Life Matters,  Out and About

Courage mingled with vulnerabilities (CV)

What a difference a few months can make. No longer do we have control over where we go and what we do. The coronavirus, COVID-19, CV for short, is controlling us. I am now controlled by the government and the rules of movement and social behaviour. But I do not mind, these are in place for my protection and to protect those I love. Therefore, I have to face the world with another form of CV – courage mingled with my vulnerabilities.

The level of control and the change CV has bought into my life was evident to me yesterday when we visited the pharmacy and the supermarket. We arrived at Grand Central shopping centre mid-morning. Several months ago, if we arrived at that time on a Friday we would have difficulty getting a park. However, it is a different world now and there were plenty of car spaces to choose from. When we visited the pharmacy, we had our temperatures taken before we could enter the shop. Not that I minded, it was great knowing that my temperature was in the normal range.

This is our new way of living and it will be like this for at least six months, maybe longer. That is, no day trips to the beach, no BBQ’s in the park, no sunbaking on the sand, no swimming at the local pool, no meeting up with friends for drinks after work, no playgroups to meet new mums or dads, no trips to the cinema, the ballet or other entertainment venues – we must stay at home.

To get through this time we need courage. The word courage comes from the Latin cor meaning heart. We must not let fear into our hearts at a time like this. We need strong hearts to draw on our inner strength, as we live with CV controlling our every move.

We are all vulnerable due to government expectations and our lifestyle changes. All of us need reassurance that we will regain what has been taken away from us, but it will take time. But what about the children? They need encouragement and they need to see strong hearted parents in action – courage ahead of fear. They also need supportive language that tells them the current circumstances are temporary.

Even drawing on our inner strength and displaying courage, in these unusual times, we can feel vulnerable, due to the uncertainty. We do not know how long we will be controlled by CV. We do not know whether staple food items will continue to be available at the supermarket. It is the fear of missing out (FOMO) that is motivating people’s behaviour. The behaviour is driven by fear and is why you and I look quizzically at the empty shelves, where there once was flour, sugar, pasta and yes, toilet paper.

I find I can cope better if I look at the current situation as an opportunity. It is an opportunity for me and for you to re-evaluate our lifestyles, to re-evaluate how we live our daily lives and how we treat and relate to others. Moving forward with courage (a strong heart) we can face our vulnerabilities and create a new way of living. A lifestyle we can celebrate.

At our place and at our time of life, we spend most of our time at home. But then, before CV, I enjoyed the freedom of going out, even on a whim. Now, this freedom has been taken away. Prior to CV, I had a carefree attitude and I want to retain this. But now I have to lower my expectations while still seeing the bigger picture. There will be a time when we can go back to how we were. But right now when we go shopping for essentials we do not know where the coronavirus is lurking, and we feel vulnerable. Life is very different.

Empty seats and benches are the new normal.

Yet, I am confident that what is ahead, is a better world. Our new world is emerging. People are showing love and kindness to others whilst keeping their social distance. Neighbours that never spoke are getting to know one another and there are offers to shop or pick up medication. People are finding unique ways to show they care by driving past a child’s front yard with balloons and ‘happy birthday’ signs. The party continues but in a different format. This is courage in action, not letting fear reign but finding new ways of living.

It is okay to feel vulnerable due to COVID-19, but we must not let it take over completely and dominate our lives. Even when I am confronted by a world of unknowns I tell myself to keep a brave heart, to be positive about the future. I am confident that we will rise like a phoenix from the ashes. We will rise out of the clutches of COVID-19, into a new world, maybe even a better world than we had before.

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