Dreaming About What's Next
Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology, was recently quoted “the Coronavirus pandemic is going to cause immense pain and suffering. But it will force us to reconsider who we are and what we value, and, in the long run, it could help us rediscover the better version of ourselves (Psychotherapy Networker magazine, May/June 2020).”
This resonated with me because I do think that this pandemic has changed us…possibly forever. It is probable that our lives are never going to go back to exactly the way they were before COVID19. This has been such a huge life-changing event for Americans that it will be imprinted on our memories for years to come. This may change how business is conducted, how schools are run, how doctors provide services, and how we engage in social relationships. And although there is much to mourn from the past such as loved ones who became ill, friendships disconnected, businesses closed…there is also a future that lies ahead of us.
In all of the uncertainty, it is important to have perspective and realize that “this too shall pass.” And now is the time to start thinking about what matters most to you and whether your life reflects those values.
When you picture the life that you want to be living, is it congruent with the life that you are living right now? Although we have restrictions to do certain things, we can still live meaningful, purposeful lives.
The psychologist Carl Rogers theorized that when we live in a way that is incongruent with how we want to live, then it causes stress and tension. So, if we are behaving now in ways that are inconsistent with who we truly desire to be, then it causes psychological problems like anxiety and depression.
Our current circumstances are a great opportunity to examine every part of our lives and decide if we are living the life we are called to. Are your relationships rich and fulfilling? Is your spiritual life nourished and healthy? Are you pursing a passion or doing something that you find meaningful and purposeful? Are you making this world a better place?
If not, then what can you do about it?
Maybe the “pause button” that got pushed for all of us this March is an opportunity for us to do a careful self-examination and decide how we can be the best version of ourselves going forward!