By Laura Berman Fortgang on April 10, 2020
It is said that the true state of a marriage is laid bare in the face of a crisis. If it was strong, the relationship will grow stronger with the crisis. If it was already breaking, the crisis will deepen the fissures to breaking. It is the same for each of us as individuals. We are being shown what we are made of.
The current state of affairs among the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare our own essence. The novelty of our new “normal” is wearing off and reality is setting in. We are seeing the virus hit closer to home as beloved celebrities and people you know are being affected or passing away. Generally, we are scared and what is revealed is the state of our ability to deal with the unknown and our ability to be alone with that state.
There are so many questions and things that don’t have a clear solution right now. However, I offer you a few things to think about, journal about or discuss.
1) How are you?
I’m not asking about your physical health, but rather about your state of mind. How ARE you? Are you freaking out? Are you mildly worried? Are you relatively at peace knowing that you are controlling what you can right now?
Be with that for a few minutes. What is being revealed about your essence – your baseline of how you deal with things?
2) Who are you?
How do you show up during this time? Are you a helper? A researcher? An organizer of others? A nurturer? A hunter/gatherer? (our family’s joke about the search for toilet paper and essential items). Are you an alarmist? The rebel? The activist? The one fueled by outrage? (all are just fine.)
What is the crisis showing you about how you show up? For me, it’s not much different than “regular life.” I’m the driver; I make sure young people get out of bed and don’t teen-sleep the day away, make sure there’s a meal every night, and herd the screen worshipers to connect as a family every night. (How much do I love them not being able to run off to friends, jobs and activities? Sorry. Not sorry). Professionally, the driver is making you think, absorb and evolve. It’s who I am. It’s what I do.
3) Who do you want to be?
If these questions are not revealing characteristics that you’re happy with or proud of, consider who you want to be. Where can you refocus your energy to practice the qualities you want to embody as you ground yourself for whatever is awaiting us?
A dear friend and colleague of mine often speaks about her aspiration to live with grace. Whenever she’s faced with a challenge, she puts her attention on handling all of it with grace, her highest value.
We are on hold. In the absence of action, there is suspension. Like the moment when the orchestra stops playing as the conductor raises both his arms in the air indicating a pause. All goes still, but there is anticipation and preparation lingering and holding, until the sudden indication that all can move forward again in a burst of sound.
For all of us, the outcome is unknown. Will there be a depression? Will the loss of life deeply impact how we can lead our lives? Will we see or want different things when we get to resume?
We don’t know. We are still in the surrender. We will be transformed by this.
Watch how and who you are being. It’s the best preparation for what is to come.
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