an exclusive feature from Bonnie Compton*
“Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” ~Rumi
Do you ever find yourself looking back at your life and wondering why some things occurred the way they did? Maybe you’ve held on to regrets, wishing you’d done things differently. Or perhaps you’re the type of person that goes with the flow and allows life to lead you.
It has been said by Oprah and many others, that “Life is happening for us…not to us.” I happen to believe this is true, but it doesn’t always feel good! However, when I stop and reflect, I am grateful for the lessons that life has taught me along the way. I am a stronger and wiser woman because of these lessons. I’ve also received many gifts as a result, that helped me to see that “life was happening for me.” Sometimes these gifts were subtle, and sometimes they were BIG!
I’m curious how we will all look back on the Covid-19 pandemic. Our individual lenses will help create our stories. Many years from now, what story will you be telling, as you’ll be remembering how you felt or what you did? What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them…or did you? You have a choice today and an opportunity to create the story you want to be telling many years from now. Even if you “suffered” through it, and experienced loss, what did you gain? If you lost a loved one to the virus, please know that your story will be different. And our heart hurts for you. Your life’s story about grief is real and raw…and will continue to be written over time. Please honor your own journey of grief…there is no timeline for this.
However, if you survived other losses, such as your job, your freedom…you fill in the blank______________…what did you gain?
During tough times it is our human nature to resist change. We often like the status quo…even if we complain about it! We like to feel balanced, and a sudden change can rock our equilibrium (kind of like being in a rocky boat that you try to steady). And so, we try to control the situation (as if we really have any control?!) We also like to complain. Complaining validates our experience. It also helps to keep us stuck. Remember, even when you’re going through a tough time, you have a choice as to how you handle it. During the pandemic, did you stay stuck in fear? Or did you take the opportunity to get out in nature more, explore hobbies, or simply hang out with your family?
Life is about choices. And every moment offers you an opportunity to make a different choice.
-How are you going to choose to remember the 2020 crisis, or other struggles in your life?
-How would your life change if you began to look for the gifts rather than the pain?
-Have you thought of any gifts you received from this challenging period? Or from any other tough times you’ve had in your life?
Here are a few gifts I have received from Covid-19…
- The reminder that people are innately good and want to do the right thing. I have witnessed this over and over again during the pandemic.
- Time to be more and do less. The stay-at-home order was a forced slow down for me. I now savor my quiet time and intend to create more during each day.
- Gratitude for my family and friends and the time we made for each other.
- The realization that my work with parents and grandparents certainly is conducive to virtual sessions. Will definitely create more virtual sessions in the future!
- The reminder how precious life is…and never to take it for granted.
- To be more intentional and consistent with my health habits.
- My hope has been rekindled that all is not lost in the world…that kindness will lead the way…and our planet will heal.
I urge you to take the time and reflect on your own life’s experiences.
What gifts have you received?
What story will you be telling yourself and others?
*Surrendering to Life’s Gifts, is an exclusive feature for grandparentslink.com by Bonnie Compton, APRN, BC, CPNP. Bonnie has worked with families for more than thirty years as a child and adolescent therapist, parent coach, and pediatric nurse practitioner and is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families. In doing so, Bonnie helps parents and grandparents create healthy boundaries and relationships. She is a writer, speaker, workshop and retreat facilitator, and hosted her own podcast radio program, Wholehearted Parenting Radio, which is available on iTunes, Web Talk Radio, Radioactive Broadcasting Network, and Stitcher Radio. Bonnie lives in Charleston, SC, with her husband. She is a mom of four adult children and believes that being a mother has been her most important job; and loves being Gramma to her four beautiful granddaughters. Bonnie is also the author of Mothering with Courage, Available here!, and has an online course Messages We Send Our Children Daily OM