As we remain neck-deep in the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic we are aware that many are experiencing some unwelcome effects. We hear of weddings forced to be celebrated virtually, graduation ceremonies that have been canceled altogether and so forth. Funerals have become more devastating than usual due to the impact of social distancing. Small businesses are struggling and doing everything they can to stay afloat and depression, alcoholism, domestic violence, unemployment, and hunger seem on the rise.
Yet amid all this, lives are being touched. Social distancing has surprisingly brought us closer. If we look around, we notice people ARE reaching out. Videos are holding separated families together and connecting businesses with their staff. Phone calls are made more often, and cards are being sent through the mail. Neighbors are making masks and sanitizers, delivering food and essentials to others.
Life will always provide challenges, but I find that our viewpoint and perspective can keep us from feeling defeated. Yes, some people are glued to the media, destroyed by the new normal and may even be entangled in the unwelcome effects that are occurring, but the truth is, there IS help. There is hope. There is love amidst the distress. People are reaching out; businesses are extending assistance wherever possible. It seems we actually miss the human connection.
This course of events may have put a damper on our lives, uprooted our livelihoods and caused havoc in our daily routines but there is a silver lining if we choose to see it. I encourage you to view this history-making time as a wake-up call. Look around at the things, people, surroundings, opportunities you might have overlooked or taken for granted. Do not wait for things to get back to normal and when all of this is done, may we all be a bit kinder, more generous, and continue the compassion and prayer toward others.
May we truly grasp the value of a handshake, the gift of a hug, the gratitude of a smile. May we continue to extend appreciation to our nurses, medical and emergency professionals, and not lose sight of our newfound respect for our retail personnel, and commercial truckers. May we schedule time regularly to reach out to our family, remembering the blessing they are and not take for granted their presence in our lives. May we pay it forward in the drive-through, to our neighbors, teachers, service workers and throughout our communities. May the voices of churches sing outside of their four walls and shine in actions and deeds. May we not take for granted that a sink full of dirty dishes is evidence of a well-dressed table. And most importantly, may we not forget, like childbirth, the pain and anguish we have endured to reap this beautiful message.
May we accept the lessons and challenges of this situation and create our own new normal and pray without ceasing, love without judgment, and truly recognize the daily abundance of blessings that we may so easily have overlooked in the past.
Nothing should go back to normal. Normal didn’t work. If we go back to the way things were, then we have lost the lesson we should have learned. Girl, it’s time to focus on the sparkle. It’s time to rise up, do better and be the change we want to see in the world.
© c. michelle bryant
Michelle Bryant is an entrepreneur, nationally acclaimed award-winning artist, inspirational speaker, self-published author of seven books available at most online retailers, a multi-award winning, published photographer whose work is nationally used for worldwide marketing campaigns and featured on various items including but not limited to apparel. She shines her light and speaks from her heart in an encouraging and transparent manner and offers a message of hope, healing, and victory to any who encounters her or her works. You can check out her multitude of works at: www.divinelyfocused.com.