Whenever I feel like my life is difficult it helps to put things into perspective. I recently had to shut down my home remodeling business, which provided the bulk of my household income for over 30 years, as a result of the current Coronavirus Pandemic and other factors. However, I do see that this decision was coming for some time, and that it is actually a blessing! Resulting health issues from that type of work, including a newly developed allergy to chemicals and paint, only added to the knowing that it was time to let that business go. The Coronavirus was just the last straw, and the final push I needed to explore new directions.
Many people across the world are loosing their livelihoods and don’t know how they are going to survive, so when I feel my own anxiety or stress about the fear of the unknown, it helps me to realize that things could be much worse. In fact, I realized my problems are minor compared to the suffering going on around the world. Even within the United States my challenges don’t even come close to how difficult some peoples lives are. So when I feel discouraged or stressed, it helps to find empathy and compassion for others.
Focusing on something called “Radical Kindness” helps me see what truly matters. First, I need to be kind to myself. Are my thoughts negative or positive? How do I see myself? Am I harshly judging myself? Am I harshly judging others? When I realize that everyone, including myself, is doing the best we can with the information we have, my thinking changes. Then I’m left mostly with feelings of gratitude for the abundance I have, and a growing sense of empathy for others who are less fortunate.