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Hard Time Consentrating?by Duane Mabee on August 5, 2021
Are you having a hard time thinking clearly or concentrating these days? Chances are you’re not crazy or losing your mind. Counselors agree that 2020 and now 2021 have had a negative impact on all of us. It’s like we have all been through a series of traumas.
After a traumatic event, certain things happen to our ability to process information. The brain shuts down parts of the reasoning and comprehension centers so it can focus its energy on the response centers. That’s why people don’t process new or complex information well after a trauma. It’s why we tell people “Don’t make any major decisions after a major loss.” We have all been through a rapid series of traumas. While we were trying to grapple with one, another struck – repeatedly.
So, why am I bringing this up? I’m not a clinical counselor. I am a pastor and I have been paying close attention to what has been happening and what respected leaders are saying about how to recover. Here are a few thoughts on what it will take to recover spiritually and emotionally.
Give yourself and others a lot of grace. We will not all recover in the same way or at the same pace. Don’t expect yourself or anyone else to “snap out of it” and go immediately back to what things were like before.
Understand that we are all working through stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. You and everyone you interact with is experiencing one of those responses. What complicates things is that because we’ve been through a series of traumas – COVID, riots, political upheaval, isolation, to name a few – we will be in multiple stages at the same time. We may be in denial about racial tensions, angry about politics, and depressed over isolation all at once. It’s OK, but don’t expect anyone else to be exactly where you are.
Understand that what used to feel normal, may feel overwhelming now. You need to choose what you can readd to your life and what you can’t. Choose carefully. Make sure what you are choosing is setting you up well for long term and eternal health. Don’t just do what is comfortable. Do that which will advance the Kingdom of God in you and through you.
Learn what God is trying to teach you. If we come through the events of 2020 and 2021 without becoming more like Christ and developing a deeper relationship with Him, we have wasted these traumatic days. Though we yearn for normalcy, if we go back to life just like it was before, we have missed out on what God is trying to accomplish in and through us.