If there is one thing that the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it’s how often we take things for granted. When things are going reasonably well in our lives, it’s easy to for us to assume that things will continue along the same trajectory. With full confidence in the status quo, we soldier on without ever taking stock of all the good that we have.
Unfortunately, it usually isn’t until we lose things we care about that we begin to appreciate how important they were to us. In some cases, this realization can come in the form of a dramatic wake-up call. The coronavirus pandemic is probably the most profound, collective example in modern history.
When the pandemic hit, our lives and daily routines were completely upended. Many people got sick or lost their jobs, while others had to work from home. Our kids couldn’t go to school. We couldn’t see our family and friends. We lost people in our families or communities. Some of us lost far more than others, but all of us had to face a stark, new normal with uncertainty lurking in every corner of our lives.
While it’s a shock to the system to experience such a sudden and drastic life change, the pandemic serves as a powerful reminder of all the things, both big and small, that we take for granted every day. At the time of this writing, we are still in crisis managment mode, but there will come a time to reflect on what we learned. If you’re willing, you can use your new awareness to adjust your thinking. Shift your attention, however gradually, away from your challenges and preoccupations and onto your blessings.
Think about the miracle of the human body…and how it works tirelessly in the background to support your wellbeing. The lungs that draw your breath in and out, the heart that circulates your blood, the legs that support you, and the food that nourishes you. Make it a practice to breathe deeply and give thanks for the life force that sustains you. Think about the home that shelters you, the job that gives you income, the car that takes you from place to place, and the people who provide services to you. Give thanks for all the things that help you meet your basic needs. Think about the people closest to you…your children, spouse, parents, or friends. Give thanks to them for enhancing your life and helping you become the person you are today. Think about all the things that make your life easier, from your smartphone to your washing machine, and express gratitude for all the conveniences you have.
Perhaps one of the lessons from the pandemic will be to slow us all down and teach us what’s really important. Instead of taking things for granted as we go about our routines, we can be more present and have a sense of gratitude for all of the positive, loving aspects of our lives.