Our world has been shaken up like a massive snow globe. Our emotions scatter around us like confetti. These emotions aren’t bad, wrong, or stupid. They are normal reactions to when the world flips us upside down. We may try to stop these feelings by staying busy, overeating, and watching nonstop screens. But they are still there if we stop long enough to feel them.
Our job is to notice these emotions, and then let them fall like the snow.
People are feeling all sorts of things right now: fear, uncertainty, anger, frustration, irritation, overwhelm, and even moments of relief and joy. One day we may feel out of control. The next day, angry. The next day, grateful and lucky, followed by sad, and then maybe back to grateful. You aren’t going crazy. You’re going through a pandemic.
According to psychologist Susan David there is a simple exercise we can do when we find ourselves amidst the swirling snow globe of our emotions. She suggests we sit for a couple of minutes and write down some thoughts regarding this question:
“Even in the midst of this chaos, who do I want to be?”
Answering this question clarifies what is important to us and helps us be more emotionally agile. We aren’t only our fear, our anger, our disappointment. We are also our intentions, our wisdom, and our compassion.
When I ask myself this question, I want to be helpful. Brave. Creative in my choices. Wise.
What about you? Have you found yourself more emotional these last few weeks? Who do you want to be in the midst of this?
Read the previous dispatch here.