Grounded

 

All through life when times get tough, when things start to run away with us or when things start to get too much we often hear the advice “stay grounded.” We are told to “keep our feet on the ground” to balance us, to remind of something solid, something steady that can help bring us down from those dizzying heights that challenging times can take us to. But what happens when that safety net fails, when you can no longer trust the earth to keep you steady?

Recently I experienced a rather nasty earthquake which has left this question playing on my mind. When we live in a world of such uncertainty, how exactly do we stay grounded when we can’t even trust the ground we walk on?

But this idea of losing trust in your surroundings goes further than a shift in tectonic plates, for me personally anyway. Over recent months I have watched the bubble of my own personal little world of experiences shift drastically. I now live on a little Greek island where the best and worst moments of humanity play out on a daily basis, here it is very difficult to stay grounded, particularly when the earth literally moves so I do tend to find memories of home a steadying anchor, or at least I did, until recent months.

I watch the outside world from the perspective of my little Aegean island mostly through traditional and social media and more often than I could ever imagine I wake up to the Facebook safety check icon informing me another friend is safe from another horrific moment in our modern history.

I see the pictures of Parliament and of London Bridge and read the messages of friends who were there, who witnessed the horrors and remember the times we shared much happier memories in these places which will be forever changed in both of our minds.

I see the pictures of frantic families trying to trace their missing children who had gone to simply enjoy a concert but became victims of a horrific attack in my old University city.

Most recently I see a place where I found a family not connected by blood but by love, a place that has always been my refuge, reeling in horror, in destruction, in terror on Las Ramblas. I still see the picture of a small boy who remains missing being shared on social media and remember the days I walked this street holding the hand of a little boy I love dearly with never a thought crossing my mind that anything so heartbreaking could have happened in this beautiful place.

But we all now have these memories of places we love being shadowed in the grief of terrorism or the new layer to our terror filled days – the rise of fascism. Every day we wake up to another horror, near or far, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anywhere. So what do we do to stay grounded?

I mean we can always distract ourselves from the terrorism on our doorsteps with the escalating rhetoric of nuclear war between North Korea and the US? Or we can watch white supremacists march the streets waving Nazi flags murdering young anti fascist demonstrators? Or take minute to remember the still ongoing refugee crisis on the shores of Italy and Greece and the hundreds of lives still lost in the Mediterranean or the hundreds of lives still trapped in camps and detention facilities in an endless wait for asylum in Europe.

I could go on with many more examples but as you can see it’s pretty hard to stay grounded when crisis and horror become our every day. But what hurts the most is how we are now so used to this life that we have become so desensitized, but what else can we do other than detach, it is not possible to live day to day if you spiral into all in the grief in the world.

So again, how do we stay grounded, how do we not go to denial but keep our heads?

Honestly, I am not entirely sure, I am very open to suggestions. Answers on a postcard?

But I do know that the most important thing we can all do is just not buy into all the hate. Terrorists whether they be pledging allegiance to ISIS, the KKK or whatever the hell radicalized ideology do not represent their race, their religion or the colour of their skin. The white supremacists in Charlottesville represent me as much as the terrorists in Barcelona represent the religion of Islam. These individuals are a minority, they are not the majority no matter what the media may have you believe.

I don’t believe the world is as doomed as it may seem on the surface. The majority of people out there are kind and loving and just trying to get by in these bloody scary times. But unfortunately fear isn’t too many stops away from hate and when we are really scared our ignorance can lead to some pretty extreme standpoints on issues we never really felt too strongly about before.

I discovered something interesting recently about ignorance. A friend began to tell me about an article she had read about a new development in Artificial Intelligence and before she could even begin I asked her to stop talking about it because it scares me and I don’t want to know anything about it. That, my dear friends, is ignorance and it is as easy as that. Replace AI with something the media have told us to fear, for example refugees, and if you take the same stand point as I did and refused to learn any real facts, no wonder you are scared.

So maybe, to stay grounded we need to start learning more about the world we live in. We need to stop allowing the fear to take over and we need to discover how we can make change. I’m not talking about changing the world, but maybe little changes that can add up. Maybe even just talking to friends with a different viewpoint than you, opening up a discussion, challenging ignorance is a place to start.

I don’t know what will happen next, but I hope it is not as terrible as it all may seem right now.

Stand together, show love where you find hate and don’t let fear win.

 

Also, quick tip, if your boyfriends’ parents are staying at your house and you live on a fault line, make sure to always wear more than just your knickers to bed… that is an added horror no one needs when waking up to the earth shaking!

Be strong friends! Peace.

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19 thoughts on “Grounded

  1. I’m with you all the way
    I will never be scared
    Not fear the world
    And if beautiful writing can end with knickers
    Then you’ve added life and smiles to a world of hope. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your words provoke thought, bring emotions to the surface, and are words the world needs to hear. I must admit I am particularly drawn to “a family not connected by blood but by love”. Would you mind if I re-blog this post? I think it is something we all need to hear and to think about.

