If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of right now, it’s opinions. It’s interesting to watch a planet of people, near and far, handling this current chapter of ours the best way they know how. Depending on whether you switch on the media to receive every theory as to how and why and when and what, to evaluate how the rest of the world is doing so that we can theorise about what that means for us; or whether you limit the media or switch it off completely and just deal what’s inside of your home, or inside of your own head, there are n-number of possible ways to handle this new chapter of ours…… so, however you’re doing right now is just fine.
You can currently find an opinion to support any possible thought you may have. Armageddon? Or the most beautiful pause the world will see in our lifetime? Complete destruction of the economic, health and governmental systems; or a natural renewing and an opportunity to choose to move forward with more integrity, compassion and collaboration? Are you supposed to be meditating and centring your self-work, or are you supposed to be digging up some epiphany that will put you streets ahead of your competitors when we “open” again? Are you supposed to be resting and spending time with yourself and your loved ones; or are you wasting time not recalibrating a thousand scenarios so that you’re covered for whatever comes?
However you’re doing right now is just fine.
If there’s one thing we know for sure right now, it’s that nothing is certain or guaranteed. It’s hard to know what comes past tomorrow, let alone what we need to factor for in three months’ time. There isn’t a business or industry on the planet who can see any further than yours, and there is no human being who knows what’s coming and therefore what to prepare themselves for more than you do. We are all in the same boat together, and there is no right way to do this. So, however you’re doing right now is just fine.
A friend sent me a quote last week that really sat well with me. It was this:
“I have thought a lot about not being in control. We usually think that humans’ success comes from being in control. But if you think of the evolutionary history of humans, until very recently, we weren’t much in control of anything. Humans were at the mercy of forces that were completely beyond our control – the elements, wild animals, plagues, floods, and so forth.– Brian Eno
The best strategy is to navigate and position yourself within the flux of circumstances. I find the metaphor of surfing useful. Surfers take control of themselves with in the wave, then they’re carried by it, then they centre and adjust, then they’re carried. That’s what we’re doing in life all the time.”
I listened to a Matthew Hussey video on Instagram where he asked whether we were acknowledging our humanity, and that every one of us has a different way of responding to our current lack of control. Different emotions. Different coping mechanisms. His suggestion is that it mostly comes down to how much energy we’re willing to expend trying to gain some form of illusive control, and that surrender is where we really need to be. He says that “Surrender isn’t giving up. Rather, it’s acceptance, making peace with.” He also suggests that we don’t allow anything, even hope of change, to stop us being fully here in this moment. That we should guard against allowing ourselves to sit in a “perpetual state of waiting”, and instead surrender to what’s here now. Just be. Even if it’s messy.
Uncertainty isn’t comfortable for many people. It’s a large, gaping hole that we’re dying to fill with something, lest it should fill itself with something less desirable. There are going to be a thousand different emotions, speeds, reactions – each one of them deeply personal to us as individuals. I think one of the most important traits for this period is going to be empathy. Empathy both for yourself and for others as each of us tries to navigate our journey. However you’re doing right now is just fine.
If you’ve built an entirely new business idea in the last week, or you’ve barely managed not to kill your offspring, however you’re doing right now is just fine. If you’re home alone and doing your own head in, or you’re enjoying the time and space and feel guilty for that, or whether you’re holed up in an apartment in Spain dragging yourself through the full throws of the virus like one Zimbabwean I’m following, however you’re doing right now is just fine. Whether you’re feeling strong and courageous, angry, weak, mournful or relieved; however you’re doing right now is just fine.
I’d like to leave you today with two separate writings from another of my favourite minds – S. C. Lourie (@butterfliesandpebbles).
“It’s going to take time to find your feet in this time.
To find your rhythm; to make up your mind about what is really happening…
And how this will all continue and discover the best ways to manage ‘for you’ in this time with what you have and with what you need.
Just remember you don’t need to find all the answers right away. Even though that’s the pressure you feel.
You are allowed to take your time with everything and even to take it easy on this day.
Catch your breath, lovely one. You are allowed to rest today and get back to making your way through this tomorrow.
It takes time to find your feet in every new situation.
Even more so with a situation as intense and uncertain as this one.
So, go easy on yourself, darling.
Relieve yourself of the pressure. Loosen on the expectations. And take one day at a time. Each day will probably have you feeling something completely different. And there is nothing wrong or weak about that. Just give yourself a break today. See how that one goes.”– S C Lourie
“If you feel sad in this time, then feel it.– S C Lourie
If you feel grateful in this time, then feel it.
Let’s not shame each other for feeling different things.
If you feel you need to grieve, or you feel you need to laugh,
or if you need to keep busy or you need to spend more time
daydreaming then that is more than fine.
Let’s just not shoot each other down because we all have different ways of dealing with the present stress. Mental health is what matters.
Let’s just support each other as we all tend to our mental health in different and personal ways.”
by Christen Killick
April 6th, 2020