Are you often curious about your leadings in life? Asking yourself what’s next for me? Wearing yourself out to try to compete with peers or people in communal settings? And what if there’s no going back to everything before March 2020, when the world was struck with an impossible pandemic? The same pandemic that continues to cripple healthcare systems, global financial stability, and everyday mental capacity?
Questions like these force us to go within and to then imagine a world where feelings of being on the hamster wheel are not necessary. Viewing the competition with the world and colleagues as utter silliness and understanding that despite the health disturbances faced today, there is a peaceful place caring to find us, unite us, and hold us safe.
September is known as Addiction Awareness Month. This topic is necessary to briefly discuss based on the concept that science and research have shown increased addiction tendencies in the last 18 months. With many people still working remotely, areas of desire and substance use have amplified. Countless individuals have dubbed what we’ve been through since the pandemic began as “hell on earth,” as the worse lived experience, as the loss of identity and self—expressive thoughts from a perception built on what occurs with fewer community engagements.
Jaimie Mudd wrote, “Feeling for one another, compassionate witnessing of others’ suffering, enables us to belong to one another and commit to alleviating suffering. When we examine the truth of our own lives, we can bring understanding, love, and compassion to the world.” People who suffer from addictive behaviors are among us. They are our colleagues, friends, neighbors, and family members. Yet, addiction, as a disease, dis-eases hearts when this form of behaviors must be approached. Approached even with the most delicate of intentions.
As we slowly move into the post-COVID-19 world, we must handle each other like the finest porcelain pottery placed on ships of time gone by. Like those traveling to the greatest of homes in England to display and use at teatime. This care must be deliberate, without bubble wrap, which pops at the most inopportune moments. It’s a care of patience, of love, one which instills peace. A wave of peace not only in ourselves but also in those who suffer from addiction, alongside the many members of our societal influences, who suffer too.
On the other side of this crazy pandemic, finding ranges to listen and explore work leadings should be dedicated initiatives. There in the inner space of us is where we see what’s next for all of us. Resulting, as picking up where we stopped, perhaps moving into another learning potential of how we work, and then again, starting something new altogether. This pandemic has provided a great deal of wrong. However, on the flip side, it too has offered us opportunities for different outlooks as we find within that concern for others residing there. Slowing down a bit, blasted our souls into many unique pieces, which like my morning glories flowering in this month of September, stretches out to hug the plants around them while holding on to their roots.
We’ve slowed our thinking down. Right here is where our souls unite with peace, our bodies remain calm, and our hearts reach out to others. In this place, we find joy in the competition we only have with ourselves, to beat the kindness of yesterday, and fulfill the one of today and tomorrow.
What now? How can we belong to each other to care for each other? What positive changes can we make of the pre-COVID person? What lessons have we learned about the delicateness of life? How have we adapted to this new way of COVID to post-COVID living? How do we derail from the unimportant noise amongst us? These questions beg us to seek out a direction to wholeness. A form of wholeness that can be found in our homes, work environments, and in our communities. One that serves those who suffer. And one that prepares us and allows us to be ourselves. The self that God has intended for all of us. Some of us may choose to work loudly, while others work quietly, softly, and meekly (Matthew 5:5), keeping a framing silence of outwardly expressed words. Wholeness, as God proposes, offers joy. It provides peace as we grow into the gifts. The ones we already own.
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23, ESV)
Redemption of our bodies. Redemption of our souls!
Indeed! Right? Indeed!
Mudd, J. (2021). Knowing that we belong. Living in our COVID-19 World. Friends Journal-Friends Publishing Corporation.