Beating the Recession: How to Survive

This recession is the worst thing any of us (young enough to work) have ever been through in our adult lives.  We have a man going to jail for stealing a buck from a bank just to get some health care.  Professionals with years of experience and an education are begging for jobs and looking at want ads requiring lower than their degrees. A woman is selling her daughter’s prize possession, a letter from the President, to make ends meet.  Only the really old folks, who were old enough during the depression can understand.  And they are now, those who are privileged – still sitting at home, those who are not, are in care at treatment facilities – waiting to see if they will have their Medicare cut.  All our lives are in limbo and we are all running scared.

What can we do?  We have people who are no longer counted on unemployment because they ran out of benefits but still don’t have jobs.  We have people who have nowhere to live and they can only go to shelters if they have a child or are mentally ill.  Meanwhile, we are forced to shop for goods Made in China, if we have money to even buy products, knowing that someone we love is desperately seeking a job as a result of corporations selling out their position.  People who have jobs think those of us who are unemployed are lazy and not trying hard enough because they don’t have a clue what people are up against.  Everyone is yelling and blaming, politicians are doing the same and everyday we wake up and the same thing presents itself to us.  Yep, you have no money, you have no job.

Now comes the part where I am going to try to turn this around.  This is the time when we struggle the most with our faith, our courage, our ability to be persistent and determined and take it one day at a time.  You’ve done this for six months, a year, two years already and are about to say, one more day and I’m out of here.  This is a time when no one would blame you either.  HOWEVER, what if tomorrow was the day?   The day when something magical happened to change your life.  I am not talking about a lottery winning or some guy to whisk you off your feet in a Porsche.  No talent scout is going to suddenly see you as the next Loretta Lynn or Brad Pitt.  Or course that could happen potentially if this is your drive but not what I mean.  What if tomorrow was the day that was the beginning of your life.  Because you said so.  Because you realized that you need to open your eyes and turn your life around in a different direction.  Because you saw a need for change and you took it?

This is a time to study the depression to see how did people come back successfully.  How did they make it?  I am not talking about WWII either because we are already at war and obviously this is not helping our economy.  Maybe you won’t be walking around with sandwich signs hanging over your torso walking up and down the street.  You probably won’t be selling apples from a cart either.  Yet there are lessons to learn from how they were able to bounce back.  Even further back, in 1849 and beyond, it was women who saved their men when they came home empty-handed with nothing but the faux stuff or a little dribble of dust.  Similar concepts between 1849 and 1930’s depression.  People thought about what was needed and they found a way to make it happen.  Then they made money off of it.

I don’t have the answers, just the philosophy.  Just the knowledge to say this mess has happened in our world before and people made it through.  It meant they had to leap outside of the box and change their lives and live in ways they never thought they would have to live until they were able to turn things around.  There are answers out there but we have to be able to hear them though.

This is also a time to return to faith.  If you don’t have one, pray for one.  Ask for guidance.  The one place that does stay the same and that will continue to give you hope is going to a place that you can call home.  Home is where you feel guided spiritually, where ever that may be.  There are so many paths, any of them can take you where you need to be. If you practice in a solitary way, find others of like minds and pull yourselves together if only for support.  This is a time when you need to be with those who validate your self-worth and remind you that there is something greater than yourself to carry you through this.

Don’t give up.  The reward for patience is patience, so sayst the wisdom of the runes.

If you are working, be more giving to those in need, try to find some way to reach out to friends who are not.  Imagine what it would be like if you were in their shoes – because in today’s economy, you just never know.  We all have to come together now in community and help each other out.  We have no hope for survival if we are caught up in our own worlds.

If you’ve lost your friends because you’ve had to use them over and over – and this is happening now too, find a support group in the community.  Or start one for unemployed individuals who help each other find jobs. Build your way back to a social life.

If you haven’t lost your friends and are having to take advantage of their homes or other gifts, give back to them anyway you can.  Do all the cooking and cleaning, babysit, walk the dogs, find some way from your heart to make sure that through this time of having to ask for help, that you are giving in return.  Keep your ethics about you though and don’t do anything that might get you on a Jerry Springer show, “I wanted her/his life, so I took it by doing …”

The magical day may be tomorrow when you choose to stop suffering one more day and begin to take your power back by making a shift in the direction you are going.  It starts with one tiny little muscle that is used in a new way.  As Poirot would say (from Masterpiece Mystery), get those little tiny grey cells working again.  Sit with yourself for a moment, say a prayer or meditate,  take a walk in nature, walk around a labyrinth, try to think of nothing and see what happens.  Take a drive somewhere new and sit on a park bench.  Tomorrow will be the beginning of your life because you will it to be.  So far we are where we are at based on the choices we have made. Think about these things and what needs to happen next.  What now? What should I do differently? Who can I be today that is better than the me of yesterday?

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