Graceful Perseverance: A Time to Reflect - 04/26
Welcome to this week’s blog. Today I am thinking about these uncertain times we are in with COVID-19, and what it means to take this time to reflect.
Today we live in a very different world then we did just two months ago. COVID-19 has taught me many things about myself, and those around me. Many times, in life it is our struggles and challenges that define who we are, our true character in the heat of the moment is exposed. I’ve always believed a person’s true colors are revealed in a time of crisis. It isn’t the easy, stress free moments in our life that we learn the most about ourselves.
Due to COVID-19, life is no longer the life we once knew. Life today is more uncertain, and the future seems to be leading us down a path we’ve never traveled before. While I come from an older generation, the baby boomer era, or some refer to it as the olden days, I am learning to appreciate these uncertain times. First by contemplating why this is happening to the world, and why do we now find ourselves living in a new age? Lots of “whys” today in these uncertain times. But I still find myself nostalgic in wanting my old life back, where life was more comfortable, predictable and secure.
But rather than wishing for our old life back, and all of this to simply vanish, we must have a more positive outlook on what’s happening, and how-to best cope in trying times. Contrary to popular belief, I believe today we are very blessed to have this time to reflect. But so many people around the world are missing the true opportunity we’ve all been given. It’s important that we take this opportunity of isolation or “stay home” circumstances to think about who we are, what is really essential, and non-essential, and what do we really want in our lives. Our “stay home” instructions have given us the opportunity to spend more time with those we love, to do the things we never had time to do before, and to create new memories with the one’s we love. How priceless this time should be to all of us?
So many of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives, that until we are forced to slow down, whether physically or emotionally, will we never understand the meaning of reflection. And then many will realize that what they’ve always taken for granted is no longer available to them, they end up resentful, angry and frustrated having to spend so much time with their loved ones. But it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be this way.
There are two types of behavior during these uncertain times. First, the one who has a positive attitude. This person realizes it’s better to look at the situation as a blessing, and not a curse or punishment. The other behavior is the negative person, the poor me behavior, and why is this happening to me? The negative attitude is exactly the attitude that truly needs to take this time to reflect on their lives. Each one of us have the opportunity to cope either way. Each one of us can learn to adjust in these uncertain times from a loving and compassionate angle, or we can learn to adjust with rebellion and resentment.
Yesterday, for the first time since the end of January, I left my home to go to the grocery store with my husband. To my surprise and sadness, I realized we truly are living in a different world, and it only took two months for life to transform to get to where we are today. For the few who were in the grocery store, all of us wearing masks, and deliberately and respectfully staying within 6 feet from each other, just broke my heart. I felt numb and uncomfortable with my surroundings. I no longer enjoyed grocery shopping under this new, and awkward stress. I continued asking my husband, “Did you ever think we would ever see this in our lifetime?” It was very sad, and gave me a very eerie feeling. I felt like I was on another planet with everyone wearing masks, and everyone distancing themselves from each other. There was no smiling or nodding of heads. There was no greetings or brief conversations. Silence and human distancing took captive of every one of us.
I believe there are many reasons why we need to take this time to reflect. First of all, none of us know the timeline or the outcome of this pandemic. So why not take advantage of the situation while we have it right in front of us? The common theme for the poo poo people is complaining they are bored, they don’t have anything to do, or I’m tired of laying around watching Netflix movies. For the first time in their life they’ve been asked to stay at home, veg out on the couch, and do nothing. If they only realized, they will never get this opportunity again to do absolutely nothing. But more importantly, this situation is an opportunity for all of us to take this time to reflect on who we are, and discover new ways to become the creative, and passionate person we were intended to be.
It is only when we take a step back and reflect on our life, that we can we see the bigger picture more clearly. It’s this reflection that helps us gain a new perspective of ourselves, as well as observe, and reflect on others around us. Reflection helps us realize our past mistakes, as opposed to letting our mistakes bring us down or hinder us from reaching our true potential. Reflection helps us to figure out what we were doing wrong before, and find new ways to correct it. These uncertain times is a huge blessing, as it’s a huge learning tool if we choose to take the time to do it.
I know for myself, when I have time on my hands, and I’m in my quiet time, that’s my most creative moments. In the still of time is when I discover my creativity or my desires to take on new projects that I never would have thought of before. It is in the quiet moments of our thoughts that we ponder our passions, the desires of our heart, and even our bucket list. Reflection and quiet moments unleash these ideas that have been suppressed by life’s overwhelming demands. When we take time to reflect on our lives, we quickly realize what’s important, and what once was is no longer important. It changes our perspective on life. When this occurs, this is the characterization of personal growth.
Have you thought that maybe these uncertain times not only teaches us how we can grow as individuals, but how we can help others also? When we reach out and help others, and look beyond ourselves, this is one of the most selfless acts a human being can do. Helping others has always been a wonderful, compassionate, and rewarding feeling. When we learn to give, rather than receive, it changes us as human beings. Here is yet another reason for all of us to take this time to reflect. When we think of others before ourselves, even in the smallest of ways, you can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Just by a smile or a kind gesture, it changes who we are, and greatly helps the other person. Helping others becomes an act of kindness that is addictive. The more we do it, the better we feel. The better we feel, the more we will continue to do it. And the better others will feel. And soon the act of kindness spreads.
I only have one scripture in my blog today. I ask that all of us reflect on this one scripture in our quiet time because it is only when we trust in the Lord with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our strength, that we will experience His plans for our well-being, and not evil, that will define our future, and the outcome of this pandemic.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible – New International Version (NIV)
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