I recently started re-reading the book “Let Your Life Speak” by parker J. Palmer. I’m still only in the first chapter, but I’ve had to stop multiple and meditate on what I’m taking in.
What’s resonating with me within the context of getting used to living life in the middle of a pandemic that doesn’t seem to be slowing it’s spread of a potentially deadly virus is a line from the opening chapter, “Ask me whether what I have done is my life.” It is from the poem ASK Me by William Stafford.
The past four months of isolation, social isolation, and more spare time that I ever cared to have has help me with doing a lot of soul searching. If and when this pandemic is over we’ll all be facing a future that is significantly different. A number of restaurants and eateries have closed, some of our favourite clothing and department stores have shut down for good, people are still working from home, and many people have ended up unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on businesses.
If your job, material goods, and your leisure activities defined you – who are you once those things are no longer available?
Isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and endless online meetings have revealed our weaknesses and our strengths. The rapid changes that have taken place are an opportunity to re-evaluate one’s life.
Some simple questions to ask one’s self:
-What have I missed the most?
-What have I missed the least?
-What are some new ways of doing things that I enjoy or like?
-What are some old ways of doing things that I hope we don’t return to?
-What are some new skills I’ve learned over the past few months?
-What has my outlook been like? Hopeful, anxious, confused, grief-filled, resistant, disbelieving, etc.
If you haven’t taken some quiet time for internal reflection during this COVID-19 pandemic, I encourage you to do so. It’s not a time to beat yourself up or make extreme unattainable goals; it’s simply a time to reflect on what you’ve been feeling, thinking, and doing during these times of instability and rapid changes.
Whatever your reflections reveal, remember to be kind and gentle with yourself.