• Using Crisis to Dig Deeper: What is really being asked?

    During this pandemic of the Coronavirus, we are all being asked to dig a little deeper than we have been.

    What do You Control?

    There is so much “out there” we want to control, try to control, such as those we love, our work, our income, our homes, the economy, other people, just to feel safe. And yet, the reality is we can never control anything beyond ourselves.

    The funny thing is many of the circumstances I look back on as gifts, were actually wrapped up in a bow of crisis. For instance, getting out of an eating disorder showed me how to care for my body. Burning myself out on commitments taught me to be responsible for myself first and to say no. Having a failed marriage taught me how to be in one fully, as a partner and not an observer.

    Going Higher Than the Circumstance

    Point being, bad things or seemingly bad things have gifts in them, gifts that may take time to see. This is why it is important we know the truth about ourselves and build a strong foundation upon this truth in order to wait for the gift.

    You and I are extensions of a great field of energy called Love. I refer to this energy as God, others say the Universal Field, the Universe, Higher Power, Nature, or Life. And if we are part of this infinite, all-knowing, all-encompassing field of Love, we cannot be destroyed, because energy cannot be destroyed. In fact, anything that would seem to destroy us, if we can stay present with what is happening as a loving witness, and remind ourselves we can handle it, fear will dissipate and a more loving truth will emerge.

    That’s how energy works. It’s made to rise higher if we allow it.

    But how do we move past the need to control? How do we get past the fear?

    Start with the things you can actually control. You’ll be amazed at how small changes make a huge difference.

    Ask Yourself These Questions:

    1. How important is it? One thing I notice is the little things that used to bother me, like dishes in the sink or towels on bedroom floors or furniture out of place (yes, perfectionism right here), aren’t nearly as important. Life is too short to get stressed by such small inconveniences we’d like to control. Decide if your time and energy are worth trying to control this. Often, the answer is no.
    • If, during this time of self-quarantining, you desire company, look to whom is front of you now. Who is in your life now? People need people. Even introverts need people. People help us feel connected to something larger. They help us to feel a part of something and not alone in the world. Reaching out isn’t easy always easy because often the fear of being vulnerable with another stops us cold. But connection matters and so do you. So take small steps – a question, a compliment, a helping hand, a hello – whatever is manageable and, more importantly, whatever opportunity appears before you to join with another. Don’t miss it. You never know what doors will open when you let it begin with you.
    • Where have you been spending your time? If you’re like me, you may have spent your time working or taking care of others. Given the choice, my responsible side would always win out and my close relationships suffered. I was so busy giving to others or my job that by the time evening rolled around, I didn’t have the energy or attitude to engage with those I loved. I became resentful of my “obligations”. But I am the only one I can control. So, this afternoon, I chose to go on a car ride with my fiancé rather than work because that’s an opportunity I’ve missed in the past that I don’t want to miss again. Today, make a choice to spend your time with what aligns with your values, not your habits.

    Digging Deeper

    We are being asked to look at our choices. To look at the lives we created. Are they reflective of what matters to us? Are they reflective of what matters, period? Where have I been selfish that I can now give? Or where have I overcommitted that I can now nurture and love myself? What feeds me? Am I doing that? Whose rules have I been living by? And where can I begin to change those rules to create my own that fit my own skin?

    It can feel scary – just as this virus can be scary. But it’s only scary if we make ourselves helpless, and we aren’t. If life is going to do what It’s going to do, then we may as well begin to gently test the waters of what we’d like to change and see where it takes us. We don’t have to be foolish, but nor do we have to put so much stock in our fear.

    If we are all going to die anyway, and we all are, then why not? Why not risk new behavior to have a more satisfying life today?

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