These pandemic times have awakened high waves of turbulent emotions in many of us. Several feel that their senses’ of normalcy have been taken away from them and they are angry about it. Thus, fractured nerves, illnesses and staggering numbers of death have shaken us all.
But we are not children throwing temper tantrums because some of our comforts are no longer in place. Many are feeling misplaced rage and don’t know who to lash out against. Yet, we are adults who model correct behavior to our children who are silently watching, taking it all in and stuffing our actions into their memory banks.
What type of video are we creating for them? Good footage or earth-shattering footage? Let’s face it, they do emulate us. They do what they see not what we say they should do.
For all we know, this could be the new normal. Hundreds of classics of literature have been written about seismic shifts which forced people to accept unwelcoming changes. The good, old times could be just that. Good memories of times that have floated by.
What will we do? Accept the change and as Gladys Knight and the Pips sang, “Make thebest of a bad situation?” Or will we pout, throw things, scream and destroy the peace of those around us? Perhaps, we should recheck the calendar and year of our births.
Are we babes, teens or adults? Then, as Prince sang, “We should act our age and not our shoe size.” Take a deep breath in, then exhale. We are full-fledged adults and we can act like those who are expected to calm the waves. It is our call.
It is still early in the New Year of 2021. We still have plenty of time to plan to make this a better year. We realize that we cannot control the events surrounding us, but we can become better at choosing our reactions to things.
A former supervisor once reminded us to be ‘less reactive.’ Calm is the key and as we seek low-key responses to world events, we grow and gracefully stretch into our futures.
We could develop some I Will statements and place them around our living quarters. These could serve as daily reminders to stay positive as we jumpstart our new year. Afterall, it is not too late because it is still January!
Here are some suggestions:
I will treat others better.
I will be less judgmental of others’ decisions.
I will not let other people’s choices bother me as much.
I will lean towards a peaceful coexistence and pull away from unnecessary conflicts.
I will try to accept instruction from others, when warranted.
Then, try pushing the pause button. We should compare what we were thinking and feeling this time last year to how we see things now. I bet there has been a drastic adjustment!
We have grown. We will continue to grow. What used to be a source of irritation is almost gone. Yes! So, we vow to forge ahead and emerge as a more undaunted, whole-souled person ready to flow through the world!
There is a coined phrase in literature that speaks of accepting one’s lot. It means that people learn, at some point, to accept their personal missions in life and make the most of things. We are all put here for specific reasons.
We come with our own inner compasses that point us in the direction of our pre-destined purpose for existence. It is buried deep down inside from the beginning but sometimes others’ ideas about our lives may cause us to veer off course. Yet, if we are fortunate enough to survive the detours and regain our footing, we can get back onto the right path.
I was listening to a first grader the other day who is already fascinated with all types of ships. He knows the history of several famous ships, the year some sank and the actions of the captains and crew members in the wake of disaster. I said to him, “You probably will be a great Naval officer someday.”
His inner compass is already leading him in the direction of his charted interests at such an early age. Hopefully, he will not be thwarted and can fulfill those desires that are coming from somewhere deep down within him.
We may sometimes wonder why we did not get what we thought we wanted in life, but as The Rolling Stones remind us, “We get what we need,” in their song You Can’t Always Get What You Want! So, once we stop peering over the fence at our neighbors’ gatherings, we can count our own blessings, review our stockpiles, and say, “Hmm. Not bad. Not bad at all!”
It’s time to take off the rose-colored glasses and see things as they are! We often refuse to clearly see and sometimes squint when the blinding lights of truth roll upon us.
Perhaps, like a stingray, the truth hurts too much. It is easier to flap down our blinders as commercial horses do and pretend that the painful affronts are simply not happening in real-time.
Our childhood brains hide and say, “How could this be?” Could anyone be this mean anddark-spirited?” Then, our second childhood self cries out the unanswerable question, “Why?”
After going through all of that, we safely remove stinger after stinger as reality slowly seeps into our cloudy glasses of water. We quietly admit that there were several red flags posted along the way though we did not want to see those traits flaring up along the journey.
After languishing a while and admitting the inevitable, we wipe our tears, stop shaking our heads and say, “Okay.” As Ray Charles said, “It is what it is.” Or, it may have been James Brown; but both men profoundly called life as each saw it.
We start pouring cleansing waters into our glasses darkly and begin walking towards the newness of life. We add a check mark by that subject matter and whisper “I get it.”
We calmly gather our things, move on and do not bother to look nor glance back. We sing a little happy tune under our breath filtered with the lyrics, “Your loss. My gain!”
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou