It’s a time where nothing can be predicted and many of us find ourselves scared, anxious, and confused about what’s next. I know what’s happening. I’m not oblivious to it. People are experiencing loss of employment. Seniors in high school and college aren’t able to complete their last year of school and participate in graduation traditions. Children are missing their teachers. Parents are missing their kids’ teachers, too. Family members are getting sick.
I don’t want to take away from anyone going through a difficult time and I feel for you. I’m aware I’m more than likely in the minority here, but I’ve chosen to reframe my perspective in this situation and it’s made this time seem so much more endurable. Allow me to explain.
I don’t want to be insensitive to anyone because I know if you’ve lost your job or you have a sick family member, finding the positive side of a pandemic and a shaky economy may not be possible at the moment. And that’s okay. I’m speaking to those who are sad because they can’t go about their normal routines. I’m speaking to those who feel like the small things have turned into the big things. I’m speaking to those who feel like they can’t take anymore and are running low on hope.
Here’s the thing: we have to experience these lows in order to experience the highs. We only know what sunshine feels like because we know what rain feels like. We only know what summer flowers are because we weather the rainy days that help them grow. We only know what utter joy feels like because we’ve experienced unnerving pain. This season we’re in? It’s not easy. It’s taxing and straining. At times it feels endless and we all are navigating uncharted waters. We are in this together. But peaks will always follow valleys.
This season of life is building our character more than we know. Because we are experiencing the lowest of lows, we will experience a high unlike any we’ve felt before. We have to experience one side of the spectrum to not only know, but to also appreciate its contrast. Shadows only exist when the sun is shining.
I’m not saying that we should wallow in all things Covid, focus on being sad and angry, and grieve all the things that we are missing so we appreciate when life turn back around. That’s not healthy either. But we do have the choice to reframe it. We have the choice to take what we have in front of us and look at it from a different perspective instead of getting caught up in what’s going wrong. We have choice to see beauty.
I could choose to complain and dwell on every single thing that makes me upset right now. I could choose that. It would be so much easier. But choosing the alternative? That takes courage. That takes strength. You have the choice to view this as a blessing. What we are feeling and going through is a blessing because from it, we will gain the joy we seek. Without this huge setback and inconvenience to our lives, we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate when things are going great and as planned. We wouldn’t feel that joy as deeply. But it’s a choice we need to make. We can choose courage and joy.
A word that continues to come to mind during these days is overcome. We will overcome this. We must because life will keep moving. We have to overcome the fear and the uncertainty. We have to overcome the frustration and the sadness. When we make this choice to overcome all of these negative things clouding us day in and day out, we will be overcome with joy and appreciation for the things that once didn’t seem so important.
It’s up to you. You can choose to overcome the sadness and fear or you can choose to be overcome by the sadness and fear. You can choose to view this as a curse or you can choose to view this as a blessing. You can choose the shadows or you can choose the sun. You can choose to take the easy way out and focus on the negatives or you can choose to see what you have to gain. It’s the tougher choice, but I am trying to choose a bit of courage.