For the first time in our lifetime, we are at a crisis point. We are actually faced with our own mortality. We have spent so much time distracting ourselves from the core essence of who we are, because we could and because it was more comfortable to worry about things like the kind of car we drive or the brand of socks we buy, which nail polish colour to get this time around, how much Botox or that chemical peel or what have you. Absolutely nothing wrong with any of that, and I don’t intend to put any of it down. I absolutely spend time online shopping and trying new cosmetic fun things. It just makes me question how bored we may have become, how comfortable we had become, how complacent we may have been.
Until now. Now we watch in horror as towns, cities, countries and continents grapple with an enemy we cannot even see with our naked eye. The dreaded virus. It has claimed so many lives thus far, and will likely continue to take more. We were clearly not prepared for such an invasion on a molecular scale. Guns and bombs we were more likely equipped; little did we know that nature had other plans. We are grappling with a changing environment, society and workforce. There seems to be a trend at the various progressions of comprehension of the rapidly evolving situation. First, we are largely skeptical, under evaluating the gravity and magnitude of the impact of COVID-19 we think it only affects certain populations, or in certain geographical areas. Racism is rife as people begin to get scared. Then the fear sets in, panic and uncertainty. We run to the shops to stock up on whatever other people are getting because it is literally so hard to make rational decisions when our brains are overloaded and working in fight or flight. This moves on to more sensical decisions-moving on to food, medications, vitamins etc. Chaos is usually interspersed throughout the whole journey, the fear of the seemingly unknown. The uncertainty of tomorrow as the number of infected rises, and the deaths that follow. We find ourselves having moments, days or weeks of disbelief, sadness, grief. And as time passes, just like with any grief, we begin to readjust. We do not ever completely heal as we will never be the same. My hope is that we will take heed to the lesson we are given and grow from it.
We are mourning our previous life. One where we could leave the house, enjoy functions surrounded by friends and families, pursue activities and visit businesses without much worry of what we may have touched, or if we were unknowingly infecting others with asymptomatic health. We are mourning our ability to live in complete disillusion that we are immortal. We have spent so much time disregarding the one thing that is absolute and complete uncertainty-that one day we too, will pass on. This is a huge lesson in grieving, in learning to embrace loss, in learning there is a better, kinder, more fruitful way to be living. One that might actually end us serving us better in the future than the life we are leaving behind. We are evolving-and this may be an eternally optimistic stance, but I feel it to be true.
Emotions tend to fluctuate on an hourly/daily/weekly swing. I have moved past thinking this “wouldn’t be so bad”. I never did reach the hoarding of the toilet paper stage, although I did definitely buy more non perishable items and have begun to sprout my own food garden for the yard. Not because I feel this is the end, but because I feel this is only the beginning.
Slowly we shall come out of our cocoons, we will learn a new way of being. We will cherish time spent in close proximity with those we love, and just how important our health really is. It can be taken from us in an instant. We are learning to be more resourceful and creative with our abundance, to look after one another and check in to each other’s mental well being. This virus is incredibly adept at teaching us just how alike and how connected we really are. It is teaching us how easy it is to reconnect with nature and spend time outside, slowing down and actually taking time to organize our own spaces, thoughts and things in a way that serve us better. It is forcing us to re-evaluate what really matters. It is also helping us to figure out what can be cut away, what is not serving us, what we are willing to tolerate. Our close circles may get smaller but they will also become stronger. Our bonds to humans all over the world will be fortified in the understanding that this virus does not discriminate. It is no one’s fault-although we do have the tendency to lash out and blame others when we feel unjust actions have been thrust upon us.
We are learning a new way of being and perhaps it is a better way than that we were living previously. Perhaps now we will appreciate the ability to be close to those we want to be close to. We will savor the moments and learn how to live in a more sustainable way. Is it any wonder how popular bidets have suddenly become? Or how nice it is to have less to be rushing between on any given day.
As humans we hate change, we only change when we absolutely have to-and even then, it is a terribly hard sell. We get stuck in patterns of thinking and doing and what seems normal and comfortable, despite how it might be making us sick, unhappy or feeling lost. The irritatingly optimism I hold is hopeful that this is just the beginning. We are learning to deal with our grief, to be members of communities, to be present in our stillness. We have much less external stimulus to be bouncing between, and so the hope is that we will begin to tear away all the things that are not serving us, that are keeping us from realizing who we really are-how unlimited our potential really is. I have seen creativity and ingenuity skyrocket around the globe. People are adapting and modifying in order to help one another and it is amazing. I see an outpouring of love for those that continue to serve the community. We are beginning to really embrace the change we did not ask for-I can only imagine how much more inspired we are to become.
Make no mistake, this is not an easy time. There are days where we struggle to motivate, there are days that are a roller coaster of emotions. There are days that leave us wondering what will happen tomorrow, in ways that we could never have even imagined 6 months ago. There are also days when I see the positives and feel the calm that allow me to understand the greater purpose of all of this. The grand design of a reset button because we can’t seem to trigger it ourselves-for the planet, for our bodies and for our souls. So, it is happening for us-to learn, to grow, to wake up, to experiment, to embrace, to love, to focus and to reunite.
This is absolutely by no means meant to downplay the absolute sadness that surrounds a pandemic. Many people will not make it until the summer, and for anyone affected-do know I am incredibly sorry for the loss. Grief and loss are in plenty right now.
For those that struggle with social distancing or the enormity of seeing death tolls rise, infected spread and the impact on those we love-do know there is a whole community looking and waiting to support us all. Reach out, I am more than open to listening and can put you in touch with supports in your area.
Kimberley Dickinson is a Nurse, Author of the bestselling novel The One Life Movement, Private Yoga Instructor, Life Coach, Grief, Loss and Mental Health supporter and End of Life Transition / Death Doula. For more information on her lifespan inclusive services and skills please connect with her on www.athomewellness.ca for in person, over the phone or online support and coaching sessions.
For inspiration, travel adventures and lifestyle content visit www.theonelifemovement.com
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