Chaplain’s thoughts … Flexibility is the Key to Air Power

Now, more than ever, I’m reminded that uncertainty is a reality of life. As military families, we all have our own experiences with living in unpredictability and managing it with varying degrees of sanity. Having recently PCS’d to Luke AFB myself, living out of suitcases with my family and newborn son became our norm for three
months. The question is: how do we find comfort through the uncertainty? Life in the military teaches us a thing or two about adaptability, and we know sometimes we must learn to “build the plane while it’s up in the air.”

Once we accept the fact that change is truly the only constant in life, we can learn to embrace it as an essential  reality. For some, this comes easily but it does take practice to accept that there are certain things we just can’t plan for. While we practice accepting the reality of the uncertainty we are facing, it’s important that we acknowledge what we are feeling. Are we anxious, fearful or stressed? Often writing about the way we are feeling helps to move beyond those feelings with greater ease.

Next, we can write down three things we’re grateful for within the uncertainty. Our minds tend to focus on what could go wrong in the midst of the unknown. This is a good exercise to refocus our thoughts: encourage our minds to look for the things we appreciate, and give us a mood boost in the process. We can make it a point to go out of our way to be kind to someone. Small, intentional acts of kindness can go a long way in getting out of our own heads and thoughts while connecting with others. We should take a moment to check in with a co-worker rather than rushing past them. These tiny, positive interactions with others help release “the feel-good hormone,” oxytocin and also help us to feel supported through uncertain times.

Remembering our “why” is essential in aiding us through challenging times, while reducing stress and self-doubt. It is important that we stay connected to our greater sense of purpose as it helps us to stay the course and gives context to the feelings we are dealing with. We must think about our why. We can write it down and read it any time we find ourselves struggling under the weight of uncertainty.

Lastly, we can’t forget self-care, the things that bring us comfort. Often times, in the midst of uncertainty we stray from all of our daily routines and allow the chaos to take over. When facing unsteady waters, it is important
to establish a few small daily rituals that help us stay grounded. We should think about what makes us feel centered and gives us a few moments of peace in otherwise stressful times. We can write them down and then commit to doing them daily.

Although we know the importance of flexibility in our careers and our daily lives, it can often be daunting to face the unknown. These simple steps can be helpful in maintaining a sense of control in the face of uncertainty.

For more information about Luke AFB Chaplain Corps programs and events, follow Luke AFB Chapel on Facebook.

Feeling like you need to talk? Give us a call: 623-856-6211.

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