We want to have everything the way we want it yet we don’t realize that this is the source of our anxiety.
Before COVID-19 we felt that we had more control, because we had more choices. We could go out freely to the malls, go out to dinner, take our kids to the park, get drinks at a bar, see a show, hang out with friends.
Every moment is a teaching moment. What can we learn from COVID-19?
I was asking myself this question and remembered a book, (alas it’s always a book with me) LOL, by Pema Chodron called ‘Comfortable with Uncertainty’.
The unvarnished truth is that uncertainty is ALWAYS with us. We REALLY have no control and anxiety steps in when instead of accepting what is, we choose to control or attempt to control, to get what we want.
We try to control and change others. We try to force things to happen.
Acceptance. This is the porthole through which we can look at everything, including our harsh judgments about ourselves.
Fourteen months, give or take, into this and we are all mentally ragged. The days conversations are filled with how many: how many have died, how many contracted the virus, and of course – how many continue to jackass de scene.
We don’t know what is going to happen next and this is frightening. But step back for a minute and let this sink in: we really don’t know if today is going to be our last day…and this is our reality…way before COVID-19.
My Granny would often say “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may die.” As a child I was dismissive. She was old. Why should I think about death?
But I think I missed the point. This was not about death but about LIVING and LIVING NOW!
NOW is and will continue to be…COVID or no COVID…all we got.
I know it’s tough but we need to put things into perspective. Tony Robbins says “see things as it is, not worse than it is.”
We need to accept that living with uncertainty is par for the course. We don’t need to become detached nor do we need to get so deeply embroiled in the vastness of the virus and its implications that we lose our way completely.
I don’t want to give you the impression that I am skipping through the tulips, whistling a happy tune.
I am writing this for me as well. This is not a Giselle sermon to a public that needs to do better. We are all doing our best, based on the resources we have at hand.
If you’ve lost your job, struggling to pay your rent, not sure how to get customers, feeling stuck and just generally fed-up…reach out. You can email me, or someone else you feel more comfortable talking to – but reach out!
To paraphrase Pema Chodron, we need to experience our lives fully. There will always be tigers above us, and tigers below us. We can cling to a vine temporarily to save us then realize that a mouse is nibbling at that vine. Yet if we look straight ahead, we might see a strawberry, (a starch mango if you prefer)….and this might be the only moment of our life…the only strawberry we will ever eat. Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting.
We could feel depressed and anxious or we could finally appreciate it. We could choose to delight in the preciousness of EVERY SINGLE MOMENT.
Remember it is our desire for control that makes us anxious.
If you are a career professional or own a business here are a couple resources that might be helpful at this time. Don’t lose hope. Keep the faith!