It’s no secret that life is a little crazy in nearly all corners of the world at the moment. Social media and the news showing chaos and panic, gloom and doom. I had to shut it all off because I was spending way too much time focusing on the troubles. Some bad news in my personal life last Friday was the last straw and I went tumbling head first into a dark and scary place. I lost my perspective and was sure that my world was all screwed up for the foreseeable future. The rational side of me knows better. Bad news is temporary. Even good news is temporary, let’s be real!
Something that bothers me about the news around this pandemic is that so many are focused on what we perceive to be lost. It’s easy to live in that space; I spent several days there last week. When I feel chaos, I search for information and in this case, all the information I found was negative. It didn’t help that I spent all day Friday focused on work and my own issues and how awful it all was FOR ME. That evening I went to the grocery store only to find it cleaned out as if they were preparing for a remodel. Fear and panic took an even tighter hold on my heart. My thoughts of oh boy, this is bad went to how will I survive and how did I not see this coming? I’m not proud to say that the fear and panic stayed with me for much of the weekend. The turning point may have been a post on social media that was so exaggerated, I laughed right out loud at it. Maybe it was the laughter. Or recognizing that I had been nearly as fearful and panicked; this person was simply putting words to it publicly. I shut off notifications and turned off the TV. I went outside and sat in the sunshine. Read a book. Connected with friends via text. My attitude started turning more positive almost immediately.
Today I’m able to focus on what’s going well instead of just the negative. More time to connect in small groups, being encouraged to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Looking out for our older loved ones and neighbors. What if, through all this chaos and doom, we find ourselves more compassionate, connected and in community? Let’s add some positive energy to the world and watch what happens. Let’s try compassion for the people who are buying out the grocery store in fear, instead of looking at them with contempt. Maybe we can turn the tide of fear and panic into peace. What’s the worst that can happen? We “only” change our own perspective? I think it always starts one and grows. It is at least worth a try because the alternative is not taking us anywhere I want to be!
Be well, stay positive and take care of yourselves and each other! If you can, go out and ride – it’s good for your mental health and as a bonus meets the social isolation guidelines too!