Friday, June 5, 2020
LEARNING TO COPE
What exactly does it mean to cope? We're not talking about mere day-to-day issues like running late or being stuck in traffic. We're talking about being "stuck" in life. Our normal movement and flow has been interrupted.
When the "stay at home" orders were issued, I was like 'stay at home?' What in the world does that mean? It didn't take long for me to understand that whatever that meant for my life, your life, our lives, we were being commanded to shelter in place. However much I didn't like it, I had to make the adjustment to live in a different way, and we are still doing that to a great degree.
Coping with such swift and strange change has challenged our psyche and strength, both of which we had no choice in deciding to do or not to do. But, let's take a closer look at that:
C: Creative change. I don't mean creative in the sense of being "artsy". I mean that unusual times open up opportunites for us to think creatively in the sense of doing things in a new way, and maybe even in a better way. We have to search for ideas that work for us, and that will bring the results we need. Perhaps, we had never considered certain changes before, but now they make sense for our lives and livelihood.
O: Opportunities abound. We are either going to be overwhelmed, or we are going to seek out opportunities to make life work by any means necessary. Every opportunity isn't necessarily a gateway to a big success, but it can be a short path to meet the needs of the day, and tomorrow. Right now, even the little wins are big wins when you're making the effort to manage through difficult times.
P: Patience is a must. This morning I saw a live news story where hundreds and hundreds of vehicles were lined up to get food baskets. It was a picture of patience at it's best and worst. Individuals and families waiting for food, and I imagined waiting even more so for life to change and get back to some kind of normal. That was only one scene among the many deeply painful and personal stories happening now, requiring us to wait out the uncertainty but finality of the pandemic. It's going to take all of the emotional intelligence we can muster, and inner strength that we've never drawn on before. Our patient levels are being pushed to the maximum. It's a muscle we must develop and make stronger for our own health, wealth and well-being.
E: Endurance. When I think of endurance, I think of the perseverence and prowess it takes to win at anything that's tough. Are we going to be winners at coming through a crisis that has entered our world and is testing our very existence? We can be, if we commit to doing so! Coping means that we put our best effort into arriving at the finish line, regardless of where we are in the race. That finish line will look different for everyone, but remember: coping means staying in the race until you get there. Endure! ~ S.R.F.
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