The Way We Were

Memories of once was ... or is it?

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I write about things I’ve observed, read or experienced.

As an optimist I tend to view things from a hopeful lens. So, when I see how things really are, I don’t always write or post about them unless I can turn chaos, confusion, contradictions and/or practices into positive change. At the very least in my mind. Where I can wrap my head around it.

How’s that for saying; “This pandemic has shifted our behaviors.”

The great divide in our thinking has created a gap. A void. A sense of loneliness in some, camaraderie in others. We start from a place of perception and perspective. Our own. It’s skewed from the get-go. How we feel about something comes from our life experiences, our circumstances, and our expectations.

Research shows that anxiety and depression are off the charts, and the pandemic has made it worse. Much worse. Expected? Yes. Why? Fear.

How we manage fear. Our state of mind, and our mindset, sets the tone for how we handle things. All things.

Clearly, if you’ve lost everything due to this pandemic then your reaction to life, other people, and how you carry yourself will be very different from those who felt this pandemic brought a sense of reflection, peace, and clarity as to what one’s life should be focused on. It could be both for you. The emotional spectrum is wide and varied. Any combination of feelings is expected.

If, however fear is the driving force that directs your behavior and interaction within life, then your response to others will tend to be, or at least I’ve experienced; little to no eye contact, avoidance, and words of anger when one needs to interact with another. On the flip side, although not expressed physically, I’ve also experienced; open heart, expressed love, words of care, and action in helping others. Beautiful.

When life changes, so do we. How we decide to handle things is a choice – good or bad circumstances – still a choice. Not easy. For most.

The way we were – which by the was a great movie with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford, is an example of people experiencing tremendous change. I have to say that I’ve watched this movie a number of times and my emotional response is to cry uncontrollably at the end of the movie. Every time. It just seems to hit a strong emotional cord with me. And yet, in life, I handle things very differently. 

So, who’s to say how we’re truly going to respond to any given situation until we’re faced with a situation. This pandemic has tested us. It has shown us who we are during confusing, stressful, complicated and unexplainable times.

This is not to say that if you behaved less than ‘yourself’ – although everything speaks to self and how we choose to respond/react – it’s during a time of fear. Fear is sometimes irrational. We get confused with what fear is telling us. Particularly if we know we’re doing all that we can to stay healthy and safe. Our fear should subside or go away. Does it? And then we turn on the news, and WHAM, fear escalates. 

It’s an emotional dance. 

One way is to become more aware of our response and reaction to how we’re feeling. Does it make sense to us? Are we overreacting? If we’re overreacting than it’s going to affect our well-being. 

Then ask; “What can I do to put myself in a more optimistic state of mind?”

We’re all in this together, so we might as well BE in this together. One way to do that is to lead with kindness. Kindness to ourselves. Kindness to others. 

The way we were, doesn’t have to be; The Way We Were.

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