Who do you want to be beyond lockdown?

by Hungry woman at work

Listen to this blog post as episode 18 of Hungry Woman at Work podcast: Who do you want to be beyond lockdown?

When you wrote down your #2020goals I’m almost certain “Survive a pandemic” was not on your list! And yet that’s exactly where we find ourselves now. COVID-19 has changed our lives in irrevocable ways and we have all experienced life under some form of lockdown.

Going into what was meant to be a 3-week lockdown came with a bit of hopeful enthusiasm: people saw it as resolution-making opportunity. Some set goals to learn a new language, to experiment with new recipes, some set a goal to train for a marathon while under lockdown! But how many of us set a goal to focus on some of our inner soul work, to work on those mindsets, beliefs and behaviours that have been holding us back for years now?

How many of us listed this under our lockdown goals:

  • find healthier ways to express my anger
  • start the healing journey on that broken relationship
  • get to the real reason why I keep blaming others for my shortcomings?

Ouch. Too soon? Sorry, but if you’re affording me the gift of your time, I’ve gotta make it count, right!

I’ve been hearing the saying repeatedly since this pandemic hit: don’t let this crisis go to waste. So, dear friend I ask you, who and what do you want to be beyond this lockdown? And by lockdown I generally mean crossing over to the “new normal” as they call it.

I reckon we have 3 options.

Beyond the lockdown we can either be:

  • Worse off than we were.
  • We can be the same as we were before.
  • Or, perhaps, we can be stronger, in the broken places.

I don’t believe the third option is to emerge “better beyond the lockdown.” I don’t personally think the main aim of this pandemic was to make us “better” necessarily. A virus like this is by nature a destructive one, it’s taken a toll on health, on families, communities, businesses and economies – it’s robbed us of so many lives, and much of life as we used to know it.

But out of every crisis there’s an opportunity, an invitation

Just ask Immaculée Ilibagiza, a Tutsi woman whose entire family was massacared in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. She miraculously survived while being hidden in a tiny toilet along with 7 other women for 3 months!

I am so inspired by Immaculee’s story, I can’t even begin to express it in words – please check her out if you haven’t yet. Today she’s a global speaker, author, and advocate for peace, still working with others to rebuild Rwanda.

Here’s what she said in a talk at The Lead Forum  (link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3v7gyK2NkE):

When I was angry I was paralysed I was a prisoner from my own anger… How do you forgive someone who’s killing your mom? But it felt like freedom, it felt like peace when it was there.

Another of her quotes that really shook me was this:

“I realized that my battle to survive this war would have to be fought inside of me.”

Here’s a woman who violently lost her entire family, her community and life as she knew it, and she speaks of the biggest war being the one we fight within ourselves. Wow.

Like Immaculée, I am trying to be stronger in the broken places. And, I pray that you are too. This pandemic may have caused the end of life as we knew it, but may this be the beginning of a new, healthier soul life for all of us.

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