It has been over two months since we started a Social Distancing lock down in my part of the world. Just now our Governor has announced phase 1 to begin opening businesses again. I have spent so much time helping some around me to not go down the Rabbit Hole, that I found myself beginning to struggle with everything that was going on.
Like so many others across the Country we have family members that were due to graduate. Class of 2020. I held out hope that it would all be over by Graduation time. I see my niece who worked so hard throughout her high school career, got accepted to an amazing college be denied prom, senior activities and that dream of walking across the stage. I hate that I can't make it better for her.
I have friends that have lost loved ones to this horrible virus and have been denied proper goodbyes to their family member and we can't be there in person to support them.
I have watched other friends and family members suffer complete burnout as they are front line health heroes and there is absolutely nothing I can do for them.
When I was numbing my brain with bad TV and internet scrolling while poking my head in the Rabbit Hole, I stumbled on a video posted by Nadia Bolz-Weber In the video she talks about how she is also struggling and how she found looking forward to things may have been causing her to feel more anxious as news came of more cancellations. She talks about an interview she watched of a former POW who was asked how he got through it. He said that the Optimists were the ones that had the hardest time. They would say by Thanksgiving we will be free or by Christmas and each date came and went. They died from broken hearts. He knew they would get out of there, but he didn't know when. He just knew he had to focus on the moment in front of him.
Seeing this video helped to bring me back to present. I had allowed myself to focus on everything and everyone else around me that it brought me out of the present moment. I then turned my optimism up to Full Throttle to try and keep everyone else from diving head first down the Rabbit Hole that I didn't realize what I was actually doing to myself.
Hope and Optimism are wonderful to have; however they can be a double edged sword at times. When we constantly focus on being hopeful or optimistic, then we miss out on the present. Pandemic aside, we constantly compare our present state to that of the hopeful future. If we are already anxious, focusing on future events will only add to that and we miss out on some amazing things that are going on right in front of us.
We need to consciously ground ourselves in the now. Focusing on mindfulness and gratitude in daily life will help us become happier. (ooh that cup of coffee! I kid, but it can be as simple as that) In the times we are in right now, it is the little things we can focus on to find gratitude and happiness.
I'm grateful for the extra time I got to spend in my yard enjoying Gaia. I'm grateful that this time has forced me to slow down and truly appreciate those around me.
We are going to get through this. We will resume to some type of Normal. Know that you will persevere. Focus on today. What is new in your world today? Enjoy smiling eyes. Take time to breathe deep. Accept help from others. Reach out to your friends and family and offer help to them, especially your strong friend. Your strong friend may not even know they need it. As a strong friend I can tell you that sometimes all I need is a "Hey, how are you doing?" To make it all better. 💜