The title above is not my original thought but another of Ester Perel's creative comments that I borrowed. In place of "The Great Depression", what we have experienced year might at some point be remembered as the "The Great Adaptation", I am curious as to what we will eventually call it. I am also curious as to how we will see the events of this past year as we look back on what has happened. Will this be a major learning experience for us? Will we have learned to value our personal relationships and our connectedness with others. Will the mistakes that we made be just another source of torch er, something we can torment ourselves about because we weren't perfect? Hopefully this will be a valuable learning experience both individually and culturally. This experience has certainly highlighted our sense of interdependence, our vulnerability, and our need for others in almost every way. What is it that we have lost, and what has challenged our ability to adapt? How are we learning to adapt during this crisis. I suspect at this point that it has been about nine months since we have been dealing Covid 19, and all of the social and political issues that have been at least in part a response to, or highlighted by the pandemic. There are so many "unnoticed losses", We could easily make a very long list of the many things that we have lost. The inability to be physically close to our family and friends, to go to the market and smell the produce without a mask. The ability to be in a store or talk to people without a face covering. This doesn't even scratch the surface. We can pretend we don't experience the loss as many people do, or we can admit to the sadness we feel with regards to them. As with grief generally when we keep it to ourselves we often prevent healing. When we share our grief with others we heal more rapidly and more fully Most of us feel more anxious than usual and our bodies are often contracted for self protection, even that can occur with out our conscious awareness. In spite of it all we are incredible adaptive. We may not even realize how incredibly adaptive we are and our capacity for adaption. I heard it said recently that children come into the world hard wired for struggle. Just think about how many times your ten month old child banged their head, and the hundreds of times they fell down as they learned to walk. Maybe our bodies are not as flexible, however, we carry within us the capacity for resilience and emotional flexibility. We might ask ourselves how we can enhance the innate capacity for emotional flexibility and resilience? What can we do to become more resilient? Can we use this challenge as a learning experience that will strengthen us and not weaken us. Of course at this point many of us are tired and stressed, OK maybe even exhausted. I know that I am. I frequently feel sad about the entire situation along with other aspects of my life. Somethings just hurt. We all have other things in addition to the Pandemic that stress us, sadden us, and hurt us. Sometimes it is even difficult to figure out which is which. How do we find meaning in this suffering, and how can we use the experience to our advantage. This is my own personal challenge. For me, everyday I create an intention to learn something from this, become stronger, and to become a better human being as a result of these challenges. Unfortunately it is usually through pain and suffering that we grow and develop greater compassion and understanding for others. Tara Brach shared a simple prayer or intention that goes something like this, May this suffering awaken within me compassion and loving action".
The Great Adaptation
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