Window with sunrise

What Comes Next?

We’ve been living in the “Twilight Zone” for about two months now. I think most of us understand that we’re not going back to the way things were. This is unprecedented, uncharted territory. What will you take with you and what will you leave behind? What do you want the new world to look like?

Despite how unsettling and uncertain this time period is, we’re presented with a unique opportunity to start over, collectively and individually. I’m not dismissing the fact that there is suffering and there will be more. I prefer to be optimistic, but I don’t have my head in the sand either. We have millions of people out of work and more to come. We’re about to experience further crises as a result. While it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s reality. And the first step toward solving a problem is to accept the reality of the situation.

Big changes aren’t easy. That’s not intended as a profound statement; it’s just a reminder. The key here is how much we let change happen TO us versus how much we take the reins on our situation.

While there are certain things outside of our immediate control, there are plenty of choices we can make on a personal, daily level. The most important of these choices is how we choose to think about the situation. Perception. Mindset. You can choose to believe that you have no power or you can choose to believe that you do. Because you do. Trust me.

Think of other changes you’ve made in your life, like deciding to take one job versus another. Deciding to finish a degree or not. Staying in a relationship or not. Moving to a new place. Saying “yes” to one thing and “no” to another. Trying a new recipe. Dyeing your hair …

I could go on and on with examples. The point is any change can shift your point of view and stirs up insecurities. Shake things up. It’s usually uncomfortable in some way, whether it’s a positive or negative change. Think feeling nervous on the first day at a new job, for example. It’s uncomfortable, but eventually you adjust.

Now, the same can be true of a change that happens to you, versus a change you proactively make. It’s uncomfortable and possibly unpleasant but you adjust. However, how you adjust is up to you. First, you must surrender to what is and acknowledge your reality. Then you decide if you stick with it or if you exercise your free will. You always have a choice in what you think and how you respond.

Will you choose this time to decide how you want your future to look and take steps to create it? Or will you throw up your hands and give away your power?

This is a chance to re-engineer your life if you so choose. If there are changes you want to make, this is an opportunity for a reset. Look at where you have been. Think about your ideal future self. Reverse-engineer from there to figure out your next steps.

We’re letting go of a lot right now, whether we want to or not. It will not be the same once we begin emerging from our collective cocoon. And it will take time, more time than we think it will and more time than we want. So we must be intentional, persistent, patient, and strong.

This is a cosmic wake-up call. Yes, we all need jobs and a way to pay the bills. But, it’s more than that. It’s really about values. What do you value? What’s important to you? What brings meaning to your life? Who’s in your community? What does community mean to you?

When you look at your life, what do you see? How do you want to spend your time?

You have more power than you think you do. Remember that. Yeah, there’s a lot happening in the world at large, but you can make choices in your own life. Not only is it important to figure out your own direction, but it’s important to find your community. There is strength in numbers. Envision your future. Find solidarity. Take action.

Photo by Andhara Cheryl on Unsplash

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