All of a sudden life has gotten a lot simpler for all of us.
Our very busy schedules have been paired down and now even our livelihoods may be at risk. The lifestyle we’ve been accustomed to is drastically changing before our eyes.
As a result of this involuntary process, we feel scared, vulnerable and isolated because we’ve been told to stay inside, and at least 6 ft away from others in order to not become infected. So we can no longer mix and mingle with our friends in the social ways we have been accustomed to. Now, we stick to our phones and our TVs to learn about what’s going on in the world.
And what we find there isn’t pretty; it can be depressing and anxiety provoking because it is content that is focused on the chaos that seems to be happening all around us. And what we focus on, we create more of.
What will our lives be like now? It’s hard to say.
Time seems to stand still and at other times proceeds at such a rapid pace; suns rise and set. And it’s really quiet outside, have you noticed? When I wake up in the morning and am greeted with choruses of birds, it reminds me to feel grateful for nature and all the beauty that surrounds us everyday.
But this virus, COVID-19, in many ways is just one virus that is circulating. There are other viruses out there that need to be addressed: toxic greed, hoarding, fear, self -centeredness and denial. I’ve seen people in grocery stores sneering at each other, vying for position in the checkout lines as well as the last roll of TP.
Really? If (God forbid) these were to be your final days, this is what you would do? This is the mark we want to leave as a testament to who we are as a people? We aren’t children any more folks. We are better than this.
The fact that we are all connected, biologically, spiritually, psychologically and socially now is an obvious fact. But if I had said this to any one of my clients in therapy sessions prior to this crisis, some would discount my thoughts and attempt to denigrate them as those of a “liberal”, “naïve or childish”, “ignorant , “silly” , “unrealistic” and on and on. The truth is that this virus doesn’t care if we are Republican or Democrat, who we want for President, what resources we have, what color our skin is or where we are in social circles. It has really leveled the playing field for all of us. We are seen for who we really are ; human beings who have a choice as to how to react to all of this.
What we do now, as individuals and as communities, will say so much about us as a race. This is a turning point in all of our lives. It will define us. What do we stand for? Who are we?
I see this virus as a blessing in disguise. It can bring us stark clarity if we are open to it. We can put down our defenses and accept that we are all the same here, needing food, supplies, love, attention, respect, hope and forgiveness. There are no differences. We are not enemies. No one loses here if we all realize that we are the same.
So I advocate that regardless of the reception you get from other people, put those feelings aside and give as much as you can of yourself.Don’t think about what you’re not getting back. It’s not about you. It’s about us now. All of us, a very large family. Just give all that you can.
Don’t hide, step out and act! Do something for someone else. There is something to be done for everyone.What are you able to give? Seek out someone who needs it and give.Because the more you give the more you will inevitably gain.
The others you see around you need you. Look in their eyes, you can see their need.They may be lonely, isolated, scared, confused, worried. Give them your time and attention. Just like you, they matter.
Ask them what they need and give what you can- your caring words, your comfort, your patience, your smiles, your compassion, your heart. This is what human beings gladly do for each other. Let’s go down in history for doing this.
Our humanity is what we have to offer each other now.
We are together in all of this.We are they.They are you.
Please take care of yourselves and your neighbors.
Elisa M. Thomas MA LMFT
3960 Executive Park Blvd., #3
Southport, NC 28461
(910)446-3697(leave a message)
BTW, my giving will be offering everyone 50 minute psychotherapy sessions if you need to talk to someone at a 50% reduction in my fees for either individual or couples counseling from March 19th-April 19th. The 50 minute session will cost $50 and can be paid with credit cards cash or check. We can do it either as telephone therapy or in person therapy (6 ft distancing required) at my office in Southport.
Just go online at www.southportfamilytherapy.com and click on the Schedule an Appointment button. Then pick the type of session and time that works for you. I will be in touch with you once I receive your information.