So, we have reached our one-year anniversary. This is not an anniversary to celebrate as it is an anniversary of when our movements were first limited, when our freedoms were first reduced ,when our physical comfort was changed and when our connection to others through time and sight was drastically altered. This is the one year anniversary when the Covid shut down first occurred. I remember my thoughts when this all started… "this is only going to be a few months” and here we are, just over a year later looking at another six months or more and still uncertain about what life will look like after everyone that can be vaccinated is vaccinated?
We have all lived in a very different world for the last year. A world which has, for some, undergone a shift in awareness. I have heard this called a “paradigm shift” and remember being told a story years ago which demonstrated how quickly a paradigm shift can occur: There is a man travelling on the subway in New York City. He just finished a long day at work and was looking forward to getting home, relaxing, and de-stressing from the day. The subway car he's occupying was empty when he first entered. Picture this, he sits relaxing and enjoying his newspaper in the quiet, when are the next stop the door opens and a man steps into the car with four younger children. The original passenger looked up, sees the family and hopes that the kids will behave and be quiet as anything other than that would be too intrusive for him. The train starts to speed away from the stop. The father and the four children at first sit in the chairs but soon after the train is underway, the kids get up and start running up and down the subway car, pushing each other, yelling, bumping the newspaper of the man who was originally there. This man can feel his frustration and his anger rising as every time he looks up or has to straighten his paper, the father is sitting with his head in his hands doing nothing. Finally this man, the first traveller, has had enough. He gathers up all of his righteous anger and speaks to the man… "Would you please control your children!” The father looks up, his eyes are red rimmed it's almost as though he is coming up from a deep sleep. He looks around his children and at the chaos that they are creating he then looks back at the other man and says; "I'm so sorry my wife, their mother just died” in that moment the other passenger who had been sitting in his own frustration and righteous anger experienced a “paradigm shift” … He was no longer angry at the children or the father, he immediately felt empathy for the family and that created the inner change… "How can I help he asked? “
During this changed time when we have all been made to be “uncomfortable” with the new norm, for many there has been this “shift”. For some this has shown up in finding new and more creative ways to connect with friends and family. For others, it has been facing new possibilities and adjusting with the changing landscape of work, for many it has been finding those deep reserves of inner fortitude that one may have thought was there but rarely glimpsed. For all, there has been change. So I challenge you as I have challenged myself; find a way to embrace any of the good and supportive changes, integrate them so that when the imposed restrictions are lifted we may all still benefit from the good that has come out of this unprecedented time.