Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

One Small Step. One Big Leap = Faith!

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

One Small Step. One Big Leap = Faith!

Article excerpt

Faith. Keep the faith. As I sit at the computer, I am becoming more and more frustrated with writer's block; my thoughts are all over the place, nothing seems to connect. Earlier today, I helped a family member struggling with the unexpected death of my 44-yearold cousin that occurred the week before Christmas. She has freshman high school twins, the same age as my daughter, so this particularly hit home. As I type these words, TV programming was just interrupted with the news of another mass shooting at an airport. Within the past few days a video was posted on social media of a live beating of a man with disabilities, and certain federal legislation runs the risk of being repealed (my dad has leukemia, and he needs "Obama Care"). And for us in education, who knows what will happen with ESSA regulations? Why are the thoughts not connecting? Why am I feeling so disorganized? I realize that the answer is relatively simple. It's because I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and beginning to question what is happening to our world. What has happened to humanity? Is there any hope for our future? And I can only guess that some of you are feeling overwhelmed too. With the shortage of school psychologists, I know many of you are stretched thin and doing the work of many, let alone managing stressors that come with juggling everyday life.

I have been reflecting on a statement made at my cousin's eulogy ... faith brings people together, whereas religion can divide ... regardless of our religious convictions, we have to have faith and we have to come together to heal. As I reflect more on this statement, I realize how much this applies to current events negatively impacting our sense of safety and security.

So, where do we begin when life events seem so overwhelming and negative? We have to keep focused on faith. If we have faith, we then have hope. We have incredible skills and knowledge to help ourselves and each other foster faith. Mindfulness, positive psychology, conflict resolution, and creating caring communities are just a few of the areas in which we can draw on our expertise to help ourselves and each other get through challenging times. In addition, we have to choose (and sometimes work hard!) to keep the faith. In my own self-reflection, I am choosing three resolutions to help keep the faith for the rest of this year.

Take more time to truly listen, hear, and understand. In moments of anxiety and pain, hurt and loss, I often hear phrases like: "Just get over it" or "You can't change it, so just move on." Personally, I find these phrases incredibly insulting because they shut down emotion and dialogue. …

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