Dr. TED WIARD
Golden Willow Retreat
Editors Note: This is part of a series by grief specialist Dr. Ted Wiard, dedicated to helping educate the community about emotional healing.
The focus continues to be on the present issue of COVID-19 and how this has impacted the entire world. This column’s intent is to give emotional support for individuals, families, and communities during this time of radical change.
For most of us, the last few months has turned the world upside down and has forced a high level of fear, chaos, anger, disconnect, revelation of differences, and multiple levels of societal dysfunction, and a demand to examine many aspects of humanity and society on a collective level.
With the continued pressure of COVID-19, it feels as if there is a magnifying glass heating up and exposing many differences and inequalities deep in the roots of society. When upheaval arises, there is a high level of fear that comes with the upheaval due to the historical status-quo is no longer working and has disappeared.
Destruction of an old system leads to chaos which gives us the opportunity for conscious reconstruction. The key word is opportunity, many people will be caught in residual or obsessive passion in which someone may self-identify with the historical way, and truly define themselves with the historical way of doing things.
Obsessive passion leads to behaviors that may not positively serve the present situation for the person or others. It can lead to grasping onto something that is no longer there leading to behaviors that exacerbate the level of chaos. As the fear increases, people, groups and organizations have a tendency of either lashing out or isolating. Both of these behaviors lead to a larger wedge in relationships and less and less ways to connect.
In the business world, this type of isolation and separation is called knowledge silos where there is so much wonderful potential and information sitting within the silos rather than being shared. In order to build better and stronger relationships, we need to decrease fear to be able to build a new present moment which will allow for growth, sharing of knowledge, and having harmonious passion with choices. To decrease fear, isolation, defensiveness, control of others, rage, and hatred takes the bravery of communication.
Healthy communication is when information is shared with no need to have to have the other person agree or disagree, but have the willingness to listen without being reactive, dismissive, or non-responsive, allowing the person to be seen, heard, and valued. As knowledge silos are opened and true data is shared, a level of safety can be felt in order to be open to finding the commonalities rather than the differences. This can allow us to move forward with a collective momentum, rather than regression to fear and anger. As the roots of the world give rise to a higher level of consciousness, both healthy and unhealthy patterns have been exposed.
Through healthy communication, healthy patterns can evolve, while unhealthy paradigms can be released and transformed into new levels of equality, healing and growth. My hope for our world is, as we find ourselves in this collective grief process, may we have the bravery to be willing to listen and share the wisdom from each individual with each person’s beliefs being real and important to that person. If we can move from fear, and have enough safety to communicate and respond with action from the wisdom gathered, we can work our way out of this turbulent time and find safety for all.
Golden Willow Retreat is a nonprofit organization focused on emotional healing and recovery from any type of loss. Direct any questions to Dr. Ted Wiard, EdD, LPCC, CGC, Founder of Golden Willow Retreat GWR@newmex.com or call at 575.776.2024.