By Anne Harbison
“At every point in the human journey, we find that we have to let go in order to move forward; and letting go means dying a little. In the process we are being created anew, awakened afresh to the source of our being.”
— Kathleen Fischer
That ending may be the death of a family member, friend, or pet. It could mean the ending of a friendship, romantic relationship, or job.
We may grieve the loss of something tangible, like a piece of jewelry or a child’s artwork, or from the loss of something abstract, like youth or a certain way of life.
We can even grieve a future that is no longer possible... a lost opportunity or the next chapter of life that will no longer be what we had imagined.
Grief comes in so many shapes and forms, each one with their own layers of loss. The impact of one significant loss almost always ripples into multiple facets of our lives. The change...
Post-ponements, rain checks, cancelations. Our lives are full of them. A birthday celebration, or actual birth, you were not able to attend. A graduation ceremony or wedding postponed. A family vacation or work event cancelled. There is not a human on the planet whose daily routines, and major life events, have not been turned upside down.
The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos was associated with actual “clock” time - measurable, consistent segments of time passing. Chronos is the time of day planners, project management deadlines, birthdays and anniversaries recorded on our calendars. Chronos time is the number of days you’ve been home-bound. The number of days your child has been home from school. The number of days that you haven’t been to the hair stylist, gym or coffee shop.
Kairos, on the other head, referred to the meaning of any moment in time. Kairos (the Greek god of Opportunity) reflected the...
When a part of life that has given us joy is shut down, we’re not just grieving that thing (e.g. the job, relationship, health, the ability to have coffee with friends); it’s the energy and emotion that resulted from that activity that we crave. Of course we all miss the freedom of mobility during a stay-at-home order, but I bet that we each have a very specific “miss” list based on what makes us thrive in more normal times.
Our inner talents, ambitions, and hopes have a way of finding a path when the one in front of us is shut down. I had a client who loved managing others, and when moved to a job where he didn’t have direct reports, ended up coaching little league baseball. He had a fundamental desire to invest in the growth of others; when his “day job” didn’t give him that daily opportunity, he found other avenues to direct his natural talent.
Is there a part of you that is feeling restless? That unsettled feeling...
I’ve gotten pretty lax with television time in our house during this stay-at-home period. My kids are watching a LOT of Disney (giving me some time for Netflix binges). Frozen’s Let It Go has been on a replay loop in my head for years. Now “The Next Right Thing” from Frozen II is playing right along beside it. If you have to have an ear worm, these empowerment ballads are pretty great.
Yesterday I encouraged you to purposely toggle between the big picture and the immediate need (zoom out, zoom in). Taking the next step without a broader frame of reference (and meaning) can lead you unconsciously down a path you never meant to travel. You may be moving forward, but is it the right direction at the right time for the right purpose? Is the decision, action, conversation you’re having today actually the next right thing?
It’s especially hard to discern the next right thing when that “ zoom-out" horizon...
Gallup research shows that our primary need during times of turmoil and crisis is stability. In times of uncertainty, we long to know what is still true, what is expected of us, on what and whom can we rely. In the context of the Covid-19 crisis, when what we do not know is overwhelming, reaffirming what has not changed will continue to be a touchstone of sanity and comfort. If there was ever a time for gratitude for what we do have, it is now.
It has become clear that we are experiencing a global inflection point. Across continents, across cultures, time will be delineated by BC (before Covid-19) and AC (after Covid-19). As the profound scope of this pandemic is unfolding, we all need to strengthen our emotional muscles for tolerating ambiguity and complexity.
So here are two critical questions:
1) What was your relationship with “not knowing” before Covid-19 (BC)?
In more normal, predictable times, have you been someone who...
Welcome to Surviving and Thriving Together! I hope you find these resources inspiring and informative. You'll receive your free excerpt of my book in the first email - straight to your inbox shortly after you click Submit! I’m glad to be joining you on the journey.
*By submitting, you agree to share the information with the site owners & receive emails. Opt out any time.*