It’s a challenging time for everyone – some countries more than others. Here in South Africa, the fear was lingering for a while, but it was still largely ‘business as usual’. The panic really set in on Sunday night, when our president declared a state of disaster – with numerous measures being implemented as a result.
And, while it’s easy to get swept up in the mass hysteria, panic, and fear – the reality is that what we focus on is what gets magnified in our psyche. Taking in the constant news and latest developments only makes it feel like the entire world is falling apart.
But that’s not true at all.
Look outside: the sun still shines; the birds still sing; nature – in all its glory – is still there. Sure, humans are behaving differently. But we always have something going on – whether on a personal scale or as global as this virus.
We’ve been through wars, economic crises, natural disasters, and a whole lot more. But we adapt. And the situation always passes. And, hopefully, we learn something – take some kind of benefit – from the affliction.
Though it can feel like everything is spiralling out of control, if you look for the silver linings, you’ll see them.
People have been forced to take a break from their normal ways of life – giving more mental space for reflection and introspection.
The proverbial rat race – which many likely would not have escaped by their own efforts – is on hold.
We get to stay home – allowing more time for family bonding, exercise, and indulging in activities that feed our personal well-being – whether that’s spiritual, mental, physical, or otherwise. (That’s if we don’t simply increase the time spent on entertainment.)
The environment has time to heal – getting a welcome break from the pollution we inflict on the planet with our normal travel and industrial activities.
And while it’s scary to think of what may happen, and it’s difficult to plan for a future when we have no idea when this will all end, if we take it one day at a time…try to live in the moment…things become easier.
So, yes…it is the end of the world – as we know it. And there are – and will be – difficulties.
But it’s also an opportunity to see things differently. To make changes – in this precious period of pause – that will give us a richer, more fulfilling life once this all ends.
Whether that’s a stronger connection to your Creator (or deeper spirituality, if that fits your beliefs better), a healthier lifestyle, a better work-life balance, a greater focus on your own well-being, or anything else…this is the time to change your future.
Make sure you don’t lose the opportunity. You may never live to see another…
(The words from the image above are from In the Time of Pandemic, by Kitty O’Meara. Note that there is a claim that it’s a translation of an Italian poem by Irene Vella, but that isn’t true. It’s crucial to always credit people for their work…and the author has formally clarified it on her blog here.)
The abridged, visual version of this post (below) is also available on Instagram.