I have had my moments, is this time a curse or a gift in some way? Time to think, initially, seemingly brief time off from traditional obligations to be somewhere or do something. Then reality hits you in the head like a 2×4. I can’t begin to understand the sweeping ripple effect and unintended consequences. I’m trying to demonstrate empathy and knowing it’s not enough.
Finding myself discovering podcasts and taking more long walks which I really had not done much before, was listening to a Ted talk with author Elizabeth Gilbert discussing empathy versus compassion. She did a nice job of framing some of her fears and anxieties and specifically said that compassion maybe the more constructive emotion as it means, to see others suffering and doing what you can do to help them; vs empathy which is to see other people suffering and feel their suffering almost as much as they do. Empathy rendering one somewhat impotent to be of help to others because of assumed incapacity.
Some folks have downtime and some haven’t been busier. Life and death decisions or mundane ways to occupy the void or entertain oneself. Lots of ways to spend time and enjoy recreation, albeit in your small space. It helps, but doesn’t necessarily heal or go far enough.
I find myself evaluating and going back to basics. What are the most important things, am I spending time on those; before, during and after this crisis? Am I really living my day with the best energy up against the biggest priorities and putting all my resources there as well?
When we come out of this, we will have found new ways to entertain, perhaps innovate, found new boundaries to our stress, boredom, fears, anxieties and love. Sort of like back to basics on steroids. I would say more like renewal; what have we learned, accomplished and will we emerge stronger?
I’m not saying any of this is easy; not knowing how it will affect us, when will it end and will it come back?
My hope, prayer and belief is that we emerge a little more enlightened, exhausted but energized, focused and more determined than ever.
So, enjoy recreation and giving your mind and body a break if you can; then evaluate those things for which you are most grateful, make some adjustments, commit to those and renew your energy, priorities and relationships and climb to new heights, appreciating that nothing is a given.
We have had some choices taken from us in our best interest and we have made some choices as well; For so many, there is no choice but to do all you can to survive, and they need our help. If you are blessed with a choice, will you choose survive or thrive?