COVID has ruined my life!
Really? Is that what you really feel deep down inside? I understand … AND (not but) let me share a perspective.
There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted more people all over the globe at one time than any other event in my lifetime. And there is no question that for most people there is at a minimum a feeling of fear and helplessness. For many this pandemic has been either the biggest trauma ever experienced or, maybe worse, has triggered a re-living of their life’s deepest trauma.
It is rare that a traumatic event unfolds that we literally have no playbook for whatsoever as to how to handle. We get in a car accident. We get diagnosed with cancer. We are betrayed by the one person in life we most depend on. We are informed of the sudden death of a loved one, our own child perhaps.
As awful as these life altering events are, we at least have a playbook of sorts. We can call 911, we can talk to our doctor and be guided about treatment options, we can turn to other loved ones for advice and solace, and we can reach out for help from others who have gone through the same experience.
With the outbreak of the novel Corona virus COVID-19, we quickly learned, to our horror, that not only did we not know what to do, our own world leaders also had no playbook. They had no experience dealing with a virus of this nature because apparently there had never been one quite like this before.
As each hour went by, each day, and then each week and month of this pandemic we have continuously been traumatized over and over and over as the clarity of knowing exactly what to do was simply not available. Oh yes, we had many, many indications from all kinds of credible sources as to what to do, individually and collectively. Unfortunately, the only real clarity we had, and have today, is that no one really knows what to do next.
So, yes I agree. It’s bad. It’s tough. It’s unsettling. It is just plain scary.
And it has ruined my life? No, it hasn’t.
And I submit to you that COVID-19 has not ruined your life either. I certainly understand that it does indeed feel that way. And I also understand that you can make a very strong argument, a legal case so to speak, to convince me, a jury, and most importantly yourself that “COVID has ruined my life”. I’m certain without ever having met you that you have the evidence.
The stories of how COVID has negatively impacted peoples’ lives are never ending. They are all over the news and social media. And they are all heartbreaking in their own way, as I’m sure yours is. And my gift to you is to humbly and kindly offer you a different perspective.
It may not be what you want to hear right now because for all of us at times there is a certain comfort in being “in” your pain and fear. We literally feel better wallowing in it. If that’s what you need right now I say go for it. And, when you are ready to bust out of your horrible feelings of, anxiety, depression and hopelessness that you believe are caused by COVID-19 then consider the following excerpt from The Dirty Words, Change Your Language, Change Your Life book:
“Everything happens for a reason and it serves me.”
“It does not matter what happens.”
Do these two statements jar you? Or do you think you believe them?
I’ll take it a step further.
“It NEVER matters what happens.”
Now I’ve got your attention. “Of course,” you say, it matters what happens! It matters to me when things go wrong. It matters when I face challenges. It matters when someone I love gets cancer. It matters when someone dies. (It matters that COVID 19 has ruined my life!) OF COURSE IT MATTERS WHAT HAPPENS!”
Your statements are true and all part of our victim culture. IF that’s what you choose to believe. And you are always at choice.
What if I add these words to complete the philosophy?
“It NEVER matters what happens. It ONLY matters what you make it mean and how you choose to respond.”
This may seem like a radical view of life. The fact is – it is the only way to look at life. Any other way is a form of insanity.
We must come to the realization that our life is lived in the present moment and we can have absolutely no impact, whatsoever, in any way, shape or form, on what has already occurred. The past is history, the future is a mystery, right now is a gift …. That’s why we call it “the present.”
What happens is not the basis on which to live our lives. If we are going to allow our life to be run by what happens, we are completely giving up our responsibility to be happy, to live gracefully, peacefully and with love in our hearts.”
To do anything but fully accept what has happened is a form of insanity.
It is up to us to accept what has happened, in very single moment. It is up to us to decide what we are going to make it mean, and then decide how we are going to respond.
This is a recipe for sanity and living an empowered life. It’s the opposite of being a victim.”
(From pages 15 and 16 of The Dirty Words)
I am choosing not to be a victim of COVID-19, as have many people who have actually contracted the disease, and even nearly died. And all the brave people, just like you, all over the world who have decided that COVID-19 is NOT going to ruin their life.
It is truly a decision – I know this because I’ve made that decision myself. It is more possible that you might think to change your perspective on COVID. With the right tools and support, you can do anything. Let me know how I can help.
Founder, The Questions Experience
Author, The Dirty Words: Change Your Language Change Your Life