Excerpt from Creating Sanity in Troubling Times
What's Sanity When Your World Seems Insane?
First, let's be clear that in using the word sanity here I am not talking about the legal definition in which being sane means knowing right from wrong and being mentally competent to stand trial.
Nor does the word insane mean lacking the capacity to participate rationally in legal proceedings.
Neither am I referring to any diagnostic state of psychological health or mental illness. Most individuals who are dealing with a diagnosed emotional difficulty are considered clinically sane even though they are suffering much distress.
Instead, I am using sane in its everyday sense -- as most of us do -- to mean feeling normal in our usual circumstances. And “normal” means whatever is normal for us, even if that is a little bit or even a lot different from anyone else. Most of us, most of the time intuitively know when we feel normal and sane, and when we don’t.
Insane as used in this ebook in its everyday sense means feeling radically out of step with the world around you, with your life as you want it to be, and out of balance with your friends, family, and sense of normalcy.
I should also clarify what is meant by troubling times. Some of you who are reading this guide may be experiencing the troubling times of personal, unique, circumstances. You may be going through a relationship or personal breakdown, or enduring the chaos of parenting. You may even have said that your circumstances are driving you crazy.
Perhaps you are dealing with an illness and find your energy and resources challenged. Maybe you recently started your own business, or have had to close your business due to the economic drain the pandemic has caused. No doubt it's rough going these first few years, causing tension in interactions with others as well as testing your personal courage and your tolerance for uncertainty. You’ve probably run into obstacles and requirements that make you nuts.
In 2021 and perhaps for years after this, you might be going through the trauma of losing a friend or family member to Covid-19. Maybe you have had the burden of home schooling while schools were closed, or you’ve been threatened with eviction due to losing your job and not being able to pay rent or mortgage. You could be dealing with food insecurity for the first time, and finding it difficult to admit the need to feed your family from a food bank.
Any one or more of these situations might be felt as a troubling time for you.
Or, you may be caught up in the negativity of world events. You may have a relative in the armed forces or recently discharged or retired. Maybe someone you care about has fallen prey to a white supremacist group or QAnon cult. You might may be experiencing an unrelenting fear for their safety.
Maybe your job was outsourced, or your employer went out of business, and you've been unable to find comparable work due to the pandemic economy and its slow re-open and recovery. Worries about losing health insurance or falling into mortgage foreclosure are certainly troubling times for many.
Perhaps you have been involved in the processes of an election year and feel like the outcome has life and death stakes. You might have listened to too many fear-mongers on the news, or bought into nerve-wracking conspiracy theories that make you feel like the world is coming to an end and there is no hope left. Such events and involvements are no doubt crazy-making – AND, it’s not too late to re-examine how you relate to whatever is agitating you, and find effective ways to bring yourself into a more calm and in control state of mind.
Whatever the cause, you've probably picked up this ebook because you are feeling like the world around you ---whether your individual personal world or the multiple shared situations of the planet we live on--- has gone insane. You wonder if you too are losing your mind. You might not even be sure any more what sanity is supposed to look and feel like.
Let me assure you that if you have enough awareness to feel, see, or suspect that things aren't right, and you're questioning how things got the way they are, you aren't losing your mind.
Quite the contrary. You are, in fact, becoming more conscious.