Resilience can be seen two ways - like a tree that sways in the storm but doesn't break, OR it can be what in Japan is called Kintsugi - the idea of repairing a ceramic bowl with gold in the broken places - the quality of putting together the broken pieces, to create something new, stronger and even more beautiful. Broken but repaired. Not shattered but stronger.
One thing that is a huge help is our perspective. There is a wonderful piece going around the internet, called WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT ... I want to share it with you; it covers how the same situation can produce a widely different experience in different people. It opens our hearts to be more aware of what others may be going through.
I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.
For some that live alone they're facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.
With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.
Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.
Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.
Some have experienced the near-death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this year. Others say the worst is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.
We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.
Realize that and be kind. LOVE FIRST
Stay Connected – we can be distanced, but we can still be close. We need connection to thrive. But what if people in our lives are having a challenging time? Try to honor where they are at, and the vulnerability when it is shared. You don’t have to fix it. But listen. Recognize that many people are feeling different degrees of trauma; we can be there for one another, or help them get online help.
On another level, stay connected to yourself. Mindfulness or meditation can help – this is an opportunity to explore your inner resources and your personal priorities.
Gratitude and Appreciation: for this life, the people in it, for what we have, for who we are. Shift your focus from things you cannot control to the small things that you can appreciate: your family, a cup of tea, the unconditional love from a pet, sunshine after rain. Make this an intentional practice – it will not only redirect your focus but your energy.
Next – appreciate yourself and ask: who do I want to be now when stress arises and who do I want to be when we come out of this? Brene Brown recently said, “What is the filter we want to run all our decisions through now?” Consider kindness, compassion – how we will show up during and after this. One last thought for today – you are stronger than you know. You have gotten through difficult times before. This is not forever, it’s now. People under duress can think it will go on forever. Like the overwhelming feelings during a breakup. But it passes, and we will look back at this too.
Finally, focus on kindness, through stories that remind you of our humanity. There are rival gangs in South Africa calling a truce to help people out by delivering food. More than 40 employees at a plant making N95 masks have decided to live there. For 28 days so far, they have been eating and sleeping there while doing there 12-hour shifts, saying “we are honored to be able to give back and support people we never meet in some way.” Everyday people choosing love over fear, aligning with positive shifts, and positioning themselves for post-traumatic GROWTH - explore this for yourself and notice how much better you feel.
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