In my last post, I wrote about my family’s decision, in light of our world’s new temporary reality, to pause and use our time to deal with our immediate needs, gather information, and reassess our position on our life journey. We chose to pause and reassess, but we didn’t stop there, we kept on moving and continue to do so, because there are inherent dangers in getting stuck in the pause mode for too long. It is vital that we are mindful of this fact and continue the work of using our present situation as a push-off point so that we can pivot and keep on moving.
As we move through life’s journey, we can only see the part of our path that is immediately in front of us — the present moment. We can anticipate what may come next and plan accordingly, but we don’t have the ability to see around turns, over the hills, or down into the deep valleys until we are right there standing on the edge, and in that moment, when more of the pathway is revealed, we can make the decision to adjust and continue on. But, some of those turning points, like the one we have all just reached, are fear-inducing realities beyond anything we could have ever anticipated. When we are faced with such darkness, we have to be increasingly mindful of where we step, how we step, and with what mindset to step as we go forward.
The pause is our chance to take in the newness — to see the present for what it truly is. It may look gloomy, but when we shine our light into the dark places we may be able to see things from a new perspective — a perspective of opportunity. Things may not be falling apart, they may be breaking down to make way for the new. The rocky earth may be crumbling beneath our feet, but perhaps when the stones break away they will expose fresh, rich soil underneath. The tornadic storm that seems to be stalled over our heads may perhaps clear a beautiful pathway that was previously unseen. The flooding waters in our midst may be knocking down structures that need to be dismantled in order for us to rebuild new ones that better serve our needs and the needs of those who will walk along the pathway behind us.
Being in the mindset of shining the light, of using tension and pressure as the inspiration to create something new, of walking in faith and not in fear, allows us to pivot and continue on. The pathway forward may be treacherous. We may experience some injuries and a few traumas and some of our companions may not make it through, but continuing on is not impossible. We must have faith that on the other side of this dark valley, we will reach a new place where we can rest and be replenished.
If we turn around in fear, our lives, our world, will stay stagnant in the old ways that were not working and are currently attempting to fall away. If we freeze and stay in this place of fear, we will remain powerless and will have to constantly react to the storm instead of getting ahead of it. But if we trust the journey, and adjust to the current elements while keeping our mind on the finish line, we can make it through.
In order for us to traverse this next part of the pathway successfully, we need change. Perhaps we need a new set of tools. A new set of skills. Different allies. We may possibly need a new mode of transportation or the recognition of assets long forgotten. Maybe our backpack has become too heavy and requires us to leave some things behind in order to lighten the load.
Are we listening and adjusting or are we having difficulty because we are trying so desperately to cling to the old out of fear of the unknown? Are we moving too slowly or have we stopped altogether because we are so weighed down by ideas, emotions, and past ideals that are no longer or perhaps have never served us? Are we allowing other people to guide us when we need to listen to our own gut instincts?
Being at home, we have been given a gift of time to pause, go inward and discern our responses to these questions and more. Yes, this gift came in a package that looks like fear and chaos, but we can choose to unwrap the gift within and use this time to pivot. We have a moment to empty ourselves of the things that are slowing us down or holding us back. We have the freedom to learn the skills that we need to navigate along this next leg of the journey. This time is giving us a moment to detach from cords binding us to our past.
We are all connected, so we can use this time to go deep and do the work of changing ourselves so that as a whole we can elevate the world. While our grocers and medical workers and manufacturers and other providers are on the frontlines, we, too, can each do our share of the work by creating and exposing the new so that we, as a whole and as individuals, can be ready for our new world as it comes into view.