You know why we refuse to accept something we cannot control? Because we can’t handle uncertainty. We are not wired to ‘go with the flow’ and let things happen. People are impatient. And insecure. We need to know that there is a beginning, a middle and an end to things. Otherwise, we go insane.
This year has been strange and extraordinary in every sense and at every level. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a serious strain not only on global healthcare systems, but on our mental health as well.
People can’t handle so many restrictions and so many recurring constraints.
But most of all, they can’t accept being told what to do, or rather, what not to do.
We can’t breathe with masks on because we’re told we need them. We feel we’re being deprived of oxygen because that is what our mind is telling us.
In every lockdown, we remember the need to go outside, to walk, run, cycle, swim, and sit in the park under the sun. Yet, during our ‘normal’ lives we may hardly even go out onto the balcony for some fresh air, spending the entire day in front of a screen at a an office.
And now, that screen is our way of communicating with the world.
Ironic. Tragic. Call it what you will. But this new reality has caused an irrevocable change to what we consider ‘normal’. And the things we consider as a given or as common sense.
The world has hit pause and forced us to reconsider everything we considered ‘ordinary’. We need to reprogramme our entire lifestyle and way of thinking, working and living at whatever life stage we currently find ourselves.
The worse thing about the recurring and long-drawn lockdowns is that we’re challenging our own minds, the limits of our sanity, the strength of our beliefs, and the potency of our optimism. The entire situation places us in the unwanted position of not knowing whether to make plans or what these can entail because we very simply do not know and cannot tell what tomorrow may bring.
Uncertainty is the root of our discomfort.
But no matter how much we resist, complain, moan and react, there are some things that are beyond our control. A global pandemic is among them.
So if you had to answer the question “if you could be anywhere in the world, where would that be?”, what would you say?
Some would answer the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights; others at the top of Mount Everest, at the Caribbean, at a fancy resort, at your beach house, a mountain chalet, somewhere no one has been to before, anywhere you cannot be at this very moment, somewhere different to where you are.
But the truth is, the answer is not a destination. Because in pondering your reply, it’s who you want to be with that springs to mind. As you grow older, you realise it’s not really the place that matters, but the moments and people you spend them with.
In essence, everything we need is here – within us – we just haven’t acknowledged it enough so as not to worry about what is beyond our needs and control.
It’s not the place or circumstances that need to change. It is our entire lifestyle and mentality.