Dr. Norquist is republishing earlier columns during this COVID-19 pandemic that she hopes will be helpful to our readers.
“The COVID 19 pandemic gives us each a chance to step back and see how we respond to difficulties. Consider a viewpoint that a wise person once said to me: It is not what happens to us in life that matters as much as who we become as a result.
“This pandemic gives us a chance to re-evaluate how we are living our lives, and what we deem most important. The following response was to a reader who was struggling with unwanted changes that were thrust upon her. How are you dealing with the changes this pandemic has created in your life?”
Change is a constant. We can try to fight it – but we are only deceiving ourselves to think we have a chance of winning. It’s like being in the midst of a swiftly flowing river and thinking you can fight the flow and stay in one place. It is human nature to become attached to the everyday structure of our lives. To one extent or another, we rely on the regularity of our everyday lives for our sense of identity, our role, our security in life.
There is an ebb and flow to life. The seasons are always changing. When you look at change or fluidity in your current situation from a fear-filled place, from a place where regularity is preferred, you encourage feelings of pain, uncertainty, fear and discontent. By looking for the opportunities your current life experience is providing for you this same fluidity can become a source for growth, an opening in your life for new experiences to emerge. Begin releasing your need for predictability, for it cannot be demanded without a price. Predictability can only be gained by sacrificing opportunities for growth, and a narrowing of your life experience.
With the right attitude, contentment can be found in both the calms of the sea, and the storms of the sea. Try to accept the changes that are presented to you. Allow change to provide you with choices and opportunities, while you become more and more aware of a deeper, inner experience that remains constant and is not affected by the surface waters of change.
Check out Dr. Norquist’s new blog GrowingThroughParenting.com
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.) Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at email@example.com. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. Ó 2020 Chaitanya Counseling Services