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Keeping Our Center ~ Day 104

I’ve decided that our progression through this pandemic is a lot like the five stages of grief: denial, anger bargaining, depression and acceptance. Of course, as research has shown, this is not a linear process. One can jump back and forth between these stages for a long time. 

Think about it. Our country denied that it could ever get bad here; people deny that it is any different than the flu; some believe it will never happen to them; and some believe the worst is over so why wear a mask?

Anger came out with a vengeance when people screamed that their rights and freedoms were being taken from them, so they protested with weapons and veiled threats of anarchy.

Then there is the bargaining. Well, if I wear a mask can I go to the store, or get my hair cut, or re-open my business? If we promise to stand far enough away can we go to bars and restaurants and re-open the churches?

I’ve seen a lot of depression expressed as loneliness, lack of motivation, sadness, tiredness, and a desire to eat copious amounts of ice cream (has anyone else noticed the consistently empty shelves in the ice cream section?)

Occasionally, and perhaps with a little more frequency as time goes on, we have moments, maybe even hours or days, of acceptance. At these times we admit that this is where we are and do our best to make the most of every day.

So, what’s my point? First, it helps to be aware of the different emotions we’re feeling and to recognize that they are entrenched in this changing environment. We will probably go round and round with denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance more than once as the days creep by. Second, each one of us handles this bundle of conflicting emotions differently, so strive to be kind, understanding, and compassionate. Third, no one wants this to be our new normal. Not me. Not you. No one. But that will not change the reality that things will be different for quite a while.

Finally, I believe acceptance and a sense of peace comes as we let go more and more of what we want, and embrace more and more of what we have. Truly, we still have each other, and life is still inherently good.

Love & Light!