I’m really good in a crisis.
I can put aside shock and horror and attend to the situation at hand.
Need direct pressure on a wound? Check.
Want someone calm to call 911. I’m your gal.
It’s called compartmentalizing – where you take your feelings or shock and put them in a box – over there – to be dealt with later.
It’s what made me a really good journalist. I could read court documents and arrest reports that detailed the worst things human beings did to each other, and dispassionately write a factual story for the evening news.
I had spent more than two decades telling these terrible stories. And the worst part was – the audience loved it. The more we told, the more they wanted. The more they wanted, the more we gave them. I won awards for this never-ending cycle of depravity. And no matter how good I thought I was at compartmentalizing it, the evil of it started to affect me.
Because the reality is, when you compartmentalize the terrible things, putting them over there to deal with later… you never deal with them. You never process the grief and shock. Eventually it bleeds through everything else, spreading through your life like a cancer.
It makes you miserable.
The last two years of my time as a journalist, I was on a voyage of self-discovery. Figuring out what I wanted. I read all the self-help books. I meditated. I journaled.
One day, I was meditating and praying for a sign and I suddenly knew – like a lightning bolt out of the clear blue sky – I was done. I was done telling these terrible stories. I wouldn’t contribute to this never-ending cycle anymore.
I needed to walk away and spend the rest of my life focusing on the positive things, things going right in the world. I had no idea how I would do this, I just knew it was a path I needed to take.
I’d love to tell you I figured out the positive path quickly and it’s been rainbows and unicorns ever since. It wasn’t. Walking away from the news was only the first step and I would take many more steps in the five years to follow.
Which brings us to today.
Today I launch “Stories of Hope”. Stories of everyday people doing amazing things in the world, making a positive impact.
It’s my hope that these stories will inspire you and motivate you to focus on what’s going right in the world, spreading around some of that hope yourself.
If you like what you read, share it with your friends.
If you know someone who has a great story, email me and tell me about it. Let’s celebrate those stories, instead of the alternative.
Thank you for reading.
Dawn Dugle is a writer and keynote speaker. She tells stories of hope.