Change involves both losses and gains. We have all had losses due to the pandemic and grief abounds, frequently manifesting in anger and denial, two potent stages of the grieving process. Change brings gains as well as losses, and choosing to focus on positive aspects can improve how we manage our emotions and the way we interact with others and the planet. A friend once emailed me two line poem by Rumi that shifted my perspective and was helpful in moving me through a devastating loss:
“The barn burned down.
Now I can see the moon.”
We need to acknowledge our grief and anger, but not make them our default positions. Dwelling on situations we are powerless over only increases our anxiety. Where our power lies is in the thoughts we choose, the attitude we adopt about what is happening, and the actions we take. Acceptance is also part of the grief process and to get there we need to let go of believing that things should be the way they used to be. And while it often takes considerable effort to intentionally choose a new perspective and direction, it opens us to new possibilities of healing, joy, and appreciation.
“Times of transition are strenuous but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want.” Kristin Armstrong (three-time Olympic Gold Medalist)