There you are with all the balls of your life lined up, in nice even rows, exactly where you want them, or at least where you expect them to be on the pool table of life. And then wham! Along comes the Universe, playing snooker with our reality. The Covid 19 white ball smashes into your life, balls fly everywhere and there they are all still rolling around the table and bouncing off each other, and who knows what will happen. Most kinds of world events, like hurricanes, even wars, affect a smaller number of people than what is happening now. Covid is global, and it affects everyone. All of our lives have been changed by invisible flying viruses that hang in droplets in the air for ridiculous amounts of time and can be lurking on solid surfaces waiting to connect with the unwary. Thus, we have taken refuge in our homes, venturing out only when absolutely necessary, locked down while we wait and see what happens.
Many of us hanker for what was, and can’t wait to resume our old lives. But will we? Or has the game changed forever? Will the balls ever line up in the same way as before? Change has most definitely already occurred. Dramatic as external change can be, the internal response to change is sometimes harder and more important. And it can take longer to move through than the changes that have happened in the physical world, like closed businesses, kids off school and supply chain interruptions.
Recently I read a really good book called The Wisdom of Transition by Cheryl Benedict. She wrote it pre-covid but it is so applicable it’s really amazing. She talks about the emotional toll that change brings, particularly when we did not choose it ourselves. She likens the experience to any other where we have a big shock. It is like a kind of death, which we need to grieve. For many people who now find themselves unemployed, or business owners who have gone under, this is helpful to know. She speaks of a downward curve after things as we knew it ended, landing us in a foggy, in between phase.
She says: (P61) “..After the anger and blame phase comes the inevitable worry – you’ve been hit with the loss of your security, your status perhaps, and even the temporary loss of your positive self-esteem. In this phase, there can be a lot of raw fear: Will I ever be okay again? Is there something wrong with me? I am distracted and forgetful – will I ever feel like me again?”. She says that this phase can result in loss of energy, sadness, exhaustion and feeling depleted, and lacking the self confidence to tackle what’s next.
The foggy, in-between stage is characterized by lack of clarity. We cannot know what is coming next. It is only with acceptance first that we can then begin to explore other options and have insights that will lead to new discoveries. Eventually we have engagement in a new beginning and the transition is done. Don’t overlook the importance of your feelings during this time, and if you are experiencing loss and confusion, you are not alone nor are you going crazy. You are experiencing a significant transition. Benedict recommends finding inner space for yourself, and I suggest that you sign up for meditation classes which are often free online. Find your spirit and this will help you reclaim your place in a changed world.