The last few weeks have relentlessly chipped away at our already fragile psyches and we seem to be stuck in a perpetual fight, flight, freeze, and fold cycle that leaves us numb and exhausted by the weight of the world. The ‘weight of the world” is an idiom for immense and distressing burdens and responsibilities associated with human existence. It’s an allusion to the mythology of Atlas that dates back to at least 130 BC. As punishment for being on the wrong side of a battle against the Olympians, Atlas is tasked with holding up the earth. After doing so for ages, Hercules comes along and offers to take on the weight of the world in exchange for Atlas fetching him some gold apples that are guarded by a hundred-headed dragon. Happy to release his burden and get back to normal, Atlas agrees. However, when Atlas delivers the gold apples, Hercules tricks him into taking the world back. Disillusioned, Atlas refuses his next Perseus shelter after his battle with the Medusa. Perseus sticks the head of Medusa in Atlas’s face and turns him to stone for eternity. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to find ways to deal with our emotional overload so we can break out of the cycle and mobilize with each other to create change.
We have a meteor shower tonight at about 10 PM PDT. It comes from the debris of the Tau Herculids comet that exploded 27 years ago. It will be the first time we can see it from the earth. Many ancients believed meteor showers were signs of momentous events on the horizon. We can do this people! While we all need to write our legislators, protest, and vote – here are 4 ideas to help you move forward with intention:
Move Your Body: Getting physical and breaking a sweat can help us transition out of fight, flight, freeze, or fold modes. Run, row, or go at a punching bag until you break a sweat and then go some more to decrease the stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – from your system and help you deal with the task at hand.
- Hold Fast: Acknowledge that getting back to your life is different than getting back to normal. Hold fast to your unwillingness to accept violence as the norm by aligning with an organization like the Children’s Defense Fund or Everytown for Gun Safety.
- Apply Pressure: Employees and customers can apply pressure to companies that work with or provide partnerships and discounts to the NRA to end their alliance.
- Act Fast with Facts: There is a lot of disinformation out there – you can be a provider of facts. Subscribe to the John Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions news and alerts so you can have the facts and take fast action.