We are 5 days max into this new way of life. Five days.
It’s an odd time.
I’ve been in my office this week with clients for the first time since this world changed alongside the new realities of coronavirus. Realities like – schools closed, people working from home, restaurants limited to take-out, bars empty, weddings and funerals postponed, sheltering in place, spring sports canceled, rush hour traffic ceased. A new term – social distancing – arises. Talking with my clients always helps me find a pulse for what is happening in people’s minds, hearts, and the world. As a result, I don’t have one, longer topical post; instead, several thoughts surface after my week with all of you.
- We are 5 days into this new way of life. Five days. No one is supposed to be an expert on anything after 5 days. We’re all new here. If you had no idea how to run a marathon and you gave yourself 5 days to learn, how good could you be at running that marathon in five days? Not very. Yet, I am seeing it again and again. We expect ourselves and our loved ones to be adept and proficient at living in this ever changing world and within these social norms NOW. It is not possible. Give yourself a break. Give your loved ones a break.
- People are struggling. This presents issues for families, for marriages, for finances, for small business owners, for folks who love someone who is at risk, for those who are quarantined with family members who are not emotionally or physically safe, for those who depend upon 12 step sobriety meetings – gatherings that that can no longer meet. There are those with anxiety, and it’s heavy. It bears weight. Perhaps you think I am being negative or not trusting in God. This is not my intent. I am trying to normalize an abnormality for many people, who are having a lot of big feelings about a lot of big changes.
- We are shell shocked. I don’t think I – or anyone I have seen – is fully processing all this means to each of us. This week introduced mind-spinning changes to our daily lives in an incredibly short span of time. Each time I conclude a session, I’m afraid to look at my phone, because of what may have changed in our world during the hour I was unavailable. When we think about how much has changed in each 24 hour increment, no wonder we cannot fully process. I think it is going to take many more weeks even to begin to muster an idea of this new reality, and just as importantly – how we feel about it. So be kind. Be gentle. Be ever patient with yourselves and with others.
- As I am watching the news and sitting with people in my office, I have never been more struck by the ability of humans to love. I’m seeing human kindness on a level that is as unprecedented as these changes to our daily lives. This kindness is the ray of hope in the midst of so much loss and fear. One of my clients who is a small business retail owner, understandably fearful of what this virus means for her business, shared with me that in one day customers bought $6500 worth of gift cards to use later in her store. We can’t change the reality for our world right now. But each one of us can reach out and be kind to someone else and it can bring me to tears, and I can tell the story, it can touch others’ hearts, and then others can commit an act of kindness and IT CAN BRING HOPE TO THE WORLD!! We all need hope now.