While our world seems turned upside down and normalcy seems a thing of the past, it is important to remember that, ‘This too shall pass’.
There are a lot of things outside of our control right now and those things we took for granted only days ago have been set aside for a time. Our sense of security has been stripped away and the rhythm of our lives were taken as well. Our choices have quite suddenly become limited in terms of what we do, where we go, and how many people we see at a time. There is a lot of fear and hurt in the world as a result, with good reason. It’s OK to take time to grieve the loss of normalcy, to process the pain of change, and to come to terms with not knowing what tomorrow will look like. Fear and vulnerability are normal human feelings and it’s OK to face them.
While so many things lie outside of our control, we must remember that there are still things that are within our control as well. What do we do with these feelings? What do we do when our children look up in our eyes and ask why things are different? I think most good counselors would agree that while we cannot control our environment, we can control our reaction to it. These feelings need to be discussed and our children need to know why we are behaving differently. Through these conversations we can give our children hope and comfort in knowing we will be by their side through all of this. They need to know that no matter how different things get, this season will pass.
Part of our hope lies in the opportunities of this season. There is a long list of hardships right now, from financial strain to our families’ health and wellbeing. But there are opportunities. Craig Groeschel has a quote that has been powerful to our family, ‘We may impress people through strength, but we connect with people through weakness’. We want so badly to fast forward through seasons of hardship, but there is so much to be gained from going through these journeys together with those you love. Going through struggles with your spouse, children, friends, or neighbors creates vulnerability, which in turn creates empathy if you let your guard down. In talking with your community about the feelings that these hardships bring, it creates understanding and connection.
For our family, survival swim lessons are what we have built our lives around. It is a worthy cause and our team is excellent at it. We have learned that a lot of what we do goes beyond teaching a child the technique of swimming as many come to us with fear and anxiety around water. We have found that the first step is understanding and the second step is connection. We empathize and learn why a new swimmer is nervous and talk through those fears. In doing this, trust is built and a bond is formed between swimmer and swim instructor. I believe this to be universal, whether it’s at the pool or at home with our children, human beings need to feel understood and long for connection. So, our call to action is this: find the silver lining in the storm. This season can bring us closer together or tear us apart, as families. We want to numb all the fear and nerves with Netflix and social media, but put the phone away and turn off the tv for a while and ask your kiddos what they think about what is going on in the world. The more empathy and understanding we can offer during the hard times, the deeper our relationships will be. Remember, no matter how hard things are, ‘This too shall pass’.