What's Up With That? ~ Katy Byrne

Katy Byrne Katy Byrne, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma, editor and animal lover. Her private practice specializes in: life transitions, couples communication, eating issues, moving forward, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.


Dealing with it

Posted on July 28, 2018 by Katy Byrne

How did we get this egghead president into the white house anyway? Oh, I know the theories.

But… really? Here in sunny Sonoma we’re also being bought out by big money.

Just take a walk. And the fires in our sweet valley are still haunting us along with daily news of terror, children torn from their mothers, shootings everywhere and too many freedoms lost. Even in our own lives the challenges are constant including rising Comcast bills, rents, increased illnesses and teen suicides, to name just a few.

The state of the union is shaky. It can make us grouchy. People are restless – there is an unwholesome aggression going around.

Okay, so what to do with our emotional hairballs?

We can help this cockeyed world; first, realize you can do something productive. In the field of psychology there’s an idea called: “systems theory.” This means that when one or two people appear to be the problem, it’s usually an entire system that holds difficulties (or destructive people) in place. In other words; we all participate somehow in this mess. (I often imagine a spider’s web with the spider in the middle – but if you tug, even a bit, at the web, you can begin to shift the entire system.) So, – take responsibility by doing something helpful, stay involved, keep tugging.

This kind of constant twirl around causes shock, apathy, agitation, anxiety or inaction. But, we are strong and the common good is worth working for. Robert Kennedy said, “Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet, it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”

Even with your hip replacements or arthritis, don’t give up. We can make magnificent signs for the marches, saying things like “Children are not political pawns.” I found one woman the other day putting up a yellow sign stating, “Quail crossing. “She is trying to stop the speeding cars. Wow, someone cares.

Often people are afraid to speak up or get shot. Maybe a shot of tequila or a shot of espresso, but any other shots – not so interested. What’s the upshot of that? I understand, these are shocking days. Hey, “it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”

Just do something helpful. Baby boomers sometimes say … it’s the kids’ job. No, it’s not. It’s everyone’s job. And some say, history goes in cycles –but not without us.

The importance of mobilization at this time in history is beyond words. As Michael Lerner writes in “Surplus Powerlessness”: “The conviction that we are fundamentally powerless to shape our world in ways that would be more fulfilling is a central element in what keeps us from engaging in the struggle against real powerlessness.”

I’m not encouraging hate talk. People are already too quick triggered. There is so much suffering already. But, we need to care – about the common good, about us -the big U.S., and the world.

Send out postcards to politicians; join productive groups, talk and listen, phone prospective voters, march, knock on doors – good people are trying to open them.

Rich Harwood wrote: “Another tragic shooting has shaken our nation.” A gunman walked into the “Capital Gazette” newsroom in Annapolis, killing five people and injuring two more… “How are we to respond to the often-overwhelming feelings of anger, grief and exhaustion that now grip our nation?” Amid the chaos and sorrow, the staff mustered the energy, grit and courage to get out “That damned paper.”

Don’t sit on your emotional hairballs. –cough them up respectfully and move forwards.

And while scratching our spinning heads, let’s not forget the glaring fact that the President of the United States’ wife wore a coat saying “I Really don’t care, do U?” It’s just too much. It’s off the wall, speaking of walls.

What’s keeping me going these days is plenty of popcorn and stool softener.


One thought on “Dealing with it

  1. We have no control over the macro events like trade wars but we can smile at Sonoma Market. Be courteous with each other. We can be patient! Slow down. Let the other person get ahead! Have a good day!

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