What if ? Lessons from the pandemic.

I’ve been going back and forth about what the content of this blog post should be. I’ve been thinking about what message I want to convey and what my intent behind it would be. As I sit on my couch on this sunny Sunday, I find myself inspired by the current events going on and the unprecedented times that the world is facing right now. My perception of how the human race is being impacted and how I’ve been impacted directly consume my daily thoughts. I’ve thought, why is this happening and why is it happening now? I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. Following are my thoughts.

First, I’d like to start off by saying that I’m a big believer in that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that there is a positive to every negative, no matter how miniscule that positive may seem. So I started to think, what if? What if there’s a bigger message behind the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, what’s the message that we humans haven’t gotten up until this point? Is the message so big that it takes millions of people getting sick and thousands dying for us to receive it? Maybe so. But I also think that the message is simple. The message that I’ve gotten from all of this is to pause, and that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

It’s a safe bet to say that we as people are always on the go. Whether it’s going to work, dropping the kids off at school, heading to recitals or soccer games, or maybe a work event, or just to the gym or out to dinner with friends. We don’t stop, or if/when we do, we’re glued to our electronic devices or the television. We’re in a constant state of motion without taking time to enjoy the simple things in life. You know, spending quality time with our families, engaging in fun that’s tied to being outside or a board game instead of a video game or a mobile device. Taking a walk and literally stopping to smell the flowers. Or let’s take it even further, carving out quality time with ourselves. Think about that for a moment and answer this question truthfully. When was the last time you took some time to sit with yourself? To really get in tune and in alignment with who you are as a person? Most will probably answer that they never have and some will say that they’ve been meaning to or plan to do it tomorrow or next week. Now don’t get me wrong, the intent of this question isn’t to point fingers, it’s to bring things into perspective and hopefully start an open dialogue about the importance of self-love, self-care and self-awareness. The point is that as a result of this pandemic, we’re all being forced to stay home and stay put. Coincidence? I think not. 

Now let’s talk about how we’ve been using this time. I have to say that it’s been great to see everyone’s creative and innovative side come to the forefront. I’ve seen families come together to do puzzles, some folks reaching out to family and friends that they haven’t chatted with in a while and I’ve also seen some pretty epic dance moves too lol. I’ve also seen some people take this time to work on themselves and their aspirations, which is great! Whether you realize it or not, the things that you have been doing during this time are fueling who you are as a person, the things that you value most. You see, when we have just about everything stripped away from us, we are left to sit with ourselves, which prompts introspection. The things that you have been doing during this time are things that truly make you happy. Sit with that for a second. Because we no longer have the hustle and bustle of life distracting us or taking time away from us to engage in what we would otherwise say that we don’t have time for, we’re able to take a deep dive within and invest our time into things that really feed our soul. We’ve also been forced to see that tomorrow is not always promised and because of that, we need to take advantage of the precious time that we do have and spend it doing things that bring us joy. You may be saying, so what? Why is this important? Well, I’ll tell you why.

Everything that we do, every decision that we make, every choice, is a reflection of who we are as a person. Without taking the time to get to know ourselves, it’s difficult to understand and/or verbalize why we like what we like or why we dislike what we dislike. This level of understanding is important to how we navigate our daily lives…how we treat others, how we perceive things, how we love or don’t love, how we nurture, how we hurt, and so on. The more we learn about ourselves, the easier it is to be comfortable in our skin without seeking validation from others. Also, it becomes easier to love, help, understand and be kind to others. You’re more apt to judge less and love more. And let’s face it, the world can definitely use a lot more love right about now. 

You see, everything starts with you! Everyone has a story, and living without the fear of understanding your story and how it got you to where and who you are today, is imperative to how you move forward in life. This is why I believe that what we are enduring right now is crucial to how we live our lives once we get through this (and we will get through this!) I believe that the hope for us moving forward is to not take anything for granted and to pause more to enjoy the simple things in life, the things that truly matter to us, the things that we are discovering right now in this very moment. I also believe that the hope is that we don’t put off the things that we want to do in our life, that we do them while we have the breathe to do so. 

What’s happening in the world right now is a lesson for us all. It’s a giant reminder that any of us can be gone in the blink of an eye, and that we truly need to seize the moment of each and every day that we wake up above ground. So take this time and use it to do some self-reflection and soul searching, and once we emerge from the other side of this pandemic, I urge you to move forward in your life by doing the things that you have always wanted to do, perhaps it’s something that is completely outside of your comfort zone? Whatever it is, just do it! You don’t want to get to the end of your life wondering, what if?

~ Kiesha