by Dr Wayne D Pernell
This pandemic has messed with our lives. We used to have a routine and now, deep into the year, we’re finding it hard to remember what that routine felt like. Sure, we complained about it sometimes. But we could count on it. It was predictable and we actually liked that.
Now, it seems that every day there are new rules imposed that disrupt our lives. As we get back into a new kind of flow with everything from online meetings to at-home schooling, we find that next new rule throws us off just a bit more. We can – or can’t – go out to eat. We might be able to get our hair cut and styled, or not. The items we want and need are back in the grocery store, or aren’t. We can work from home but now ache to return to an office.
It Feels SO Personal
What the heck is going on and why does it feel so personal?
The truth is that this is a PAN-demic. Pan, from the Greek, meaning ALL, is a reminder that this being shut in thing isn’t personal. It’s global. No one, no scientist nor governor, woke up one day with your name on a list and thought to themselves about how to mess with your day specifically.
It feels personal because anything that happens always feels personal. No one knows exactly what’s going on with anyone else. None of us has the exact same story, pressures, family, or personal experiences as anyone else. And because of the meaning we each give to our day, we grow from it, roll with it, or feel buried by it.
Keeping in mind that, just like the driver that cut you off on the freeway, no one really woke up to target you. The proverbial “they” aren’t out to get you, and no one wants you to have a bad day.
Beyond just tolerance are the keys to having a great day. You get to choose to have a great day. In fact, most everyone is starting to get used to this lifestyle and recognizing that there really are days of the week and a weekend actually exists, too!
Remember That You’ve Come Through A Lot
This turbulence to a lifestyle that once was has lasted longer than anyone could have imagined. It was a month of uncertainty. Then another. Then adjustments to how we did business and managed our travel. And then another month. And another.
Fear was the thread that wove throughout this bizarre tapestry. We had to weed through so much misinformation that came at us from every direction: from our politicians to social media with the major health organizations tossed in there for good measure. Fear kept everyone running.
We sought a calm voice in the storm. And then, we became that calm voice.
You Are Resilient
You bounced back in ways we didn’t know you could. You Are Resilient! Think about all of the things you didn’t know and how you navigated them. Think of all that was “taken away” and how you got back some sense of order.
Your resilience has taken you to a new level. That calm voice may not have been for others, but it sure worked for you. You’ve gotten on with your life. Are there still problems in the world? Abso-flipping-lutely. And you’re here. You’re modeling the way for those who are watching you in your world. And if you do a little inventory, you’re doing pretty darn well.
That Took Courage!
It’s not just that you bounced back or found your way back it’s also in the process of doing so every… single… day!!! Every day, in the midst of unknowns, you woke up, stood up, and got on with your day. You figured it out. Do you know what kind of mental fortitude it takes to do what you’ve done?
Everything was easy, routine, and on track. And then it wasn’t. Everything about your life was tossed into a heap and you were left to sort it out.
And you did!
Give yourself the credit you deserve for being as courageous as you are for facing daily dilemmas in a way that a year ago you didn’t know you’d be challenged to do.
What’s Available Now?
When I taught martial arts and specific self-defense classes, one of the concepts about continuing on was to recognize that you have choice. In every breathing moment, you have a choice. And when you have awareness that you have a choice, your awareness expands.
Recognize that you have more choices than you thought. Even as we were all shut in, you still had a choice about what to eat, what to wear, and what mask to purchase. (I have about a dozen of them in different colorful styles.)
Knowing that you have choice will keep you going.
As you recognize that you have choice, you begin to seek affirmation that more choice exists.
And it does!
You are resilient.
You are courageous!
And, You Have Choice, lots of it. Which means you have power in the world, more than you might have remembered.
You’ve got this.