By Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew
A friend of mine from Australia sent me a note that read, “all of us here are transfixed by the spectacle of the US election! I’ve never seen one like this!” I reassured her that many of us feel the exact same way. 2020 has been such a different year filled with not only an upcoming election, social unrest, and visible injustice along with a pandemic that has created not only a health crisis but an economic and mental health fallout. All of us in some way have needed to adjust and “pivot” to this new normal. All of these challenges have an impact on each of us. We experience an array of emotions—fear, pain, trepidation, loss, anger, and grief. In this moment, our well-being is challenged.
Gallup, which provides significant research on several topics, have conducted studies worldwide on this issue. Because of this expansive research, they can determine when wars will break out based on several factors. What they have concluded is that there are indicators that contribute to well-being which include these five elements: social relationships, financial security, and relationship to the community, physical health, and a sense of purpose. When these elements are challenged, societies become volatile. This research is even backed by additional studies such as the Blue Zones Research which has reviewed communities of individuals that live to be over one hundred years of age. Each of these communities around the world have several commonalities such as exercise, purpose, having a sense of belonging, diet, and community. These and other factors contribute to not only our well-being but also to our longevity.
In this environment, we must be committed to our well-being and to those who love us, that we are seeking and fulfilling our purpose, and fiercely taking care of ourselves. It is so easy to become dismayed and hopeless because of the daily onslaught of negative and frightening information. If we are not careful, we can become complacent and complain. There is nothing wrong with venting and releasing our frustration but when we complain, we must step back and really analyze it at the core. When we complain, it is an issue of trust. Instead of going to God about our issues, we take it to others not standing on the promises of God and the hope that we have as believers. Complaining is not allowing God a chance to fix our problem. We have already given up.
The Bible provides examples of the problem of complaining or grumbling. In the Book of Exodus, the children of Israel were not only frustrated about being in the wilderness, but they had experienced a series of events that were traumatic. They left their homeland to leave their oppressive conditions in Egypt. In leaving, they were chased by their oppressors who were revengeful and willing to kill them. Even though they witnessed the hand of God in rescuing them and watching a miracle with the parting of the Red Sea, they soon found themselves in a new set of circumstances. They wanted water. And Food. And Different Options of Food. And soon, their old lives did not seem so bad compared to the desert. Exodus 16:8 says, “And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we?
Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” In their frustration, they forgot what God had previously done and they failed to trust the promises to come. Right now, it is so easy to see the many problems that seem to be unending and unsolvable. In these moments, we must remember how we have gotten through both individually and collectively. The stress is real and yet, the solution is within our reach. The solution to complaining is gratitude. We must remind ourselves that we are overcomers and that what is in us is greater than what is in the world. We’ve got this and while we celebrate the victory in advance and believe in the promises we’ve been given, we must also continue to live our lives in the fullness of our purpose, our health, our connections and in our faith. When we focus on who God is and commit to our well-being and to the well-being of those around us and our communities, we have the right to vent, but we will not complain.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the author of three books and has recently launched the podcast, The Tapestry. Dr. Froswa’s Tapestry is about bringing people together to explore the rich, woven textures of our narratives. Our stories are impactful and in listening to the stories of others, we learn more about our own power, claim our purpose and pursue our passion. The fabric of our lives as women is strong, resilient and when we come together, we can make a beautiful piece of work to inspire, support and sustain our personal and professional lives. Visit https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-tapestry_1 to listen. Learn more about Dr. Froswa’ at https://drfroswa.com/.