These are challenging times for all of us. Each of us is trying to find some semblance of normalcy during a global health emergency. We miss our families and simple pleasures like sitting down inside of a restaurant to eat or going to a movie. We miss being able to walk into stores with unrestricted access. Today, entering most public spaces requires that you stand in a line similar to the ones to purchase the new Air Jordan’s, or the latest Apple product. There are no more “quick errands”, or “I’ll be right back” excursions. Every outing, whether it be for a loaf of bread, or to return an item in person, is an orchestrated voyage. Most of us wanted out of our homes a month or two ago, however, this is not the level of freedom we envisioned. We were hopeful that just maybe, we would recognize the society that we’ve each grown accustomed to and missed.
I barely recognize anything anymore. Do you?
As a result, most of us are feeling uncentered. Namely because we are missing our core relationships, or feeling the debilitating pain of loneliness. Loneliness is semi-manageable when life is happening around us to distract us. When we have activities to engage in. Maintaining a positive mindset has a lot to do with having an individual purpose to live for. There are minimal, constructive, healthy distractions available at the moment. It also seems as if we’re being conditioned to go against our true nature which is to live a communal existence. Today, our “communities” are sick with violence, hatred, civil unrest, unemployment, (oh, and yes, Covid-19 is still lurking around. Just thought I’d share the friendly reminder.)
People are feeling despondent because where is the trusted source during this undetermined period of uncertainty? In addition to family and friends, many of us rely on our respective faiths to help us navigate through that which we don’t understand. Our houses of worship are traditionally the refuge for the weary, lost, and heavy-hearted. Yet, this pandemic and current social climate is taking no prisoners; no one and nothing is exempt including our belief systems. Not the politicians, the clergy or religious leaders, or the person next door. This sad reality makes us feel vulnerable.
Pandemic aside, what I know for sure is that many of the challenges that we experience today, will serve us tomorrow. I can recall several challenges that when the wounds were fresh, I was nearly certain that I wouldn’t heal. When I had to face difficult people or situations, I wanted to know “why me”? What could I have possibly done to deserve this type of treatment, or experience? Why is the other person behaving this way? Why doesn’t (fill in the blanks) like me?
The truth is you will never know what is really going on in another person’s head or heart. Unless of course you ask them. If the issue is keeping you awake at night and haunting you throughout the day, you have to decide to be brave. Brave, how? By actually getting the answers or clarity that you need. Next, you have to be okay with what you hear, especially if it differs from the narrative that you mentally rehearsed and accepted. Maybe you’re right, and maybe you’re wrong. And when I say wrong, I don’t mean that your instincts were off-base. I mean that the solution to your problem rarely has anything to do with the other person. When I find myself in the intersection of a communication traffic jam between another person, I must accept that the only person I have the authority to change is me.
The best advice that I can give you is to be encouraged. Things may appear worse before “better” manifests. Simple things like getting plenty of rest, getting enough Vitamin D, laughing; shedding healthy tears to purge as needed, and listening to great music are all healing practices. I highly recommend 80s music, but whatever blows your hair back. Motown is another epic option. Diffuse essential oils, go for safe walks. I’ll also add that we all could stand to be a lot more tolerant and patient with other people. Everyone is going through “something”. They may not share what their specific challenges are, but know that they exist. Trust me. Just like yours. These struggles become magnified during turbulent times. Give people a break, or leave them alone sending nothing but positive energy as you part ways.
I encourage you to do whatever you can to show your mind and body gratitude and reverence. You deserve it. Especially right now.
Be well and stay safe out there.