I don't often write blog posts so close together in a week, but after reading an incredible article this morning in a past issue of The Portland Phoenix ("People Are Dying," How to End Maine's Opiate Crisis), I feel compelled to share some thoughts.
While the work I am doing through Soulful Work is aimed at people struggling in the workplace, there are many people suffering in the world in many ways who need help. The high level of addiction that is rampant in Maine, and in the U.S., represents the emotional crisis, the breaking point, that many people are reaching today. When we feel something we don't like-pain, anxiety, stress, worry, grief-whatever it is- we want that pain to go away. We choose different ways to try to feel better and ease this pain. Some of us choose healthy solutions: going for a run, doing yoga, talking with a trusted person or meditation. Some of us choose not-so-healthy solutions: watching TV for hours, drinking too much, eating too much, or putting brain-altering chemical substances (drugs) in our bodies. This is not to judge people who make these choices, as I myself have been guilty of all of the above at various points in my life and have been very close to people who have experienced addiction. It is heart-breaking and, simply put, it is people desperately searching for a way, any way, to feel better.
We need to support people, as the Phoenix author Frances Flisiuk points out in interviews with Maine leaders, to find healthy ways that don't destroy (or end) their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
It can be hard to see some of the choices people make today, whether it is to further damage our planet (today is Earth Day - nurture the Earth! Spread a message about conservation!) or hurt other people around them. But, the good news is that there are many, many people, like these good-intentioned Maine leaders in Portland especially, who want to help make a difference and who are trying. We need more of this, and while we don't all need to jump on the opiate crisis bandwagon if that's not where your passion lies, I bet you have a passion for something else where you could truly make a change. For me, it's restoring soul in the workplace and in everyday life situations.
What is an area where you could have an impact? What do you feel passionately about? Get on social media about it, talk about it to people, start to do any small thing to create energy around that thing. We need more of this in our world. It takes courage to step out of a comfort zone, but I'm willing to wager that you have it in you!
Thanks for reading.