Today I was supposed to be on my annual girls’ trip with my girls sipping coffee or wine on a terrace in the sun in some beautiful place around the world rating the men who were passing by (yes, that’s our idea of having fun :P). We planned for this for months, the same as we do each year. Only that this time, it all remained just a fantasy.
Does this make us feel miserable, deprived of what we think we’re entitled to, sad, frustrated? No. Because the underlying reason for our connection is that we enjoy spending time together. So, in these (unimaginable before) times of a pandemic, we moved our interaction in online more than we did in the past. The quality of our togetherness didn’t suffer, we’re just using different means.
Social distancing doesn’t equal disconnection. It is, dare I say, the strongest form of connection we can use now to show our support for the humankind. It almost has a tent of defiant attitude: we accept willingly to stay isolated to fight this threat as we are all in this together.
Then why is it so difficult to do it? Other generations had more challenging situations to go through and we’re just asked to stay at home. Still, we struggle to cope with this situation because in the modern days being always busy and in a rush is seen as a sign of personal value, even aliveness.
We’re more inclined to DO, to ACTION, rather than to just BE. We’re uncomfortable spending time with ourselves. Once we understand the futility of our priorities each day, who is willing to face their own demons and live in peace with themselves without the recognition they get for their actions from outside?
Whilst making plans and knowing the direction of where your life is heading to brings some sort of relief and a sense of control to one’s mind, how you REACT to what life is throwing at you is far more important to your mental health and the quality of your life in general.
It is a time of great sorrow, but also a wake-up call to reset and revalue our beliefs and priorities.
Having this new baseline, who doesn’t see the things we were complaining about in the past in a different light? The annoying daily commute which was a time when you could have let your mind wander before the day kicked in, the office banter, the calls from your parents that were rather a must to than a want to, cooking a meal? All the things that we usually took for granted and didn’t actually appreciate.
Instead of an ending, I let you here a story that circulates in social media for you to draw your own conclusions and build your resilience in these difficult times for all of us.
A poor man lived with his wife and six children in a very small one-room house. They were always getting in each other’s way and there was so little space they could hardly breathe!
Finally, the man could stand it no more. He talked to his wife and asked her what to do. “Go see the rabbi,” she told him, and after arguing a while, he went.
The rabbi greeted him and said, “I see something is troubling you. Whatever it is, you can tell me.”
And so, the poor man told the rabbi how miserable things were at home with him, his wife, and the six children all eating and living and sleeping in one room. The poor man told the rabbi, “We’re even starting to yell and fight with each other. Life couldn’t be worse.”
The rabbi thought very deeply about the poor man’s problem. Then he said, “Do exactly as I tell you and things will get better. Do you promise?”
“I promise,” the poor man said.
The rabbi then asked the poor man a strange question. “Do you own any animals?”
“Yes,” he said. “I have one cow, one goat, and some chickens.”
“Good,” the rabbi said. “When you get home, take all the animals into your house to live with you.”
The poor man was astonished to hear this advice from the rabbi, but he had promised to do exactly what the rabbi said. So, he went home and took all the farm animals into the tiny one-room house.
The next day the poor man ran back to see the rabbi. “What have you done to me, Rabbi?” he cried. “It’s awful. I did what you told me and the animals are all over the house! Rabbi, help me!”
The rabbi listened and said calmly, “Now go home and take the chickens back outside.”
The poor man did as the rabbi said but hurried back again the next day. “The chickens are gone, but Rabbi, the goat!” he moaned. “The goat is smashing up all the furniture and eating everything in sight!”
The good rabbi said, “Go home and remove the goat and may God bless you.”
So, the poor man went home and took the goat outside. But he ran back again to see the rabbi, crying and wailing. “What a nightmare you have brought to my house, Rabbi! With the cow it’s like living in a stable! Can human beings live with an animal like this?”
The rabbi said sweetly, “My friend, you are right. May God bless you. Go home now and take the cow out of your house.” And the poor man went quickly home and took the cow out of the house.
The next day he came running back to the rabbi again. “O Rabbi,” he said with a big smile on his face, “we have such a good life now. The animals are all out of the house. The house is so quiet and we’ve got room to spare! What a joy!” (www.beliefnet.com)
Be resilient and stay safe!
Lots of love,