As the coronavirus has slowly shut down the outside world to me, I have been noticing something about myself: I feel safe in normalcy. I strive for predictability. I am addicted to certainty and trust in what I feel like is control. I measure my emotional safety and okay-ness on how normal my day is going. Yikes.
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Well… normalcy has been thrown out the window and, I don’t know about you, but I am going through withdrawal. I am feeling somewhat untethered. Many of my typical distractions are on hold, although, if you are like me, binging Netflix and doing an Amazon shopping spree are still pulling at me strongly. Even so, my encouragement to myself and you is to allow yourself space to notice. This is a rare opportunity to take step back from our lives and take a look without all the distractions. What are you anchored to?
Predictability, certainty and control will not get us through this crisis. In fact, they will push us to stay vigilant and exposed to all the pain and fear that is out there. What we feed will grow. What we focus on, we will internalize. What we tie ourselves to will be our anchor. If you continuously feed your fear with more and more media, facebook and other data, it will grow. If you only focus on all the terrible things that are happening, you will internalize them. If you anchor yourself to the false hope of control, you will be left adrift, spending all your time paddling in circles. Even though our intellect is hungry for more data, our soul becomes exhausted with the incessant clamoring.
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I am not suggesting sticking your head in the sand or pretending that things are better than they really are. I am saying that, in this midst of serious threat, we also need to feed things like love, peace, joy and hope so that they grow in us. We need to focus on things that will nourish our hearts and anchor ourselves to things that will see us through this hard time.
Here are some suggestions:
-take a break from social media and the news feed
-be intentional about talking about things other than the coronavirus
-put quotes and encouragements around your house to remind you of goodness
-walk in nature
-do something fun
-read a book
-play a family game
-be quiet with no phone
-journal your thoughts and feelings
The Message (MSG)
6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.