this is a toughy. Because one when we’re going through the abnormal and everything we’re going through is not normal. So that stresses us. It’s going to be a stressor on us emotionally, mentally, physically. And these are times where we have to be caring about that and pace ourselves, but we can be very reactionary right now. So you might have a disagreement with your significant other, your spouse, your children, your neighbor, and you’re more diffusers a little shorter. And so it might take off. So Doing the basic things we’ve talked about in the past of slowing down pacing yourself taking those deep breaths, just stopping for a moment and asking, am I going to regret this? Or is this okay for me to say and do right now, because oftentimes there’s a better way of dealing with issues that might be grinding on us and bringing up a topic we need to bring up. So those people who stretch us whether it’s in the moment, or maybe their long term stretchers, someone that we’ve been stretching with them for a very long time. And those are really different because difficult to deal with because they’re kind of you know, they during this time, they can be uncomfortable and so they’re agitators disengage. I cannot tell you how important it is to just say, you know, obviously this is not a good time for You, let’s talk about this another time. And if you’re on the phone, I’m going to hang up now, I will call you next week or in two weeks or whatever feels good to you. But disengage, don’t blow up. Don’t, don’t get into it just disengage. And that doesn’t mean you’re abandoning them. It doesn’t mean you’re running away. It means I will return. But let’s find a better time. That’s one thing that that you definitely can do. And, yeah, I just think it’s so important that we care about ourselves because when we care about ourselves in the situation, we’re caring about them as well. And that’s important to do.

 

Lois 

And that’s the thread Faith that you’re pulling through because as we were practicing self compassion with ourselves, then when someone is a long term stretcher, love that phrase, it gives us different eyes for different ears for a different persona. And I’ve really started to notice that as I’ve pay attention to the hurt I feel, if that’s what I’m feeling when somebody ignites or unloads or gets very, very frustrated, or as antagonizing. I, now in this time more than ever, because we’re all so on edge, I start to acknowledge that that other person is hurting too. Even if they’re being really cruel with their hurting, I understand there’s something underneath it. So as you’re talking about looking at different way to respond, I will at that point, try to have a better understanding of where that person is coming from, it may not be justified what they’ve said, by the way, it’s never okay to you know, blast people out of the water. I will stand by that. And yet in these moments, you’re noticing a little more of that. So what if, and this is one of the things I tried last week? What if I listened to what that person had to say? And then I reached out in the way I thought was the most appropriate, whether it was disengaging or whether it was just giving a response and then I left that response out there without requiring them to say anything back. And so it gave, it’s giving that space it is disengaging on one level because I didn’t react. I breathe it in, I took in what they were saying and I chose to give some kind of response that may have been my oven no response, the response can be disengagement, the response can be something about I hear what you’re saying and not agreeing. And I found that that is when challenging people notice that you hear them. That gives them also the room and space to say, Okay, I feel heard. Maybe I came on a little too strong. They may not even apologize, they may not even come back, but they know they’ve been heard. And so it is difficult in this time when you’ve got challenging people, especially in close quarters. And for those of you who are experiencing a rash of anger, you know, faith and I’ve talked about this before, do what you can to, to remove yourself from the situation as best you can. Instead safety in your backyard at on a porch, someplace where you can come back to a sense of, of normalcy, and then find someone you can talk to as well.

 

Faith 

you know, the phrase that we hear we’re all in this together is a supportive phrase. But we oftentimes can forget that when we are in this together, we’re also in some of the negative encounters together. And, but that’s coming from both sides as well. So we can be supportive of each other and encourage each other and build each other up. And we can be very destructive. And that’s why just taking that evaluation of where am I at knowing that the other person may not be able to evaluate themselves as well. You can be in a better position to set a boundary to set some limits to take some time. And that can change the whole atmosphere.

 

Lois 

I love that. I love that. And then finally, as we’re talking about how to show compassion during COVID-19, being compassionate with yourself when you hit a wall. Because we are all hitting walls, sometimes all the time, I don’t know I got bruises all over my head. Know, that’s what’s different to us every time. But we’re still sometimes coming up to this place where you go, I can’t take any more.

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. Or you just feel that even in your body. I just I’m exhausted. There’s a different kind of tired. There’s a different kind of depletion that we are all experiencing with this because we are not in our normal routine. So I will sometimes have this surge of energy and I start doing things and then I hit a wall. I’m just going, I can’t do another thing right now. And then I have to stop. And and that happens in ways that are just I’m out I can’t predict it. But when it happens, I’m being compassionate enough to my self to say, stop, take the time you need, do what you need to do, and then return. And sometimes it’s even been a 1015 minute nap. And that has made all the difference just to take a rest and actually fall into a deep sleep and then I’m suddenly wide awake again. I never do that to speak of, and so being able to give myself that has made a difference. So yeah, there’s lots of walls that we are going to hit during this time and have it. The other one is fear. That’s a big one for everybody right now. When you’ve mentioned several times, lows about what it takes to go to the store, about half you gear up almost right. And then you’re so aware of everything and every situation and those are times that can stretch a person, the demands of doing just the things we took for granted differently. And we’re having to adapt to this probably for quite a while. And so, yes, we’re hitting walls. What walls have you hit?

