‘When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure’
There have certainly been times during this last year when I’ve needed reminding of this. Times when life without difficulties would seem like such a blessing; and yet – it is so true that without the clouds and rain we would not be able to appreciate the sunshine when it comes, and in nature some of the strongest and most beautiful things are created out of adverse conditions as the quote reminds us.
Can you bring to mind times when you’ve discovered a new strength or skill after experiencing a tough or distressing time? It’s often how we learn and grow isn’t it? Life throws us a curve ball; we struggle for a while with finding our way around it and then we grow accustomed to the situation and move on. If we’re able to develop our self-awareness and recognise how it’s affected us and how we’ve reacted to the situation, that helps us to manage better if something similar occurs in future.
One of the toughest things for many people this past year has been the newness of the situation. It’s been quite difficult to adapt quickly for many people because we’ve never come across a similar situation in the past. Covid has been a completely new, completely unprecedented situation for all of us. As a country, never mind as a community or an individual we’ve never experienced anything like the same sense of isolation and vulnerability. The enforced lockdowns and separations. It’s one thing to choose not to go shopping or to go out socially very often but it’s a completely different situation when we’re being told that we can’t do those things.
In that case it’s human nature to rail against it a bit and to struggle with the lack of autonomy that we suddenly have over so many aspects of our lives. I’m so thankful that we are moving forward and restrictions are being lifted now, although it’s possible that for many of us it will take time to fully manage the anxieties and frustrations that covid has wrought on our sense of self.
If you are feeling uncertain or if you are hurting at the moment – do you have someone to talk to who will listen without judging or telling you what you should do when you are feeling unsettled. Are you just looking for someone to help you gain a new perspective but enable you to decide for yourself what’s next? Chaplains can be that person for you. If you’d like to talk to one you are very welcome to call or text me directly on my mobile: 07526 378529. Alternatively you can email email@example.com and request a call back.
For more information on supporting wellbeing, we have a range of resources on our web-site including some that are more specific to the Covid-19 outbreak and some that help in dealing with stress in general: https://mite.org.uk/quietspace and you can find other resources on Mental Health Matters and in this TED talk How to be kinder to yourself amongst many other online offerings that will come up in any Google search.
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