Prior to COVID-19, many people had more of a sense of stability than they do right now. Many people lived their lives with a certain amount of recognizable happiness, planning for a future that they could see with relative clarity weeks, months, and even seasons down the road. Other people already were struggling before COVID-19 changed our daily lives, trying what they could to stay afloat—emotionally, financially, in their relationships, personally—in what already were chronically challenging times. Either way, every one of us has been dealt a blow. This situation has rattled some people closer to the core than others, but it has rattled all of us nonetheless.
We all are looking for answers; answers that would provide a sense of comfort and security, safety and reassurance that things haven’t changed all that much from the way they were last summer or last autumn. Where do we look for these answers? Pretty much the same places we always look to for answers—our families and friends, our workplaces, governments, and professions such as medicine, health care, the finance industry, and the education system, among others. What we really want in a wishful thinking sort of way is guarantees, and there just aren’t any.
This is not said with the intent of being ‘doom and gloom’. This is not said to be catastrophic or impulsive in our thinking or in our actions (or reactions) in response to what is happening around us. Rather, it is the start of a process that brings things back to basics, as it were, to strip away the ‘what-ifs’ that so easily can cling to the barrage of media announcements and headlines as clothes from the dryer might cling to one another without the protection of a fabric softening sheet. Assessing ‘what is’ is the best way to keep that mental ‘fabric softener’ in the mix.
The thing is this: While we are all experiencing challenges brought about by COVID-19—and experiencing them in both similar and unique ways from one another—we also have strengths that we can tap into to see us through this time.
To that end, we could talk about the value of being patient and understanding, responding to one another compassionately, and prioritizing—or re-prioritizing—aspects of our lives right now. We could talk about that, and hope or assume that just because it’s been said, it will be done. In a manner of speaking, that might be the very definition of the magician’s setup: abracadabra. One suggestion has been that the word comes from a Hebrew phrase that means, roughly translated, “it will happen as I have said”. Words are a start. For them to be actionable requires commitment and, especially, courage. Besides, the ideas at the start of this paragraph really speak to what we want and not how they will happen.
Over the next several weeks, we are planning on releasing one to two blogs per week to do our part to help address what we—all of us, because we are in this together—may be experiencing, and how we can improve our lives both within ourselves and between and among us all. We welcome any feedback that you wish to share. And please remember that these entries in no way are intended to replace the individual care that can be had through psychotherapy, counseling, or other health and medical care.
Let’s all do what we can to stay healthy—mentally and physically.
We are all in this together.