01 Nov Transformation ALERT! How do we arise from this sudden pause in our lives?
It evidently happened, as we watched it like the proverbial ‘getting hit by a bus’, knowing it will just turn into one huge disaster, or like we are watching one of the ‘Speed’ movies, expecting the worst to happen, yet we just incessantly want to keep our eyes fixated on the screen as we are so captivated by it. Once the declaration of a global pandemic was announced, most of the world’s population found their lives ground to an immediate halt. And as Tommy Cooper, the famous British Magician would express, our lives were turned around ‘Just like that!’ Except that this wasn’t some funny joke from poor old Tommy, who would now be turning in his grave. This is our new reality. Millions of jobs, businesses, and savings are being dispersed and we have no control over the situation. The questions we keep asking ourselves are ‘Now what?’, ‘Why my job, my business, my life?’ claiming our shock and disbelief about the situation, to ‘Who is responsible for this?’ claiming our anger for whoever or whatever ‘created’ the Covid-19 Virus. We are clearly living a life of fear, frustration, as well as anxiety, and anger for the sudden disturbance to our previously mundane but somehow enjoyable life, to how the international health authorities and governments are handling the situation. The lockdown in March didn’t seem to dissipate the Virus as cases kept growing in many countries around the world. Many countries are already in their second lockdown with no sign of things actually improving. Of course, I am not a scientific professional and as such, am not here to give my advice on whether or not we should be having a lockdown at all, but I have, like you, had my share of ups and downs in my life. Somehow, I have risen above my grief, because I am human and I know how to pick myself up and keep moving. This is the whole point behind this article!
So what’s next?
The honest truth behind this is that nobody really knows. Why? Because there are is no historical data on how the world has recovered from a global lockdown or two. However, the world has lived through some very tough times which brought lives to a halt, like the two world wars.
In the face of a crisis like this one, we must accept the fact that, like in the previous two wars and other pandemics, we are a planet experiencing profound distress. We are trying to get on with our lives, but somehow, have this entrenched pain for whom and perhaps what we have ‘lost’. Our hope and willingness to identify, accept, and embrace this fact, is the only way we can healthily emerge from such a situation into whatever comes next.
Humans have a profound ability to handle negative situations and emotions like grief, pain, and anguish. Think back to a time in your life when you experience such emotions and notice how you managed to get over them. Maybe they weren’t visible to you on the same scale of this pandemic, or maybe there were even worse. Ask yourself, ‘How did I deal with that situation?’, ‘What help did I get from friends or family?’, ‘Who else helped me get back on my feet?’ The emotion of grief is something that has been studied for many years by different psychologists and scientists, including Erich Lindemann, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and George Bonanno. Whilst they all have their evaluation of how grief encompasses our lives, they give an identical overview of the end result, which, in most of society ends up in healing.
Positive thoughts for moving forward
My take on this is that there is some good news that comes from this unthinkable time. We have the power to turn things around if we are able to recognize, accept and be willing to make changes to our lives in order to move on to a new being, or a ‘new normal’ as many people are calling it these days. One of my Italian Pilates friends and colleagues kept a diary for the first lockdown and she kept writing to us daily until they re-opened the studios and went back to their ‘routines’. Her daily posts stated ‘C’e la faremo’, which translates into ‘We will make it’. Yes, we will get through this together. Once we allow ourselves to experience various stages of dealing with grief such as denial, anger, bargaining, perhaps some depression, we will manage to accept the situation and move on.
Yes, we will move forward emotionally, perhaps not financially at first. But this is the time to look at new possibilities for our lives and what lies ahead. We embrace new thoughts, new processes, new living practices, new beginnings. These are after all the hallmarks of a new life, a new world. Just think of life after the second world war, the boom in international economies, and the improvement of the quality of life for millions around the world. How ‘new’ things were developed to make our lives easier, like the introduction of washing machines and TVs and so on and so forth.
The world of pre-Covid19 is gone! Do not expect it back as it doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe the vision ahead is not very clear but who wants to build a new beginning on negative emotions such as fear, frustrations, and anger? We must first change our thinking process and find new ways of bringing positivity into our lives. Yes, even going out for a walk with the mask on has its positive effect on our lives.
My take on this whole situation is that the only way to emerge from this successfully is to allow ourselves time to grieve, adjust and adapt so that we are ready for the new adventure that lies in front of us.
Prioritize what is really important
If we focus on collectively changing the world we live in by making small changes in our lives, even if we start from changing our thoughts, we set forth the path that will lead us to a successful future. There will be a time where the global scientific and political changes present themselves as opportunities for us to express our creativity and potential. Of course, such powerful forces can have other adverse effects on our values as individuals and societies. We then need to tap into our own beliefs and values and question ourselves on what is truly important to us. In order to find our new selves in our new future, we must ask ourselves this question:
Do I love myself and my family enough to find and/or create a balance of having a safe, sustainable, and equal society that protects the environment we live in, without demeaning our human values in the process?
Change is near, many scientists have confirmed this and we will find the answer to our question. The key thing is for each and every one of us to commit to making the changes we need to make in order to find our new selves which will become our legacy for generations to come.