The Zen Library Blog

Staying 'Positive' throughout Covid-19

Monday 26th October 2020

I have been struggling a lot this year as I'm sure many people have been with Covid-19 lockdown. This has been a very challenging period to say the least and so many people are wondering how they are going to pick up the threads of their life again, if that's even possible. The  'New Normal' is not a phrase I like or use lightly. If anyone has told you to 'Just stay positive', this post is for you.  

Staying 'positive' throughout this has actually been very hard because I have felt exactly the opposite. If we don't feel positive, it is better to be honest and say just how awful we feel. Being true to how we feel can help us acknowledge and accept our feelings, given the fact that we've been thrust into a reality that none of us wanted. It's OK to say that things are rubbish. 

The more positive I tried to be. the worse I felt. The more I saw people around me smiling and laughing, the more I wanted to say: 

'There's nothing to smile about. This year sucks!' 

I was in denial of just how much I was struggling to come to terms with having to live like this. 

In all honesty, it is our perception that creates our reality. The glass is half full, not half empty. We can allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling without denying our reality but it is the acceptance of those feelings that matter. With a deep acceptance of 'what is,' we can begin to transcend the resistance to the present moment. Holding a space for ourselves is how we begin to unlock the door to a greater dimension of being. Our perception can change only if we give it space to do so.  

When we 'be' as we are, we are saying 'yes' to the present moment. I have to admit, I haven't always found this easy. I have often found myself wishing I was somewhere else, doing better, doing more, whatever, it was never enough. I got to the point where I was tired of never feeling like I was  'enough.' I decided to drop that negative behaviour because I didn't want to be in conflict with who I am. We are all 'enough' simply because we are who we are. We don't need to be anything else but who we are to be happy. When we live a life true to who we are, everything else falls into place. 

When we bring awareness to our feelings, we give ourselves permission to be human. Covid-19 is teaching us that our humanity matters. The things we take for granted, matter. Human connection, matters. The food we eat, matters. The waste we dispose of, matters. We are all interconnected as one collective. What we do has an affect on the world. If you have ever felt insignificant, realise - you aren't. 

Not at all! 

Our place in the world matters. 

Being 'positive' and getting through this will only matter if we take action to change the status quo. A large part of this is prioritising self-care. When we stop persuading ourselves to be more positive in the midst of stressful situations and give ourselves space to be whatever we need to be (which means having that safe space), we realise just how important this is with the world being as tumultuous as it is currently. It is about honouring our feelings in the present moment, not denying our true feelings.

Positivity can be quite toxic if used in the wrong way. Questioning the validity of why someone feels down, a bit negative or emotional by asking them to be positive may have a good intention but ultimately, it stands to invalidate their experience and make them feel worse than they already do. Just allow them to feel what they need and they might find what they're looking for more easily. 

© Christina McDonald 2020

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