As this very strange and unprecedented year draws to a close, I’ve been thinking about what emotional lemonade we can make out of the lemons of this pandemic. Everything always has an inherent duality, and even something that has been as devastating to so many people globally as COVID can give us pause for reflection.
Many people talk about how one of the most challenging parts for them is not knowing when COVID will end. If we knew we have to deal with this until, for example, the end of 2021, we could all plan around that. But the uncertainty is really unsettling for many of us. I think at the same time, it is a reminder that uncertainty is an inherent part of anything that hasn’t happened yet. A reminder that all we have is this moment, and any expectations or ideas we have about the future are nothing more than imagination. What a powerful manifestation of the reality that memories of the past or ideas about the future are just thoughts – they don’t actually exist. All that actually exists is this moment. The uncertainty provides us a powerful reminder of being mindful and being in the moment.
I’m also sure few of us would have predicted a pandemic in our lifetime, in the “modern” world. It’s a reminder to set aside our preconceptions and know that anything can happen. As the quote from Rilke reminds us, we can let everything happen to us, beauty and terror. And maybe they are flip sides of the same coin. Maybe every moment contains beauty and terror and maybe that is part of the infinite wonder of the human experience.
I wish everyone many beautiful and loving moments on this day and any other days that may or may not occur in the future!