Tomorrow begins Passover, and on that night, Seder begins with the question, how is tonight different from all other nights?
What a way to bring meaning and richness to a moment. What a way to bring meaningful discussion to everyone at the table.
Coronavirus distancing can be a time to ask that question each day to open up our creative minds, to make each day unique in its own, and to cultivate a ton of gratitude for all that we have. Remember that even losses point to something we held special that we felt was lost. I’ve learned a lot from losses that came with dualistic emotions: relief that it was gone (that’s telling), and grief that it was gone (how?). In those times, I realize I grieved the person, the recurring event, or the job when it was really the sense of security or identity that went with them. I now had the chance to find security and identify within myself and in ways that felt more aligned with who I was.
With the coronavirus, people have shared that on one hand, they grieve losing the way it was, and on the other hand, they are finding relief in the space they now have that they didn’t know how to excuse themselves into before. So we get to find meaning in the losses, look for the gains, and realign.
Now is the time where we discern what’s important. Important dates, meetings, and events find creative ways to happen, and the less important ones get dropped. In my own busy life, I’ve experienced a shift in my choices. Where I might have seen both my siblings and parents at the same time during the holidays, it looks like we might now have a weekly Saturday afternoon Zoom call to see each other along with our kids. This time has caused me to think about who is important in my life that I seemed too busy for before. It took some patience and group sibling effort to get our 80 year old mom to download Zoom and successfully get on with both video and audio working, but she did it, and in the end, it was so worthwhile to see both my parents sitting there in their living room. I can only imagine how much joy they were feeling sitting there seeing all the kids at once, way before the next holiday (as proper traditional Asians, they keep their emotions somewhat in check… but we know…).
When we don’t ask ourselves how today is (or can be) different from all other days, the days run the danger of blending into each other. We run the danger of spiritually deflating from the run of the news left on too long (if you need the news, read it, don’t watch it). One of my clients said that that was happening with her typically upbeat husband, so she turned it off and asked him to dance, and it sounded like this has become a more regular thing.
So have at it. Dance! Find the answers to that question, and rather than waiting for things to go back to normal, rather than needing to be constantly updated by CNN and becoming vulnerable to an aimless, fear-ridden experience, find meaning and celebration in all of your blessings. Because there are many.