We value stability in our lives. Old houses and antiques appeal to us because they are tangible evidence that the world is consistent and safe, that things persist, that the world tomorrow will be the same as it is today. We don’t want to have to learn how to function in it all over again. A friend of Phil’s who had lived through a big earthquake in Italy said that afterward, walking on the sidewalks did not feel safe; she did not trust that the earth was stable.
The pandemic has changed our lives considerably, and even afterward, the world will be different. What will the post-Covid economy look like? Will unions and essential workers have more power? If you thought the TSA made travel burdensome, wait for the Health Assuredness Certification.
There are other great changes taking place, too. Our environment is altering at a much faster pace than we thought it would, and many of our systems of government are going through huge upheavals.
We may value stability, but the situations we are facing call for a new degree of flexibility. We must adapt as needed; if we are rigid, life will break us, just as a dry twig snaps but a green twig bends.
Change may feel threatening, but the flip-side is that it is also fascinating and stimulating. We love to watch flickering flames in the fireplace or waves crashing on the shore. The trick to surviving and thriving now and in the future is to accept changes gracefully, realize the good they can bring, and learn to flourish in the new situations. This is an opportunity for personal growth.
Accept changes gracefully, realize the good they can bring, and learn to flourish in new situations Click To TweetFlexibility is a learned skill, and it applies to your partner and all your relationships, too. This is one of the areas where we have already become intensely aware of the need to adapt. Many of us are learning that not only can we find our way in these new conditions, but we are finding new values and new means of being together.
Some people who live alone have had to set up contact with others through zoom meetings, phone and email conversations, or socializing at a distance. Others living with partners or multi-generational family arrangements have had to make a myriad of accommodations to be able to survive and thrive in this unprecedented, continuous togetherness.
- A dear friend described how his larger immediate family of siblings, children and parents who are geographically spread out all over has been meeting on Zoom once a week since the stay at home orders, and that the family has seen more of each other than they have in years.
- Another friend who just moved into a condo complex and hadn’t met anyone yet, now meets in a community garden with a group of neighbors at a distance for happy hour, and she feels like she has made a whole group of new friends.
- Several friends have had their children and grandchildren and their pets move in with them, and much to their surprise, they are finding ways to make this experience an enrichment for all, rather than the burden they were concerned it might be.
- A couple who have been married for years and were facing very difficult tensions as a result of their completely different political viewpoints, decided that if they were going to make it through this time of such close contact with both of them home all the time, they needed to alter how they were relating. They decided that politics would be a forbidden topic, and as a result, they have been doing really well through these times. They were almost on the brink of separating before, but the extremity of the situation brought them to make changes that are working really well for them.
It seems that many people are finding ways to stay present with what is happening. When you are in the present, then you experience what is, without imbuing it with the good, the bad or the ugly, and this allows you to breathe through the challenges and be more creative in facing life with openness and flexibility.
In the midst of the extreme situations we are facing globally right now, there is a real chance for positive alterations. We have an opportunity to come from love rather than fear, to be united rather than divided. Let’s embrace one another and go forward with this new skill to bring a greater experience of peace to each other and all our relationships.
Photo credit: Maude Mayes