Compare wisely before you choose.
No matter who we are, or where we come from, making choices is an undeniable fact of life. If you doubt this look at where you are in your life and ask yourself would your life be what it is, for better or worse, were it not for choices you made. What would your life be like if you couldn't choose. If you really consider this you might be able to appreciate the gift that being able to choose really is. And what would some of the choices we've made look like without the mental faculties of Comparison and Reasoning. Our choices would be made from instinct, a lower order of functioning. Fortunately this is not the case and we can use the ability to choose to determine the life we want because of our free will. This has become more clear over the past few months as our choices have become more limited and for some our free will feels threatened.
When we look at the caricature used as a metaphor in Part l of our ancient stone age ancestors there are some striking similarities to what's happening now. The darkness that has come upon our world in the form of the coronavirus has us all wondering how did this happen and when we'll see the light of happier times?
I think it's safe to say we're still stumbling around in the dark about how to deal with this virus that we can all agree on. This may be the most problematic because of the confusion and uncertainty we feel when looking towards the future. When presented with comparisons, follow recommended guidelines, or put yourself and others at risk of dying, we feel our choices have been limited and don't know if its because of the virus or if the virus is a means of controlling our choices is responsible for some of our stumbling.
These seem to be the emerging ideologies. Remember from last time, "Stay inside and don't go out after dark or you'll be eaten," 'This is the way of the world so this is the way things are done.' Those who didn't listen to reason and chose unwisely were eaten, further reinforcing the ideology that's now based in fear, vs 'Gack didn't know if the night was as dangerous as had been held for generations. Gack, approaching manhood, began venturing out at night.' Like Gack, we are discovering how to find our way in the dark and adapt. This is something humanity does best, adapt. As more is learned about the virus hopefully we can agree on more to move us forward.
The attention is on how to stop the spread the virus and rightfully so. The emotional stress as a result of the guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus has created a darkness of it's own and receives less attention. Loss of work, social activities, schools, money and what comes with these is fear of what will happen. How do you adapt to this? There is no easy answer. If we're open to seeing things differently we can begin to see different choices.
We hear that life won't go back to the way it was. That this is the new normal. Are we comparing the way life was before the virus to what it is now? The contrast is stark indeed. But some people prefer to hold onto the old ways and go about what they do with little alteration as though nothing has changed as they attempt to live life as they always did. This is similar to a step called denial in a process that you may be familiar with, Grieving.
When an individual experiences a loss a grieving process must take place for healing to occur so life can go on for that person. He must learn how to adapt to a life without that which was loss or risk living in a past that is no more. It hasn't been stressed how important it is to mourn our losses, some of which have been significant for many of us. Perhaps the desire to hold on to a past of what was, hoping the virus will be over and we'll return to our old life, is causing much of our emotional distress in the form of unrecognized grief. To grieve loss is to acknowledge and accept the change so we can heal and adapt. When you look at the characteristics of grief, then compare characteristics to your own experiences of loss; Loss of work, relatives, friends, income, places of social gatherings or whatever your loss may be the more you can understand the connection to the emotional distress one may be experiencing.
Stages of Grief
Shock or Disbelief
- Acceptance and Hope
Perhaps as a nation, as a world, we need to allow ourselves to grieve our loss by addressing the mental health crisis brought about by loss indicated by sharp rises in depression, anxiety, suicide, domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse and substance abuse that have become emotional reactions to the losses brought about by coronavirus. We must now mourn, allow ourselves to grieve and adapt. We must regain and maintain our mental and emotional stability so we can see other possibilities.
Remember, 'When the truth on which an ideology is based is no longer true then the ideology becomes an illusion supported by those who cling to a past that is no more and become imprisoned by it,' or worse. Life as we know it has passed.
Already there are those who through innovation and invention have found ways to adapt and thrive. Do you have ideas that can help others, fill a need or bring joy? This is a time your gifts and skills are most needed because as we help others we help ourselves.
Allow yourself to grief the loss of the life that was before. Become innovative and adapt to the changing environment. Learn new skills, develop new ways of doing things. Share with others, bring joy to others, fill a need. For example, I learned of a unique approach to schooling. It's called Microschooling. Basically, families form pods of several families in a neighborhood and rotate homeschooling where parents alternate work and teaching days.
More opportunities will present themselves as technology bends to meet the changing needs and we continue to rely on Comparing (contrast) and reasoning to arrive at the choices we make.
"You have need of contrast only here. Contrast and differences are necessary teaching aids, for by them you learn what to avoid and what to seek. When you have learned this, you will find the answer that makes the need for any difference disappear (ACIM.13.Xl.6.267).
To reach this place we must compare and choose wisely. Discovery, innovation and invention (creativity) is how humanity has survived and flourished because it is the nature of the human spirit.
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