A Pandemic Might Just be the Greatest Opportunity to Learn Appreciation
Driving home the other night, I was struck by the beauty of snow laced trees and the emptiness of the highway. The first a normal winter scene and the second, not.
10 months into the pandemic normal and abnormal continue to weave through our lives.
Separately, they each give rise to similar circumstances but different feelings. Gently falling snow, accumulating on the spruce trees to paint a beautiful picture. Quiet, still, solitary.
The empty highway, devoid of other vehicles, no tracks to follow, no lights. Quiet, still, alone.
Each serve as examples of life's contrasts, in and out of a pandemic, and we have good reason to be grateful for all of them.
Contrasts are simply markers of "full on living"
I have come to think of these contrasts, especially as they show up in our own experiences, as "full on living".
There were days following the deaths of my sister and then mother where it was all I could do to get out of bed and face what awaited me. Contrast this with the company of friends around the dinner table, enjoying delicious food and great conversation. Ends of the spectrum for which I am grateful because I can claim the emotional richness.
Those who have come to accept the gifts of life challenges, often express gratefulness and appreciation for what they offer. Weathering what Shakespeare termed “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” they see things from a different vantage point.
Swimming in both ends of the emotional pool, so to speak, comes an understanding of what we are capable, if we choose.
None of us wants the challenges life hands out. Life changing illness, deaths, job loss, relationship troubles or yes, even a pandemic. Whatever knocks us sideways and sometimes down. Who would? Nobody of course.
And yet, once we begin to face them, we realize that who we are as a person grows and changes. If we allow it. Or, we can adopt the “poor me mentality” and cast ourselves as never-ending victim. The wonder of a day, and our lives, escapes us.
The benefits of rising above life challenges
So what are the benefits of moving through and rising above the knock down, drag out matches between you and this thing we call living?
First, self reliance. This is when you can find and develop the emotional strength to pull yourself through another minute, hour or day of your personal hell.
Secondly, self love. Where you give yourself kindness and acceptance and learn it is possible to look for and ask for the help you need.
It is about expressing, even if only to yourself, just how angry, sad or hurt you are and yes, rage at the world for all it's unfairness; then rising above.
Tough times give us, if we let them, full permission to feel it all.
To be so sad you will cry more tears than you thought you could. So lonely in a relationship you ache. To be so isolated that you wish just one person would look you in the eye, and say and mean, how are you? And for them to be comfortable enough to sit and listen while you tell them.
Thirdly, we find kindness and compassion for others and ourselves. Life altering events, and they are life altering, teach us how to start determining and defining who we really are at the deepest levels and how to honour ourselves by accepting nothing less.
It is from the contrasts that we find potential and beauty
If the best of times could give us full access to all the growth possible and needed, I would sign up. The reality though, is that life is a series of contrasts. Without them, everything would take on the greyness of a rain-soaked day.
A rainbow is beautiful because of its range of colours and we appreciate them because they are infrequent.
Navigating life's storms means challenging yourself to view situations in the frame of what you can do, not what you can't.
To see choices and opportunities to make your life or business better.
I have come far on this journey of life and the pandemic has given me yet more chances to come to know myself, what I want and how to find appreciation even in this most unusual time.
What our lives become is up to us, even as we confront the challenges of being on this earth.
You can decide to allow growth and possibility into your life, even while accepting it will come at the cost of some type of change and transition.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. To fully realize the benefits of full on living, means the willingness to experience and live it all.
Is that you?
If you're a business owner are you ready to finally, fully set yourself up for success without falling prey to the smoke and mirrors of stories in which there are no contrasts?
Contrast exists, for everyone. Life or business . The challenge and opportunity at the same time about how you choose to move forward.
I've been called a truth seer and truth teller. If you're an entrepreneur ready to dive in, do the work and appreciate the beauty of the entire spectrum as you create the business and life of your choosing, let's chat.
Here's a link to a 30 minute complimentary call, if you'd like to see if we're a fit to work together.
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