    That said, I cannot answer your question about how we stay grounded, for I don’t think there is any one single answer. We each have … or must find … the thing(s) that help keep us grounded. For me? Probably my daughter and granddaughter, my 7 cats, and my writing. Sometimes I think if I couldn’t write my thoughts, I would simply implode. For somebody else, it may be another venue. I doubt very much that there is some panacea that will work for everyone. The important thing is that some of us care enough to NEED to find a way to stay grounded. Others seem to be capable of simply looking the other way and going on with their day-to-day lives, giving nary a look back. You are a young woman of conscience. I am an old woman of conscience. Together, we will NEVER fix this world, but maybe … just maybe … we can make a little difference, yes?

    As always, you touched my heart. Thank you.

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    1. Hi! Thank you so much for following my ramblings to their new home, reflecting my new home in Greece. Thank you, as always, for your kind words and for engaging in my words as you do. I think I have realised this is how I stay grounded, by typing away all the swirling thoughts to try and find some sense in it all. Really, thank you for continuing to follow me into the next chapter, I always appreciate your thoughts and perspective. And, of course, please feel free to re-blog anything I write, I am more than happy to share my ramblings. Wishing you much love and strength in these strange times we live in! I hope we find the way to make a little difference 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is my pleasure to follow your ‘ramblings’. Frankly, you say more in a rambling moment than most people say in a day! I always enjoyed your posts, even when they ate a chunk out of my heart, and I missed you when you were gone. I often thought of your work and wondered what ‘life after Kos’ was like, hoped you were happy. Again … welcome back!

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  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Those of you who have followed Filosofa’s Word for more than a year may remember a series of posts that I re-blogged by justascottishgirl, a young woman from Scotland who, in late 2015 to mid-2016 took time from her own life to volunteer helping refugees on the Greek Isle of Kos. Her tales were often heartbreaking, but I was so impressed with what she and others were doing – giving of themselves for the cause of humanity – that I shared her story a few times in March 2016. She eventually returned to Scotland, but has now moved to the Greek Isle of Kos. She has started a new blog, titled From Greece With Love, and shares her very astute thoughts on not just the refugee crisis, but the terrible inhumane things taking place around the globe. I am sharing, with her permission, her first post on her new blog where she starts with a question: How does one stay grounded with all the terrible things happening around the world? She concludes with: “Stand together, show love where you find hate and don’t let fear win.” Just A Scottish Girl is an excellent writer, thinker, and humanitarian extraordinaire, and this post is well worth the read. Please take a few moments to read her words, for they reflect what most of us are thinking in these troubled times. Thank you, Scottish Girl, for all you do, for your beautiful heart, and for permission to share your thoughts and words.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Jill, I don’t know what to say, your words have touched my heart. Thank you for all of your support over all this time and for encouraging me to keep writing down my rambling inner thoughts about the world. I am really lost for words… thank you, thank you ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No words are necessary, my friend. When you do as much good for humanity as you have, the world needs to be made aware. I’m just happy to see you back here, writing and sharing your experiences once again! Hugs & love … ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said. I am here at Jill’s direction for which I am grateful. Here in the states, fear has been used very artfully by the White House incumbent to get elected, but he is not the first. The answer is to pay attention and understand what binds us and appreciate our differences. We are a melting pot and no one person’s rights are more important than another’s no matter what this President might say. Thanks for your words of truth, Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Justascottishgirl,

    You have asked the same question that many of us are asking ourselves. My suggestion is for those non-haters to do something, just that one something.

    It is happening. This past week I attended a democratic party meeting in Tampa, Florida where a host of individuals publicly announced that they were running for an elected office. None of them had ever done anything like this before and I kept hearing the words, ” I just have to do something.” I was talking to my son who is thinking about running for a position in a local school board. He has already signed up to tutor at the school his daughter attends. You would never know that he is a high priced attorney. I am seeing examples of instances like this over and over, again.

    I like your suggestion of developing a friendship with someone who has a different viewpoint. Touching another person’s life for the better will always build bridges.

    The non-haters/ lovers of this world will win out in the end.

    It is a good thing that you were at least wearing knickers.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Gronda, this gives me so much hope! We may not know exactly how to do “something” but I am sure we will all find our way somehow. Love will always win. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings, I really appreciate it.
      Sending love and strength x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi!
    Just want to say thank you for your inspirations. Your way of thinking and seeing world is very interesting 🙂 especially in light of sufferings and grief. I agree with Jill’s comments earlier that ‘the important thing is that some of us care enough to NEED to find a way to stay grounded’.
    I also believe that standing together and showing love to places where it’s needed is the way to go in a world where tragedies and hate exist everywhere, which is why I started my social innovation campaign in order to fight and defeat the rising problem of racism in Australia especially towards the migrants after the terrorist attack on Lindt Cafe, Sydney a few years back.

    I would love to share your words on my blog if I can have your permission :). And please check out my page if you’re keen to know a bit more of what I’ve been doing/ campaigning for: https://eraseracismblog.wordpress.com/blog/
    Have a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your kind comments, I am really touched by your thoughts. It sounds like you are doing something wonderful to stand up to racism in every day life and I will be sure to follow what your work! Of course absolutely you can share my words, I am really happy you found them an interesting read. Much love! Thank you again 🙂

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  7. It’s a very good question and there is no perfect answer. This is what ‘mostly’ works for me. I take a few moments to notice that I am safe, healthy, housed and for the moment, I have access to resources that make my life better. Then I take a few moments to do something to counteract the pressure to go numb. Your post is a good example. The best way to keep your humanity is to express it. We join with others to gather the light.

    Liked by 1 person

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