Long Way Round Blog

Discussing social and cultural inequities and advocating change.

Rampant wildfires on the west coast, devastating floods in the east, civil injustice, political unrest, and a pandemic. In the past few years, our world has been the epidemy of out of the frying pan and into the fire.



We humans have experienced and continue to experience collective stressors, all the while trying to life out our existence on this planet.


How have you been processing the collective trauma’s we’ve all been experiencing?

Are you kinder to others because you identify with their anxieties and fears? Are you less tolerant? Are you numb to the world, not having much feeling or opinion on one thing or another?


Humans are an adaptive species and we build communities so that we can generate resilience, foster connections, and develop a sense of the collective self. The pandemic has taught us some valuable lessons.


I myself am an introvert and when the lockdowns began, I told myself that since I rarely leave the house anyway and I don’t even like being in crowded spaces, a lockdown is just business as usual.

However, as we’ve all learned by now, being isolated is very different than being an introvert. You as an individual may prefer your own company but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want the option to enjoy your own company out in the community.

Heading to the movie theaters where you’ll be surrounded by people, only to pick the seat that is away from everyone else – me making friends.


That feeling of togetherness but separate just became a feeling of separation. This is a feeling many of us have felt since the pandemic began and I realized that I was very privileged to have not ever felt this way in the past and that for me, it would be temporary.


Have you ever made a list of things you should be grateful for but that you take for granted every day?

My Grateful for List


I can walk

eat on my own

speak and hear

I have familial supports and friends

I have a career and co-workers

I have money – well I have enough money

I have electricity!

I have a platform where I can support others

I can read and have a nice pile of books I have touched in ages

I have a pet who keeps me company when I feel alone

and I have coffee - delicious coffee


Perhaps making a list of everything you take for granted every day will give you a bit of perspective.



Pics credited to: Louis Maniquet, Wix Media, NASA

'To cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true.

A feeling of trust. To desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.'

Hope


A BRIEF RECAP OF 2020


As we move forward and hopefully far far away from the literal dumpster fire that was 2020, we are faced with a choice. To be hopeful that things will be better or allow cynicism to creep into our minds.


2021 is a beacon of light at the end of a very long tunnel; we must have hope against all hope in this time so that when the fire dyes down, we rise stronger than ever from it's ashes.


HOPE AGAINST HOPE


In the year 2021, let us hope without bias, hope without the expectation of fulfillment, hope without contentment for dreams that have crashed and burned the year before, and simply hope for the sake of hope.


This year we are looking to heal but with healing often comes scarring. The collective trauma we as a nation have endured will cause irrevocable ripples throughout our lives. While this trauma can cause dissonance and isolation it can also breed stronger communities and foster a sense of togetherness.

Whether you are processing your trauma or just now realizing its effects, let us heal together.


Healed & Refreshed is a community and we state that this community is a welcoming safe space. Safe spaces foster hope, they encourage positivity and collaboration, and are often overlooked in developing a culture of advocacy and change.


Foster hope in your own community by providing a Safe Space. Safe Spaces aren't just for businesses; your home or office can be a Safe Space too.


Resources & support can be found here:

https://safespace.org/


CREATING A SAFE SPACE


What is a Safe Space?

Safe Spaces are places created for those who feel marginalized, whether it is due to systematic oppression or cultural assimilation, to come together and create a dialogue based on their shared experiences.

How can I create a Safe Space?

For an Office: Sticker your door, window or anywhere visible with a Safe Space sticker. Depending on your profession, ie. mental health professional and population you are working with, ie. older adults or children, you may need to make sure to disclose if you are a mandate reporter as well as any other reporting policies when offering a Safe Space. Have a Safe Space office hour, where multiple students, clients or coworkers, etc. can come and just chat about their work and their life experiences.


For a Home: Simply explain the concept when necessary and with whom you feel comfortable. Have some information available and a reputable resource in case your home isn’t the best place for someone but they express their need for one. Be an educator, help others find Safe Spaces in your area or introduce the concept as an option for those in need.


For a business: Depending on your profession and the population your business serves, there may be a need to have a discussion about whether creating a Safe Space is wanted or needed in your establishment. The easiest way to find out is assess your clients or community – ask them if they want a space to discuss life experiences amongst themselves and if they would feel comfortable using your space. Designate a specific space in your building where everyone is welcome and the appropriate resources are available.


Let's bring our A-game into 2021, this year is all about being kind to yourself and allowing yourself to hope.

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We can all agree that 2020 was a year to remember and not in a good way. Our hopes and dreams have been set onto this new year with the expectation that it delivers a more fruitful year than the one before.


Let us celebrate more than just a new year, let us celebrate change, encourage development, and advocate for global harmony.


Happy New Year.

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