I believe in positivity. At the same time I believe in being authentic. It is possible to be both. The truth about the pandemic is that the shit is real. I am going to invite you to sit with me and decide whether this list of shit applies to you as a whole or at least in part.
- It is possible to get sick.
- It is possible to make others sick.
- Opportunities to connect with our main support people are limited.
- Work feels a little harder.
- People are a little extra mean.
- The fighting over how to handle everything has caused stress for those fighting about it and those who have to watch the fights happen.
- It feels like some lives matter and some don’t as much. In this metaphorical ethical problem of who gets pushed off the boat, right now that would be the elderly, the front line workers, our school children, the poor, all parents but especially single parents trying to balance e-learning support and maintain employment, and minorities. For those with well-developed empathy it sort of makes you feel ill whenever you see things for what they are.
- Special occasions are mostly cancelled.
- Being able to visit the sick and attend funerals to support the mourning has been taken away.
- The arts, fitness, and travel are only available in a limited fashion.
- Loss of jobs and the failure of businesses are strong possibilities.
- Relationships are tense.
- People with medical problems and/or mental illness (which is a medical problem) are not able to access help when they need it the most.
- Due to cut hours, businesses trying to tread water, illness, and quarantines, there is less money, yet the bills keep coming at the same steady clip.
What numbers apply to you? You have the right to hate going through this and grieving what you have lost. You don’t have to put on some act that this is not big deal. It has been a big freaking deal! Grieve those losses.
I read a book almost twenty years ago now. It was an important book for me. It was called “Nasty People: How to stop being hurt by them without stooping to their level” by Jay Carter, Psy. D. In this book, Carter explains how “Invalidators” can be hurtful. On one hand, we don’t want to invalidate others’ feelings and do them harm. Neither do we want to absorb unwarranted negative shade that invalidating personalities put on us. This is not easy. It is hard to see the “invalidator” in ourselves. If we do not have a sense of our own worth, we might believe negative comments that are not constructive in nature. Some things people say come directly from their own insecurities and pain. This is what I have been trying put into words for days but it has been so difficult.
Readers, I don’t want to speak to you in platitudes that are void of empathy. I don’t want to pretend for one second that reading my blog is going to be a remedy. It won’t be. I just want to validate that the shit is real. I want to encourage you to take care of yourself. Guard your words. Be one of the good ones in sea of people being mean because they are hurting…if you can be. If you can’t, if you are one of those out there lashing out, forgive yourself, and get help if you need to. Try to create breaks for yourself so that you have energy to give to the things that most matter in your life and you can show up in a way that lines up with your values. Like no other year in recent history, 2020 was a year that made us aware that life is short, and precious, and not to be wasted. If you want coaching on navigating personal obstacles, having a healthy perspective of yourself, and following your bliss, I am taking on new clients now. I have tools to help you make the plan and work the plan, even when the shit is real. I am not going to tell you it isn’t. I am also not going to let you think you are powerless to improve your life during a pandemic. Only you can make it better.
Tracy May, M. Ed
The best way to reach me about coaching is to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text at 651-331-1421. Are you ready to put some effort in creating the life you want? Let’s talk and see if I am the right coach for you.