Paraphrased from Gregg Braden, author, scientist, international educator.
The world just changed. It happened in plain sight, as we watched our world make a powerful shift. Time to reset 2020.
Days following the announcement of a global pandemic, the routines of everyday life ground to a halt in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID19 virus. And just like that, billions of people have been forced into a new and difficult reality.
The question on everyone’s mind is “What now? What happens next?” The answer to this question is the source of fear and frustration, as well as anxiety and anger for hundreds of thousands of people across the world. Watching their jobs, business, and savings evaporate day-by-day in the shutdown, they feel that their future is evaporating as well.
The honest answer to the question of “what comes next” is that no one knows with certainty. We can’t know, because a global shutdown has never happened before. We have no map to lead us as we find our way in this historic and bizarre crisis.
In the face of such uncertainty there is one thing that we do know - we are a planet deep in grief.
Individually and collectively, we are grieving the loss of the familiar world that we knew only a few short weeks ago, and the way of life that we took for granted. Our willingness to recognize, and embrace this fact is the only way for us to emerge into whatever comes next, and to do so in a healthy way.
The experience of grief is nothing new. It has been studied for so many years, that it’s no longer a mystery when it comes to what we can expect, and how to move through our grief in a healthy way. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, identified the five stages of grief in her book, On Grief and Grieving, that accompany any form of loss and charted the stages as a model that provides a map for our experience.
Reconcile Our Loss
Our ability to reconcile our loss determines how quickly we move through the stages from Denial to Acceptance. From her vast study of cases, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s model shows two powerful themes for our global shutdown:
We see that our experiences, such as denial, anger and depression, are not random at all—that they are part of a continuum of emotions that are expressed, and even predicted, as stages of grief as we come to terms with our loss.
We discover that the model is also a map of the emotional landscape that leads to the healing of our loss.In Kübler-Ross’s model we discover how to transition, and ultimately transcend our loss with new understandings and new visions for a new life
The Good News
For me, this is perhaps the best possible news that can come from our loss at this unthinkable time. We will get through this, and we will get through this together when we embrace and transcend the stages of Denial, Anger, Bargaining and Depression, and face the last stage of Acceptance.
In our Acceptance, we discover that we’re moving forward emotionally from the world that we’ve left behind. We begin to consider new possibilities for our lives and what lies ahead. We begin to consider new ways of thinking and living in a new life, and a new world. This is why it’s so vital that we allow ourselves to go through the grieving process stage-by-stage, allowing the days and weeks we find ourselves in now, to serve as the buffer that we need to heal, before we embrace what comes next.
The world of the past is gone.
It will not, and cannot, be as it was before COVID19. We cannot go back in time to something that no longer exists. The vision for the world ahead of us may not be sharp and clear, and we certainly do not want that world built on the anger, frustration and anxiety from our unresolved grief.
What can we do now?
I believe we are already doing it—we are grieving the loss of our world.
The key to our future success is to give ourselves the opportunity to grieve, adjust, and adapt so that we are ready for the next phase of the grand adventure that we find ourselves immersed within.
The question that must guide our choices in the post COVID19 reset is simply this:
Do we love ourselves enough to balance the necessity of a safe, sustainable, and equitable society that preserves natures harmony, without giving away our humanness and our most cherished human values in the process?
We won’t need to wait long for the answer to our question. The world that emerges after reset 2020 will tell us how we answered the question, and become the legacy that we’ll leave for our children and to theirs.
If you are grieving and anxious during this changing time, please feel free to reach out to me. I am a good listener and always open to a good conversation.
Lee Pryke I Am I Can Spiritual Life Coaching.