Do not worry…, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25, but I find myself worrying more now than ever before.
Some of my higher levels of anxiety are connected to my mother’s health, but the pandemic has added layers of uncertainty.
Most everything has been disrupted—my daily routines, work schedules and social life are not what they once were. Even my dreams are filled with anxiety—late for a meeting, lost in a maze, missing a plane, etc.
Worry, like fear, is useless—what is needed in trust; but how can I trust our situation will get better when it just keeps getting worse?
It seems that every time someone tries to return to what life was like before the pandemic, there is another spike in new coronavirus cases.
We live in a new reality, and wishing and hoping for what once was is futile. We need to let go of how things used to be in order to move forward.
People who have had unexpected, life-altering events probably grasp this truth more easily.
I work at a cancer support center and have talked with many people about their “new normal,” a phrase people use for the time after they have moved beyond the shock of the diagnosis and settle into a world of medical jargon and treatment facilities.
Losing one’s hair because of chemotherapy is one part of the physical changes that cancer treatment brings, but there are many others, including fatigue, pain and weight loss or gain. People don’t ask for cancer or choose it, but they have to accept this new reality to survive.
How someone used to be before cancer is not how they are after, and grieving all that is lost because of cancer is an important part of the healing process.
I imagine the losses from the pandemic are similar, and we need to grieve what has been lost rather than wishing and hoping for things to go back to how they were.
Accepting the situation and moving through grief is the way forward. New life happens when we let go of what once was and create a “new normal” for our current situation.
We know the stories about how something needs to die in order for new life to happen—babies leave the security of the womb, seeds drop from pods to become flowers, etc. The pandemic seems to be inviting us into this same kind of transformation, asking us (or perhaps, demanding) that we let go of what once was and build something new.
Some of that is already taking place. Working from home has become the norm for many people who used to go to offices every day. We are driving less, cooking more and spending more time outdoors. Empty office buildings and vast parking lots have become memorials to a way of life that no longer exists.
How are you dealing with what you have lost? What are you grieving? What new routines have you created that will continue post-pandemic?
This post is so right on. It clarifies the shift and what needs to be done. I am going to journal on your questions.
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Thank you Linda. Letting go can be so difficult; identifying what we have lost is a good starting point (I think).