April 24, 2020
Dear friends, as the week (finally) ends and you enter into some much deserved rest and restoration, I want to remind you that every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard enough and believe in yourself! It might be difficult, but it’s not impossible!!!
It’s been rough going for many of us the last few weeks. I began writing these daily emails to you in hopes that each of you would find the strength and resiliency to carry on when you need to, rest when you can, heal when you find yourself wounded, laugh at the absurdity of it all and shed a tear to wash it all clean. I think, for the most part, we’ve been able to do that.
We are all on a journey of grief that begins with a loss that has knocked us off balance, Our ultimate goal, however, is to move through the wheel and head toward reorganization, the final destination of our journey.
We have all experienced the shock of quarantine in our personal and professional lives. We have all been shaken to our cores with questions, fears, anxieties, and doubts. We have joined in protesting the new normal we’ve been forced to accept without any input or consideration of our feelings about it. We have experienced anger. We have experienced the preoccupation with better days, not so long ago lived. We have tearfully changed everything about who we are and how we relate to the world.
We are disoriented and lost.
We are somewhere on this wheel of grief between shock and disorientation. However, the thing about the wheel is we can negotiate each spoke more than once. As long as we remain on the wheel we will cycle through. Some of you may have even experienced reorganization, even if briefly, and found yourself flung back into the chaos of the loss, gawking at how much it still hurts.
As we head toward reorganization many of us have come to realize that the accommodations we’ve made in our lives might be around much longer than we had hoped. Eventually, we will get through all this grief and head toward recovery, but we will never be the same as we once were. This experiences has forever changed our personal and corporate (think communal) identities. There’s so much to learn before we can get on that road to recovery.
In that spirit, I have been writing about ways to mitigate the initial shock and protest stages. Now that we are beginning to slow down enough to truly feel the pain of our loss the disorientation is setting in. So we are going to move with the wheel and take an honest and vulnerable look at our grief. In the days ahead, each of these emails will take on the feeling of disorientation and, hopefully, fling us ever closer to reorganization and recovery. Sure, some of the time we’ll fling right around to the loss and repeat the cycle. Hopefully, with each other’s help, we don’t fling into the deterioration stage. If you do, there is a way out, but it will take extra work and an extra special guide to bring you back. If you’re there now, look for the helpers, as Mr. Rogers would say.
I hope that in the next few weeks we will begin to honestly and sincerely appreciate how far we’ve come from the initial loss brought on by Covid-19. As difficult as it is, as tender as the wounds may feel, we must continue to walk, run, or fling around this wheel of grief. Together, we will learn to sing the old songs while writing new lyrics for a brave new world. Together, we will carry the eternal flame of hope and help each other bear the weight of audacity and steeled resolve. Together, we will survive.
I send you into the weekend of rest with these words from Pema Chodron: “Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away.”
Let us run together toward our difficulty and be transformed, together, into whatever beautiful dream awaits.
Love and Light!