Most of the world is now more than 2 months into quarantine and our lives have changed dramatically. It is even fair to say that some of the changes will be permanent and our lives will never be the same. In a situation, like the one we find ourselves in, It is easy to fall victim to circumstances beyond our control and to lament over the way things once were.
Although we need to experience whatever grief we’re feeling, it is more empowering to take stock of everything that this pandemic has taught us and continues to teach us. Here are just a few of the lessons that I’ve learned.
1) There is no certainty in life. We may feel that we have been thrust into the unknown by COVID 19 but the unknown is something that has always been with us whether we know it or not. Ask somebody who has gotten into a car accident, suffered a sudden heart attack, lost a significant portion of their investment value in the stock market, gone through a break up or a divorce, to name a few of the uncertainties we often face. Life will always throw us curves when we least expect them which is why there is no certainty except that our time on the planet is limited.
2) All we have is the present moment. Most people go through their lives always looking to the future. They are looking to make a certain amount of money, meet a certain romantic partner, land a specific job, get a certain position in their company or reach some other milestone before they start to live their lives. This is self-defeating because the future is just a thought in your mind and has no reality of its own. Why not just start living your life today? The now is all we truly have yet few people are fully present in the moment and miss out on truly living their lives.
3) Your close personal relationships are important and a reflection of your relationship with yourself. Most people struggle with a lack of self compassion and self respect. This may be for a number of reasons but usually stems from negative early childhood experiences, which lead to limiting beliefs and emotional blocks. If you do not have self love then you cannot expect anybody else to love you either. If you are not happy with the relationships in your life then it likely all stems from your relationship with yourself. You need to release your limiting beliefs and burn through your emotional blocks in order to start to cultivate self compassion, which is the starting point for cultivating meaningful relationships with others.
4) We are more than we have been conditioned to believe by society. Most people identify with their physical bodies, their possessions, the roles they play, their thoughts and emotions or what they have been told by others. We are none of these things. In fact, the world of sales and marketing relies on us believing that we need to buy more things in order to have value or become more than we are now. This is so far form the truth. The truth is that we are the deeper consciousness that underlies all the lesser aspects of who we are. This deeper consciousness is known by several terms including soul, spirit, being, love and awareness, to name a few. Success in life depends on realizing this and living from this core essence of who we are.
Nauman Naeem MD