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Together We Give Hope

Stay soft and be safe

Posted by & filed under News.

By Stacy Ashton 

Two things we know for sure:

  1. To those going through them, the past is full of events — wars, flu epidemics, economic depressions — that seemed like they were going to last forever.
  2. All events eventually become history.

How do we react while we wait for current events to become history? A tough, hardened mind might seem like a good response to a crisis, but it robs you of the flexibility — the softness — to see a situation from different perspectives. It blocks you from solutions that acknowledge change is possible and, in fact, inevitable. 

We train and support our Crisis Services Responders to stay soft and be safe. Staying soft means being open to what you are hearing, avoiding certainty about what another person is experiencing, and holding hope on their behalf that change is possible no matter how painful the situation. 

Crisis drastically shortens your timescale. A friend of mine was worried about getting his toddler to use the bathroom, but one day he realized that fretting about this short-term stressor was injecting more pressure and anxiety than either he or his child needed. He, therefore, changed his timescale: no matter what, his kid wouldn’t be in diapers at age 30. Someday between now and then the situation would resolve itself, even if he did nothing.

Adjusting the timescale reminds you that just because you can’t make things better now, that doesn’t mean they won’t ever get better. If you fast forward 20 years, at some point between now and then, your current crisis will have ended. You will have accumulated more joy, more heartbreak, more experience, and will have lived more life. 

Five years from now, you will see today from a completely different perspective. You will find the humour underlying the intensity. You will understand whatever lessons you can glean from the experience. You will likely have a few more crises under your belt. 

COVID may have a long tail. But so did the 1918 Spanish flu and polio in the 1950’s, both of which now belong to history. 

Stay soft and be safe as we start a new year. We are in this together.

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If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call:

  • Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789