How long do you think it will take us to get back to normal?
Sorry, it’s a trick question. We’re never going back. But more importantly, it’s the wrong question. Because if you’re still thinking about the way it used to be and how to turn the past back into the present, then you’re missing the bigger point.
The virus isn’t a random, anomalous event that may or may not cause a certain amount of permanent change. This is a time of change and the virus is a manifestation of that. It’s not the only one, it’s just the most obvious one.
As far as “how long” it will be here? It will be here as long as it takes to accomplish the necessary amount of change. Here’s how you know that hasn’t happened yet: we’re still talking about “when we get back to normal.”
This is why I believe this is more than a semantic distinction. As long as we see COVID as the originator or cause of the disruption, then we will continue to think of it as an interruptionof normal life. Instead, I’m suggesting that collectively the planet is going through a sort of growth spurt. When the energy of transition is in the air, examples of it start to occur and events like the pandemic, or the murder of George Floyd, become access points through which change can be enacted.
It’s as if the virus were a tsunami caused by massive seismic shifts on the ocean floor. Yes, the wave is itself an agent of change, but more importantly, it is a result or expression of the much larger forces which shape life itself.
Staying attached to the good old days keeps us in resistance to change. We stay focused on killing time until we can go back to bars, churches, and football games. And we miss the opportunity to work with the foundational shifting that is taking place.
This is a time to be looking at what we have to do differently, what we have to let go of, and what we have to make room for. All kinds of things are (or will be) possible now that weren’t before. And when we focus on possibility at a time like this then suddenly…
- The Berlin Wall comes down.
- A black man becomes President.
- Gay marriage is legalized.
- Cannabis is no longer a felony in many states.
- “Me Too.”
- Confederate monuments are removed.
None of these things had any chance of happening until the shift began, and this is maybe the biggest window of transformation any of us will ever see. We can ride the wave or we can exhaust ourselves trying to swim against it and drown.
The fastest way to get through this is to go through it. The more we resist and avoid, the longer the change agents are required. We each get to decide whether we want to work with the process and evolve, or stall and deny and drag this out indefinitely.
If your spirit is prompting you to have a conversation about embracing change, I encourage you to get in touch with me.