Navigating the holiday season is challenging—gathering with family members and revisiting complicated relationships, seasonal depression, processing your year and being isolated by the cold. But the holiday season post-ish-Covid-19 is all of those things plus an added layer and it’s made the holiday season this year feel a little eerie. The remnants of what we endured during covid are still here; all of the uncovering and revealing that took place and our collective trauma and experiences of loss. what’s next for us as a Country is still very unknown—let alone as individuals. Covid has forced so much of what was repressed to the surface. The great resignation for example, has forced us as a collective to confront power imbalance and power abuse in virtually every industry. Pre-Covid, life was running us into the ground and many abuses were simply normalized, but now that we’ve confronted them all, now that we’ve shone a light on what we never thought was possible, where do we go from here? Covid hasn’t gone anywhere but our public leaders are still pushing us into this ‘new normal’, but what is normal after what we just experienced? We dismantled the table, but what do we create with the wood now? On top of that we have the new Covid Omicron Variant as an oncoming threat which just adds to our uncertain and unknown future as individuals and as a collective.
Covid is a New Unknown But Our Aversion to the Unknown is Not
So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, it’s because there’s a lot to be overwhelmed by. This Covid unknown is new but our aversion to the unknown is not. Pre-Covid we were running ourselves raggedy and enduring all the abuses that are true to the nature of capitalism but at least we knew what was next, right? The answer to that isn’t as obvious as you may think…
If your only two choices were to either have a certain future that was bleak or to have an uncertain future with many possibilities good and/or bad which one would you choose? The future with many possibilities seems like an obvious choice, but goes against our nature as people. A sense of familiarity appeals to our desire for safety and we are more inclined than not to choose the devil we know.
Control What You Can Control
How do we discover our own normal while the world is still trying to find theirs? How do we root ourselves in the present? How do we uncover a sense of stability in the midst of the unknown? The short answer to this question is with gratitude (and a daily routine). For me, Gratefulness has been my cure. Practicing gratitude and utilizing a daily routine are the gift that keep on giving. The things that gratefulness has shown me are honestly humbling. Here are a few:
A lack of Gratitude Will Have You Missing Your Answered Prayers
It took me practicing gratitude for me to grasp that…I am literally living my dream right now, can you believe it?! Before beginning a gratitude practice I literally didn’t realize it, and I just wonder how many answered prayers and dreams-realized go unnoticed, by not practicing gratitude each day. Our tendency is to hope, to wish, to pray and then once our prayers are answered and our wishes come true we don’t stop to enjoy them or say thank you. Sometimes we don’t even notice them. Why? At it’s root is a lack of self-worth, and we can find this sense of self worth in gratitude. For example:
I am enough, I have enough
‘Gratitude is a practice in enoughness’ is a saying I learned in one of my yoga classes, and it really struck me. When I am grateful for who I am–I am enough; my body is enough, my hair is enough, my skin is enough, my life is enough.
Achievements Don’t Gift Us With Long Term Feelings
Another reason that I did not realize that I was living my dreams (other than gratitude and hoping and wishing for so long that my hard work paid off snuck up on me) was because I wanted my achievements and lifestyle to help me appreciate myself and my life but achievement and lifestyle upgrades don’t do that; perspective, a daily/nightly routine, gratefulness and the Spirit of God do that (these worked for me). Joy is something that comes from you not to you, and it takes intentional work; on your dreams, relationships, self and relationship with God.
So while we are waiting for the uncertainty of Covid-19 to end–through gratefulness, routine and intentionality we still have the opportunity to find our normal and inner stability.