We can come out of this bitter or better.
Those profound words were spoken last week by my friend Deborah Harbottle. And I’m quite sure no truer words could be uttered at this time.
I personally have now completed week 4 of total social isolation. And here it is Easter weekend. There will be no family dinner, no hugging my son (who I have not hugged since mid-January) and for many, no church service to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. I am not a church-going Christian so that part impacts me very little. What I am struck with is how now, after 4 weeks, we might want to start preparing for our own resurrection. Because I do believe it will come. And when it does we will have to choose.
Bitter or better?
Will we be pissed off that we missed spring and possibly also a good chunk of summer? Will we be resentful that we couldn’t celebrate birthdays, Easter, May 24 weekend and who knows what else? Will we be depressed that we lost our job, our income, our purpose and our freedoms? Will we be ashamed that we put on some weight and drank too much wine? Will we be bitter that the Corona Virus forced us to swallow this horribly sour pill?
Or will we be better?
I choose better even though I know full-well that better is going to take a lot of work. Bitter is easy. Just focus on how much life has changed, how the new normal is decidedly different, how lonely we are, how much we’ve had to give up and how it’s just not fair. Yes, it is easy to succumb to bitter.
But better is going to take some deep, hardcore re-evaluation. And the one thing I know about (most) people is that deep hardcore self-evaluation often ranks up there with root canal work on the pleasure scale. But evaluate we must IF we want this world event to teach us what I truly believe it is meant to teach us.
Okay I said I was not a church-going Christian. But I am spiritual. I enjoy a big connection with The Universe. (I mean that. I really do enjoy it). And this morning on my walk it hit me. The Universe wants the entire world to wake the fuck up.
Shall we check in –
- Here’s a pandemic, folks. It will mostly kill older people. Infirm people. People who may not have decades to look forward to regardless. BUT it will also randomly (or so it seems) kill ANYONE. No matter the age, race, religious leaning or general state of health, it just might kill anyone. Including YOU or those YOU love. Shit.
- We have to physically distance ourselves from those we love in order to protect those we love. In doing this we also protect a whole lot of people we don’t know. Holy crap. We are being taught (inadvertently) to care for our fellow man.
- We are now forced to confront our own reality – whatever it is. Many of us are living in it 24/7 so if we didn’t like it before this is sure as hell not going to make us like it now. Now when there is no escape. Yep. Where do you really want to be? And why?
- We can’t go shopping, dine out, invite pals for drinks and dinner or even host a backyard barbecue. If “social” was your jam it can no longer BE your jam. And if you have a summer place forget it. Don’t go. No jamming allowed.
- If you are single and alone you are REALLY fucking single and alone now. Maybe it’s time to reach out and facilitate the life you want instead of waiting for it to come to you?
- Work, overwhelming prosperity, adulation and/or social status no longer count. The heroes of our day are the front-line medical workers who are risking their own lives for US. The grocery store cashiers and the waste collectors and the pharmacy clerks and the cleanup crews. Actors? Sports stars? People famous for being famous? The folks we worshiped and rewarded with handsome financial compensation? They are not in our reality anymore. Musicians, yes. Authors yes. But the Kardashians of the world have somehow become instantly irrelevant.
But these are first-world problems.
Maybe this pandemic will soften all-world conflicts? Maybe partisan politics will take a back seat to collective care? Maybe some of the members of that 1% billionaire club will lose someone special to this plague and finally realize that money does not guarantee survival? Maybe we will all learn to reach out more, help out more and always be grateful for what we DO have instead of bemoaning what has been taken away?
Resurrection: a rising again, as from decay, disuse … a revival. (dictionary.com)
Mother Earth is enjoying a much-needed rest. Selfish, posturing and uncaring politicians are being exposed for who they truly are. Regular, everyday humans (like you and me) are being forced to find new ways to love. New ways to show up. New ways to be there for those who need us. New priorities to embrace. New realities to evaluate.
I don’t think it’s any Universal coincidence that what could be the defining week of this wake-up call falls hot on the heels of Easter. Forget the chocolate bunnies, daffodils, church services and coloured eggs. Christian or not, I urge you to think about resurrection.
Yours. Our country’s. The planet’s.
How you THINK and act now and in the coming weeks will impact that resurrection profoundly.
Will you be bitter or better?