What I have observed as we emerge from the Pandemic:
I am struck by the amount of grief we are all carrying around.
No matter how you have felt about Covid-19, here is a reality: We as culture have 1. dealt with Covid-19, 2. with the reaction to Covid-19, and 3. with the reaction to the reaction of Covid-19 (credit to my longest of friends Brad for this observation)
This caldron of emotions we have all been stewing in has had a deep effect on us. I have seen over the past month, as we all start to emerge, and I see more and more folks that are grieving and carrying so many things with them.
They are carrying:
Low trust for others
General distaste for people
A need to detox from the amounts of food and alcohol they have consumed
And the list goes on and on
When we carry these things, we don’t feel like we fully live.
And we want to live. So many are seeking to change something that is outside of them hoping it will trickle down to the changing where the real pain lies - inside of them.
I in no way are immune to this pattern. I have come to realize through as series of events, that am a grieving. I am grieving what has changed, what is changing, heck, even the things that will change in the days ahead.
In the midst of all this, remember that we are all experiencing this and the grief will be expressed in different ways by folks.
Some will make rash decisions to abandon their old life, and cut ties with old friends, old connections in hopes that new friends and new connections will heal the grief.
Some will lash out at those that are nearby, hoping that by putting another person in their place will somehow bring alignment to their own heart.
Some will introduce a break in the most important relationships in their lives. They think, “It has to be this relationship that is causing me the pain.” (we are seeing a spike in divorces rates)
Some will double down and at all costs want to move back to the way things were before the pandemic started. They will march over others grief to avoid their own grief, all in the name of reclaiming that which was lost.
Some will even chase down wild conspiracy theories in hopes that somewhere the real truth is out there and it will unlock the door that will help bypass having to grieve themselves.
Robert Frost once said, “the best way out is always through.”
We have to go through this grief.
Say it with me, “I am hurting, I am grieving, I am mad, I am sad, I am….”
Also say, “I will walk through this.”
We are living in this grief.
We must go through it, not try to go around it.
I have been returning to a Peter Block quote as of late. Block says:
Too many leadership initiatives or programs are begun with a sales and marketing mindset : How do we seduce people to sign up and feel good about doing things they may not want to do? Real change, however, is a self-inflicted wound. People need to self-enroll in order to experience their freedom and commitment.
From Community: The Structure of Belonging (p. 118).
Real change is a self-inflicted wound. You must self enroll.
You must say I am in.
With that reality in mind, hear these words of Jesus:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
From The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Mt 11:28–30).
Grace and peace to you all.