There’s Always A Silver Lining
Despite the rocky start to 2020, there is hope that we will all recover from the global pandemic, Covid-19. Even though humanity has been rocked to its core, with scientists calling Covid-19 the biggest challenge we’ve faced since World War Two, that doesn’t mean we can’t overcome it, collectively, together. Yes, there have been deaths caused by the coronavirus, but there have also been recoveries, in fact there is a 79% recovery rate, which is over double than that of the death rate. Yes, social distancing has been forced on us all, but only through a global and collective effort will we be able to flatten the curve of contagion. If we have learnt anything in the past few months, it is that we, the human race, are all vulnerable to the same diseases. The only way to defeat this virus is by working together, as a collective, and together, we will beat this, but we’ve got to look at it from a wider angle.
During these past few months, many of us have been experiencing an increased feeling of anxiety. For some, the confinement of the lockdown has become unbearable, while for others the loss of income is unsettling, to say the least. But keep in mind that these extreme measures are necessary to save as many lives as possible. However, not everything is doom and gloom, there are always rays of light shining through the darkness. Since the global lockdown started, carbon emission has dropped by a staggering 18% in China. While in Europe, CO2 levels have dropped by 9%, with predicted emission levels forecasted for a further drop as lockdowns are extended.
Another positive impact from the lockdown is that the growth of wild flowers are on the rise. With many councils now having stopped mowing verges and parks, this has paved the way for plantlife to grow and prosper, added with the reduction of exhaust fumes and factory closures, beautiful wildflowers are popping up everywhere we look, brightening our day, surely that deserves a smile. Another positive impact through more wildflowers is the increase in bees and pollination. The sudden surge of wildflowers across the world, and with spring upon us, our cities are now breaming with an abundance of pollen and nectar. Did you know that bees can pollinate up to 5000 flowers a day, but why is this important? Why is pollination important? When bees land on flowers to collect pollen and nectar, they inadvertently land and pollinate all the flowers, therefore activating the stigma that catches the pollen, which leads to the fertilisation of seeds. Once the seeds are fertilised, the process of bearing fruit begins. It is through these pollinated seeds that eventually grow and mature, that we gain the fruit and vegetables we eat. It is vital that we remember, this world that we share and live in, is connected in every shape and form, every human, animal and insect is connected to the larger ecosystem and circle of life. One action will directly impact another, so yes, Covid-19 has had some negative impact on the world, but it has also had some positive ones too. In times of hardship, it is important to see the light as well as the dark.
However, it is all fine and dandy that the bees are happy, and the local scenery has improved with beautiful wildflowers, but that doesn’t change the fact that social distancing and lockdown have put many people’s livelihoods on hold, or worse, abruptly ended. As stricter measures are put in place, and lockdowns are extended, more people now find themselves unemployed, and despite the government's best efforts to provide financial assistance, is it enough?
For those of you who have suddenly lost your jobs and income because of lockdown, we feel for you and we are here for you. When you are feeling anxious and worried about your next paycheck, know that you do not have to navigate this alone. While we may all have varying degrees of financial difficulty during these turbulent times, and we may not be facing the exact same financial problems, we can empathize and understand the hardships you are going through. If you need a shoulder to cry on, we are here. If you need someone to talk to, we are here. We are in this together. The entire world, as a whole, has been forced to change and reassess our lifestyles and priorities, and if we can do this - reassess and reset - we will emerge from this ordeal, stronger and more resilient.
Admittedly, it isn’t easy living in lockdown, and it certainly comes with its own set of challenges. Not only are there financial worries, but issues of productivity and change are also daunting. Remember that there are always options and alternative paths, even if you cannot see them now. And remember that while you navigate what it means to be at home with your children screaming while you try to get work done in your office upstairs, there are many homes with eight people sharing a one bedroom flat and families now on the street with no sign of food or hope. We don’t say this to minimize any one of your experiences but to shed light on the multiple of experiences and invite reflective space to hold gratitude and empathy in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.
So here’s a thought...you’re stuck indoors and social distancing, that’s a fact, it is out of your control, and you cannot change it. So where do you go from here? As the saying goes, every grey cloud has a silver lining. Take this time to reflect on your life -- your feelings, desires, skills and experience -- and think about what it is you most need right now as well as how you can be useful and productive during this time. Think about what realistic changes are within your grasp. What would you change and how would you go about it?
In times of crisis, it can be easy to forget that you are your biggest asset. In times of crisis, human nature pushes us to retract and react however this is the time for us to be our most creative, our most loving and most generous selves. This is the time to exercise those mind muscles, to think outside the box and to give ourselves permission to feel everything, create anything and rewrite the narratives of our lives, because we are the creators of our lives.
So grab a pen and paper, find a quiet place and give yourself some space to breathe in, exhale and then to reflect. Ask yourself...
How am I? Like really... how am I in this moment?
What am I feeling? List everything that wants to come out.
Where do I feel most negatively impacted by Covid?
Where might there be a silver lining?
What am I learning?
What’s one way I will lean into the gifts present during this crisis?
Don’t rush but take your time and mull this over....tap into your inner self, dig deep, ask those hard questions, and see what answers you uncover.