Here is another guest post from Serendipity…
As I relax into a slower pace of life, I wonder how things will change when we get to the other side? Before I start, I want to point out that I am very aware of those who are still working relentlessly – namely those in the NHS and other fields of care-giving. The nationwide applause last night indicates that I am not the only one who is extremely grateful. I am also aware that many are very worried about loved ones and those who are vulnerable. Please forgive me if this post appears trite in any way – that is obviously not the intention.
However, for many of us, we are waking up to a new dawn.
Until I was rattled by some work-related communication and the tricky relational dynamics that sometimes go with this, I have been largely unstressed. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I am not used to this state of being. In fact, suddenly being put off kilter with worry over a work-related issue, highlighted to me just how used to stress I am – how much of a bedfellow I have allowed anxiety to become. The uninvited invasion of this creeping worry was like a blight on an otherwise clear and peaceful landscape. It brought me up short – reminding me of how damaging ‘worry’ is and just how much better I function without it in my life.
Is that really a revelation? Well, perhaps not… and I know that it shouldn’t be – except that it is not always something that we can actually experience and have the privilege of naturally walking in – daily.
Reflecting on how to take this forward is something that is top of my mind at the moment. How can I harness this new perspective and carry it with me? As a Christian, I know all the verses and have had times in my life when I’ve managed to rest in God’s peace and abide without worry… but I can’t help feeling that this time is an opportunity to understand this in a deeper and more experiential way.
There are so many areas of wider life that are being affected for good – areas where peace and positivity is saturating society.
I realised yesterday (although I haven’t looked at any figures) that Road Traffic Accidents must be significantly fewer at present. We are all probably aware of the wonderfully positive impact that this ‘stop’ has had on the environment. Gradually settling for many (I trust) is the realisation that we don’t need even half of what we think we need… there have been several newspaper articles and posts that show the wartime rations and how these are in stark contrast to the panic bought mountains of toilet rolls and tins of soup. As we settle into the new routine, I like to think that many of those freaked out alarmists have realised that they probably have enough food in their freezers and cupboards to carry them through at least the next three months… if not longer; and that – in desperate times – there are many ingenious alternatives to toilet roll. And – I would point out – this perceived need is not exclusive to food and groceries – there are probably many other needless tasks and activities that we engage with on a daily basis that could be replaced with… family, calm, quiet, reflection, peace.
True priorities are rising to the surface; being able to hug an elderly relative has suddenly risen in value over staying at home on a Sunday afternoon to watch that ‘really important’ football game. I was also reflecting on the fact that – whilst there are myriad issues surrounding the lonely and vulnerable – never (in my living memory) has there been such compassion towards this group of people. Never have they been more thought about, more highlighted… never have they been as cared about – with postcards, offers of help, neighbourly kindness, special opening times – the list goes on – and that can only be a good thing!
As I think about these things, I sincerely hope that many of them will serve to meter out a ‘new normal’ when we get to the other side. I hope that I – too – will be able to make some ‘new normals’ to carry with me out of this bizarre journey.
Harnessing peace and leaving anxiety behind – whenever possible – is something that I am hoping to master in a way that I never have before.
My husband and I have spent a good couple of hours talking this through today and he has been trying to help me navigate these waters. While. We. Have. Time.
What are my assumptions when I allow worry to overtake me? Why do certain things trigger me and threaten to steal my peace when others don’t? Much of the solution (which I’ve always known) is – of course – to do with resting in who I am, knowing to whom I belong and holding onto the inner peace and security that comes with that. It’s very hard to push someone whose house is built upon the rock.
I’m sure that many of you will also be considering what to harness and what to leave behind. Wishing you all the best if you are also thinking about establishing ‘new normals’!