The struggle isn’t all there is. But, the struggle is all we see. When there are layers of brain fog, opportunities remain hidden, and they cannot reveal themselves to us.
When we only focus on the struggle, albeit pain, fear, anxiety, heartbreak, etc. then we don’t leave any room to notice the tiny openings of possibilities. It’s through the struggle where we will find opportunities. But, to see them, we must reframe how we view our relationships with the struggle.
Some of us are knee-deep in the struggle the way pigs are knee-deep in mud. The only difference is, we’re not pigs and mud doesn’t make us squeal with happiness. How do you take painful experiences and then transform them into opportunities? Let’s use a relevant example.
Many of us are self-quarantined because of COVID-19. This global standstill has affected every human on Earth. So, this struggle isn’t even our own anymore because it’s everyone’s struggle. There have been multiple unfortunate casualties of this virus. Yet, the rest of us who are lucky to remain have been given a chance to reframe how we view these unforgettable and unfortunate times. How do you go inwards to search for these opportunities?
The US is a country that provides societal badges of honor to be overworked and, for some, simultaneously underpaid. This is a country that claims to have pride itself over family values, yet it’s current maternity leave laws don’t provide parents with enough bonding time with their children.
The US prides itself over spewing out information about self-care and wellness, yet, most organically sourced foods are unavailable to our most vulnerable populations while vacation and sick time take years to earn before workers can take even seven days off.
At the same time, the rest of the world, receive a mandatory 30 days off and have a better quality of life than the US. As you can see, we are living in quite a paradox. No wonder many of us are struggling during COVID-19. However, there are glimmers of hope and change in the air.
So, let’s take a look at the bright side of things, also known as the opportunities in the struggle:
- People are resting more.
- People are focusing on their wellness and self-care.
- People are spending more time with their families, specifically more time with their children.
- People are walking either by themselves or with their children (and not to wind up in any particular destination).
- People now have space to reflect on what matters most to them.
- Relationships are either receiving the love they needed or the truths they needed to hear.
- People are focusing more on their finances and realizing the 30 pairs of shoes in their closets matter way less, switching them out for house slippers.
- Materialism switched to essentialism.
- People are buying what they need versus what they want. People aren’t filling the voids they have inside of them with more stuff.
- People realize that we need each other more than we thought we did. People now look at the grocery clerk as crucial, if not more than CEOs and other elitist groups.
- People are being rather than doing.
- People are awakened to the disillusioned realities of money and realizing money doesn’t make the world go around.
- People have stopped long enough to allow their unhealed wounds to rise to the surface (by choice or by stress).
- People are learning new skills and self-educating.
- People are now forced to deal with uncertainties.
- People have become more mindful, from slowing down to being intentional with their words, their actions and are forced to be still and quiet.
Yes, these are scary times, but these are also times of revelation, deep insights, and massive change. There’s this American notion that we all must come out of this pandemic by grinding our way through it. Sure, there are opportunities there for that to take place if that resonates with you. However, I’m encouraging you to make space to heal thy self, to love on thy self, first and formerly.
Let us not transition out of this pandemic, not with more but with less.
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