Here we are at the end of the year. The holiday season. The season for giving, for reflecting, for being thankful and grateful for what we have. Usually, it’s not too difficult to come up with at least a few things to be grateful for.
This year is different. This year is like no other in recent history. It’s been kind of a tough year for everyone. Gratitude may be hard to come by for many of us.
When the virus, SARS-CoV-2, was officially named and given pandemic status, it certainly made some heads turn and increased interest. However, at the beginning, there wasn’t much fear, and no one really thought that ~9 months later we would still be quarantining, home schooling, masking, and experiencing complete disruption to our daily lives.
But we are. This is exactly where we are.
The pandemic has taken so much from us…jobs, loved ones, hopes, plans, futures, homes, friends, family, and a sense of something to be grateful for.
All of this is true, AND…
There may another way to view the pandemic, another way to look at what’s happening that offers hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, something to strive for.
Perhaps the pandemic is actually a gift. A gift for each and every one of us and for the world as a whole.
How can this be possible?
My thoughts about this were stimulated by many of my friends, neighbors, and family worrying about their children falling behind academically because of the pandemic. The inconsistency of schooling and the difficulties of online classrooms, the lack of socializing…are all contributing to their concerns that their kids aren’t going to stay up to speed with what they’re supposed to be learning in school.
At the same time, they also have a fundamental desire for their children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults that are able to function well in the world.
Here’s my thought:
What if this year isn’t about kids learning algebra or geometry or social studies or science or poetry? What if all of that isn’t as important as we think?
What if this year is about teaching our kids how to deal with difficulty, ambiguity, and uncertainty? What if it’s about teaching our kids how to recognize, name, and be okay with difficult emotions?
What if this year is about allowing our kids to feel what they feel, teaching them that it’s okay to not be happy all of the time? What if this year is about teaching them that it’s okay feel sad, lonely, or angry?
What if this year is about teaching our kids how to be curious, not fearful?
These are TRUE life skills.
What if this year is about YOU experiencing, and modeling, how to feel angry, anxious, or fearful AND still be grateful?
What if this year is about you being the role model for your children that you want to be? What if this year is about showing them an example of the grown-up you hope they become?
What if what Mother Nature has given us is the time to figure out what’s truly important to us as individuals, as parents, as children (because we are all children of someone), as neighbors, as family members?
What if she has given us the space to learn to be vulnerable and authentic?
What might happen if we all take this time that has been offered to really see ourselves in a way that we haven’t before? What might happen if we take this time to allow ourselves to be truly seen?
What could happen if we take the time, and build the courage, to not look away from the hard stuff, the stuff we don’t like about ourselves? About the world?
What might the outcome be of becoming more conscious of who we are at our core, unleashing our authentic selves?
What if we ALL take this time to become more human?
What a gift.
What if we ALL embrace this gift to become more human, to teach our children how to be more human?
What a gift.
What can the post-pandemic world look like if we all become more human?
What a gift.
Maybe Mother Nature has given us the ultimate gift…the chance to make the world the better place we want to see, we want to live in, and we want our children to grow into.
The pandemic just might be a gift. Just a thought.
Yvette Costa — CPC, MBA, is a Team Dynamics Coach + Consultant. Her passion is to help create teams that are HIP — Happy in Place — by leveraging the science of happiness, positive psychology, and yogic principles to create a positive mindset and increase emotional intelligence.