If there is a dark that we shouldn’t doubt, and there is a light don’t let it go out….”
Thank you, U2, for so beautifully stating that. That song came up on my playlist during a run the other day. It was one of those moments when the lyrics of a song really spoke to me and I found myself playing it over and over again. I don’t know what it is about music, but sometimes it says things in just the right way.
In the current state of affairs that not only my small community is facing, but the world at large, I am, as I am sure you are as well, feeling the trepidation, uncertainty, and disappointment that is a side-effect of this global health crisis. When has there been a time when everything from Broadway, to Major League sports, to schools and Universities across the nation have been shut down? In these unprecedented times, it is important to take a step back and shift your lens, so to speak. While this time of year marks momentous occasions and achievements for many, from high school and college graduations, to championships and performances; and as jobs, routines, and life in general seem to feel more than slightly uprooted for most, it is important to stop. Pause. Breathe. Take a step back and switch your lens. What do we do in times of change, uncertainty, and disappointment?
- Feel The Feelings: First, understand that feeling and accepting those feelings is the first step in working through any kind of change. After realizing that those feelings are completely normal and expected, stop and notice what frame you are looking at the situation through.
- Look at Your Lens: This is not easy! But often necessary when working through any state of discomfort. It is, in fact, possible to feel negative feelings while at the same time, looking at a situation through a positive lens. Trying to look at things through a positive lens does not invalidate the situation or diminish your feelings; rather, switching your lens gives more power to you and allows you to learn something, to gain something from the situation. In this example, looking at it through a lens of gratitude is one way to shift your focus- being grateful that you are healthy. Being grateful that you get to spend some extra time with your family. Being grateful that you can take pleasure in the small things like going on a walk or reading a book- the things that we tend to skip over in the busy day-to-day life.
- Listen To Mr. Rogers: He said “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. Yes, you will! Whether it is time of stress or change, you will always find the people who are helping, inspiring, and coming together. Strive to be one, in whatever way you can.
And in life, situations and circumstances will throw you off course, maybe even right after you feel you just found your stride! But, it is okay. Change your lens. See what you can do to help, brighten, and change someone else’s day. I promise it will change yours, too.