Friends, we are living through an historic event and unprecedented times in America and in the world. This is what a global pandemic looks like. It didn’t sneak up on us. We enjoyed the comforts of our bubbles and watched the sickness wave over other countries for weeks from our living rooms, perhaps not believing it would come here.
We went on about our daily lives both dutifully and unapologetically until we were told we can no longer do that. And let’s be honest, being told we can no longer do that doesn’t automatically make all of us compliant.
Companies holding out for a statewide lock down (in states that haven’t already implemented one) continue to operate under “business as usual” even if it means the majority of their employees are working remotely. Employees still able to work and to do so from home are grateful for the opportunity to continue collecting a paycheck, as we are learning through this experience that many of us don’t have an emergency fund that could carry our families for months.
Yes, it is eerie to see the streets of Las Vegas and New York City empty for the first time ever. The economic impacts are swiftly being felt by many. Shit has gotten real.
As a result of these facts, two of the most prominent emotions I’ve seen over the past week are judgment and worry. Neither of these are useful right now, yet we’ll serve them up on a platter from our soapbox anyway to just about anyone who will listen and commiserate by jumping into our pool of misery for a swim.
“Stay home!”, people are practically screaming.
Ah, but remember…we can’t control the humans. It will never happen. I’ve said this repeatedly throughout the past week. For as long as we have rules and laws, there have always been those who will break them. Why on earth would that change now?
Because this is life or death?
Come on now.
You can feel that you are educating others by sharing news stories and pounding the keyboard all day long, but that won’t stop people from doing what they do. Remember that free will thing?
It’s even more complicated when some of us are in that weird in-between space between having reduced access to things but not yet on full lock down. When the decisions are being left to state and local levels, there is little consistency. For example, one county closes bars and restaurants but the neighboring county does not. Does that mean the people driving a little further to dine out on a Friday night are irresponsible?
Many believe that it is. Be aware that’s a judgment based on your thoughts about the actions of others when those actions don’t align with your own beliefs and values.
For your sanity, it’s very important to keep in mind now more than ever that what other people do is out of your control. Allowing your thoughts to spiral in a stream of judgments and land in frustration isn’t helping humanity and it’s not serving anyone.
There is not one of us who can save the entire world. Believe me when I tell you that I would love to do that. I have wished for an end to wars, famine, and suffering before I finally accepted that I cannot change any of it.
I can find peace and calm through focusing on the things that I can change. I can lead with my heart and show compassion toward anyone I encounter. I can smile. I can say a kind word. I can offer to run an errand, deliver a meal, or do whatever is needed for someone else.
I can do that anytime and while now should be no different, it can certainly be an opportunity for all of us to step it up a notch. Redirect you focus on where you are able to make a positive impact and don’t waste another minute on wishing others would “do better.” It’s exhausting and depletes your mindset at a time when you need to be building it up for the long haul.
Then there is the constant worry. I see this tied closely to the judgments because the corresponding thought that seems to be married to, “everyone needs to stay home,” is “we’re all gonna die.”
Indeed. We are all going to die. That was always part of the deal. It’s always been a part of the experience. Any of these days could be our last. Our awareness is simply heightened by what’s happening and further stoked by the constant news feed.
Our brains are designed to watch for danger. While we may not drag out the worst case scenario on any given day, many of us are doing it every day now that COVID-19 is at our doorstep. That is the immediate threat. And if everyone would just comply with the rules (which I will remind you that at the time of this writing in many places are still recommendations), maybe we could all live through this.
And we worry ourselves sick about it because it seems productive. It isn’t.
Perhaps it’s less extreme than imminent death and you are worried that your finances will be depleted in matter of weeks, stimulus check or not. The money may still be coming in, but you wonder how much longer that will be true as you are running the “what if” scenarios of seemingly certain job loss.
Worry is not an emotion that is useful because it rarely drives an action beyond spinning in further worry or even despair. Remember, focus on what you can control.
You cannot control the future or the potential outcomes that may lead to loss of employment. Find another thought that will drive action. Challenge yourself to begin exploring alternatives. What gifts do you have to offer a world that is in turmoil and crisis? What industries are thriving right now? Where can an intersection be found?
What thoughts would you need to think to get you started down an alternate path that leads you away from the one where you are powerless and simply waiting for the inevitable bad news?
It’s important to remember through all of this that your feelings are valid. It’s okay to feel fearful, disappointed, angry, and anxious. Allow those feelings to come in while you also acknowledge that you are creating them with your thoughts. Recognizing this is the key to finding your power and freedom in very uncertain times.
The thing about this pandemic is that it is on a global scale. We are all in this together. Every human on this planet. Find your positive energies and help to spread them to others. The world needs this now more than ever.
If you would like to be coached on any topic, including the current pandemic events, I’m absolutely here for you! Book a free session with me here.