It seems as if the lockdown life is never-ending. Although mentally, I know that this season will pass, it just seems to keep going on and on, much like a long road trip. You know the part. The one in the middle, where you’re neither here nor there and it is straight for miles and miles. The kids sound like a stuck record, “Are we there yet?”
Well, are we there yet?
What’s the cure for this liminal space that we find ourselves in? Every Monday I speak on the radio about Courageous Parenting & Living. During one of our conversations, it emerged that there seems to be a drought in people’s hearts of love and kindness.
We need more love and kindness
A lack of love and kindness has many side effects, similar to that of a physical drought. Our hearts begin to dry up and crack. We feel brittle, as if, something will cause us to crack and break. Our capacity for growth is limited. And perhaps we feel as if we are shrinking inside. It’s hard to reach out to others when you don’t have much left inside of you.
Covid-19 has left us with more than an uncertainty and fear of contamination.
In an article on forbes.com, the writer, Alice Walton, expresses her thoughts, “The pandemic has contributed to a rise in depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts over the last 15 months: physical and social isolation, loss of work, fear of contracting or spreading the virus, and loss of loved ones have been hard to cope with, to say the least.”
“The reality is that mental health is strongly dependent on what’s going on in world, as well as our personal commitments and constraints—financial, familial, social, and so on.”
How does all of this contribute towards drought in people’s lives?
Well, life is more challenging than before. But, there is light and there is hope.
VUCA shows us what we’re facing
Many years ago, the military coined a term to help their soldiers understand the world around them: VUCA
A VUCA world is where we are now. Let me unpack it for you.
V stands for Volatile.
And, boy are things volatile right now. I’d like to present that we combat that volatility with peace in our lives. Starting with ourselves and moving in ever-widening circles. John 14:27 encourages with these words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
U stands for Uncertain
Just look at the news, at the symptoms of Covid-19 and the levels of uncertainty rises. To water the drought in our hearts, we can move towards surrender. Often, change comes around the corner from surrender. Fear will try and stop you, my friend. But, don’t let it in. One thing I do know is that God does not want you live in fear. Fear robs you of your peace, your joy and capacity. It’s like the scorching sun on an already dry heart. Surrender that which you cannot control. When we lay down our feelings of uncertainty, we can return to a place of simple faith and trust. Trust in Lord with all your heart, it’s water for your soul.
C stands for Complexity
Complexity is certainly here. There are so many things to consider in this pandemic and one can feel overwhelmed by it all. How about we return to simplicity? Simplicity involves making things easier for us to understand and do. What can you simplify in your life? What do you need to say ‘no’ to, so that you can live with greater margin and joy? Choose the better as you go about your day? If your heart is feeling dry, consider what type of rain do you need in your life? Gentle soaking or a huge downpour? Then, position yourself to receive. And that might mean decluttering your mind, or even your home. Return to rest and simplicity to combat complexity.
A stands for Ambiguous
How much around you is unclear or undecided? When I read the news, or look at global trends I see ambiguity at work. It seems as if everything open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning. This can contribute to feelings of insecurity or even a lack of compassion. Kindness can fight that. Look for the truth in the situation you are facing. Let truth lead your emotions and kindness be the strength in your legs.
Water for souls comes in various forms. Sow seeds of kindness and drops of love. Growth happens almost unseen. But wait…soon you will see shoots of hope, joy and courage.
Courage to open your heart to live fully alive.
Finally, be the one who breaks the drought of love and kindness in your world. Don’t give in to fear or the lie that things can’t change. Be the one who waters the relationships around you. This world needs you. And you are a world changer in the making
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please consider leaving a comment so we can all learn together.