Ombudsman Writings - October 2020

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By Rev. Randy Fillmore

"Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh"

There are days when as much as I want to demonstrate calm and peaceful demeanor, I allow circumstances to alter my thinking and resulting actions, where I am anything but peaceful and calm. The more upset I get, the more things seem to spiral into the abyss of cross between a day-in-the-life of cartoon character Charlie Brown and the Friday the 13th horror movie franchise.

When I begin to experience such a day, I want to remember to stop, breathe, and reflect on what is the real reason I'm getting upset. My nose would grow exponentially if I suggested I did that in circumstances. I try. I really do. Sometimes, I do remember and pause to change my attitude, and yet there are those other times.
I'm not making excuses or offering a rationale for such actions. It's difficult when you're ankle, knee, of hip-deep in life's experiences and at every turn, it seems to all fall apart or flies in your face (and not in a good way).

I would like you to ponder, "what does it take to change the situation?" I know for me it generally takes a change of scenery - removing myself from the situation or environment. If I'm working on a project and cannot take the opportunity to leave, the spiral might continue its downward momentum until I can find respite somewhere else.
It's times like that where the Peanuts character PigPen and the ever-present dark cloud hangs just above my head.

One of the most recent ways I've looked to shift my mood and attitude after recognizing my situation is to picture that imaginary dust-filled dark cloud hanging right over my head. Looking up, I remember that I'm its' creator and sole provider of life. I'm the one feeding this entity that starts as a few clouds, and before you know it, there's a raging tornadicane strong enough to fling large farm animals into the next county and dump enough emotion to cause flooding.

Wow. I never contemplated that I have that much power.

Then I break out into a chuckle that I must look pretty silly with this tornadicane mere inches above my head.
Does this chuckle shift my mood and bring everything right with the world? Not always, but it's a start in remembering that I am responsible, I am the one feeding the angst, frustration, anger that causes this storm to grow and spread.

Meeting these emotions with appropriate humor, love and peace - regardless if that tornadicane is of your own making, or of someone else's and get out of the path of the oncoming storm surge. There might be days when the tornadicane soaks you to your core. You have the choice AND power to weather the storm and make the shift to a more pleasant emotional location. That's what self-care is all about.

Blessings along your path
Rev Randy Fillmore
ADL Ombudsman
Chapel 1709

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