The pandemic has disrupted life and norms across the globe; so now what? What shifts will you bring to your life?
It goes without say that this pandemic has altered life as we know it. This comes as no surprise to anyone at this point. But what we hear more often than not is “when things go back to normal” or how this is our “new normal.” But how does this serve us? Where exactly are we headed?
What will life look like on the other side? The answer to all of these questions is directly related to the conscious decision about what we choose to take with us from this experience.
Where we’re going is consequential to how we’ve chosen to let this year transform us. It requires a very conscious decision to change, for better or worse.
For most of us, back to normal isn’t an option. What we considered ‘normal’ from days past, we’ve come to learn wasn’t actually working so well. This passage has served as a detox for us as well as the world, and as is true with any detox, the guck has come up to the surface to be cleansed so that our systems may heal and rejuvenate. We’ve seen, possibly with new eyes or even for the first time, the racial injustice, the gender inequality and exclusiveness. We’ve reaped the benefits that distancing ourselves from toxic relationships, as well as the unconscious boundaries this pandemic has brought forth.
We’ve become aware of the separation within our society, as well as within the superficial relationships that exist within our lives as distancing causes them to begin to dissolve. We’ve seen the strength of our love and our connections to people with whom our souls and hearts are entangled. We’ve learnt the value of home, whatever that may look like. The value of time with loved ones. And for those who get to emerge from this passage with our loved ones by our sides, our love and compassion for others will be more important than ever. The passage unfolding before us will require a deeper sense of connectivity than we have ever known before. We will need to recognize the places where we are separate from each other as devices of the ego and reemerging fear from days gone.
We will need to alchemize the exclusiveness that is suffering — because no other is hurting as badly as we are, or because others surely have it worse than us and are hurting far deeper — into an inclusiveness of love and compassion. Because we’re all hurting and suffering in our own way, we are all straining, striving, and struggling to make it to the other side of this. We need to alchemize our suffering into a shared compassion and love for each other, because it is only that love and compassion that will guide us through this passage to where we desire to be.
Your pain and suffering is uniquely yours; the state of suffering however, the act of being in pain, is global. It’s part of our shared humanity.
The depth of our pain and the magnitude of the pain of others does nothing to invalidate our experience, but instead provides us with an opportunity to be a witness to each other’s pain and extend love and compassion far wider than we ever have before.
What tools and practices aided us in navigating these uncertain times? We need to choose to not bury these in the depths of our psyche but to allow these to become part of a new regimen. Because we will need them where we are going.
We have an unprecedented opportunity before us to take from this experience and passage the love, light, and compassion we have begun to cultivate or strengthen and use it to elevate our homes, families, and communities towards a brighter future.
We can choose to go back to ‘normal’ and let the sickness and divisiveness re-permeate our lives, or we can choose to let this passage change us. We can choose the hard work of keeping our eyes open, of seeing and feeling through our new found awareness that which was broken and requires mending. We can choose to rebuild, to create new structures and systems that will serve ourselves and others, that will carry humanity forward. Towards something better. We can choose to let this passage bring us forward towards days that are brighter instead of recusing back to what we knew and what was comfortable.
Will it be hard? Without a doubt. Will that comfort and safety of what we knew try to draw us back? Absolutely. Will our egos use fear of the unknown to try and detour into the madness that we once knew? Without question. But if this passage has done nothing else, it has shown us the madness for what it truly was. The fear of the unknown, the fear of what wasn’t understood, the fear of each other that kept us separate and in the dark in so many ways. This passage has brought the darkness to the light, but now it becomes our choice to remain in the light, to live in it and carry it with us into the areas that are still shrouded by darkness.
As you reflect upon this passage, ask yourself:
- Where do I want this passage to lead me?
- Who do I want to be on the other side of this?
- What has this passage brought to the light?
- What am I releasing?
- What tools, practices, devotions do I need to take with me?
- What needs to become part of my new ritual/regimen?
Now we get to choose. Where are we heading? Where will this passage lead us? For the utopia we seek will only be found in our love and compassion, for each other and for ourselves. The radiance we seek will be the result of the grace and wisdom this passage has bestowed. Just as it has been with every other dark passage we have traversed in our lives. The only difference with this passage lies in its magnitude and inclusiveness.
Because this time we aren’t traversing it alone.
You may also enjoy reading The Book of Your Life: The Transformative Power of Prose by Kelly Notaras