 

Lois 

Oh, well, you know, and when I hit walls, sometimes I almost forget that we’re in this era, and that there’s this underlying current that’s going on with me that that gets me closer to a wall than I’ve ever been before. So what I mean is, you’re already walking around, I’m already walking around with a heightened sense of either, you know, something could go wrong, or I’m going to a store and I’ve got to wait in line again. And I thought I would be home in this amount of time and I’m not – so your stress, you’re starting to build up stressors that that come just from that and then something other normal happens like this weekend, one of my sons moved 1200 miles away. Now, in normal circumstances, that would have made me a little sad as the mom right, that’s just typical. But add COVID-19 to it, and I’m walking around getting snippy and then I have to stop and go, what is it that is getting me so upset, and I started piece through it. And I remember and I, I acknowledge what’s happening. And I think we’re hitting walls because it doesn’t take much to get us to go over the edge right now, whether it’s fear or whether it’s just total frustration or it’s, you know, we are the cabin fever hits you. And so exactly what you’re talking about Faith, I have just started to practice this, I stop with the breathing. I mean, I stop with what I’m doing. And then I start the breathing and, and my regular mantra now to anybody who’s around me is you know, counting to five, breathe out to five, three times. And when I do that, that’s the first wave of starting to breathe and have some ease. And then finding my footing, whatever that looks like whether it’s stepping outside or just touching something to say, I’m really here, I’m still here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be okay. And then to your point, whether it’s avoiding dealing with something right in that moment, whether it’s taking a pause and a nap, whether it’s taking a pause and making something that I need to do like yogurt, I don’t know figure something, I figure something out. That will take my mind. mind off of what is bothering me. And then I can get back to that sense of whatever normal is right now. And because these walls that we hit, if we choose not to acknowledge them, then we can really, I can really get upset over and take it out on other people or crush. You know, my garden, you’ve seen me in the dirt the other day, I was just hitting things in there just because I needed to get stuff out. That was the best thing I could have done. That was a good use of my time. So find what to do when you’re hitting that wall that will allow you to come through it because you will come through it and you will hit another wall. We will.

 

Faith 

absolutely be doing a lot more

 

Lois 

frequently. People that you know that have been totally calm, suddenly have this like edge about them and it’s tough during this time.

 

Faith 

It’s very tough. And I really want to encourage those that are hitting the biggest wall of all uncertainty, especially financial uncertainty, a loss business, a business disappearing, going bankrupt, no longer being there. How are they going to pay their mortgage? How are they going to pay their rent? there? This is massive right now. And that is a major wall. That is a major wall. We’re at one point A few weeks ago, everything was fine. You were making money, you could pay your bills. And now you’re on the brink of bankruptcy. That is terrifying to the core. And it’s one of the biggest walls we can hit of uncertainty that we can face. And that’s important at that time, as hard as it is to reach out and to ask for help into what kind of help do you need. And I know it takes courage sometimes to ask for professional help. But if ever there was a time to have someone walk with you through a dark time, it’s now and there are many therapists out there that are that are doing free therapy. There’s places on line you can look for that the government some hours putting some of those places up, get the support that you need to get through this crisis time in life. Otherwise, that wall is going to keep hitting you and hitting you and hitting you. and despair is going to come in. And, gosh, we want to help, you know, encourage everyone. Don’t hit that despair place of no return. Because that becomes very dark for a lot of people. And that’s just a reality. It’s just a reality we’re in right now.

 

Lois 

And you don’t have to do it alone. That’s exactly what faith is pointing out and feel free to reach out to either faith registered psychotherapist or myself a life coach. I mean, we would be very happy to talk with you and both of us are doing a variety of sliding scale efforts right now to no pay. I mean, we’re doing all sorts of things and so are so many other wonderful therapists and psychiatrists and life coaches out there and credit counselors, those people as well. The idea being, if possible, what faith is suggesting, bring it up and speak, speak it out, because that’s the point that you have of having some healing and at least a direction of where to go from here on out.

 

Faith 

Compassion is an amazing tool to soften the edges of the harshness you may be facing in this COVID-19 era.

 

Lois 

Whether you use it toward yourself or someone else in a challenging situation or when you hit a wall. Compassion offers comfort and care.

 

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 challenging times.

 

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcasts 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.