Our Parish Nurse, Sarah Ecker, offers her reflections on change.
It seems to be time again for some more changes to be coming our way. This can be exciting and daunting, even at the same time. Part of maintaining your whole health is to accept that these things are not always as “either/or” as we would like them to be, but more of “both/and”. As this pandemic churns on, and hopefully begins to wane, we will be met with new opportunities and old obligations to consider. I would like to offer you this question to ponder: What is your readiness to return? In looking forward, what do you desire your life to look like? This season is a really good time to reflect on what brought you connection, joy, and fulfillment pre-pandemic; what was changed by the pandemic and what do you need to bring you wholeness, going forward?
Some food for thought might be, group activities - like book clubs, Bible studies, hobbies, community socials, worship, support groups, sports or even games or yoga; or maybe you were more interested in music, choirs, watching a play, going for a walk with a friend, travelling, or volunteering. Whatever your mix, I would love to encourage people to start dreaming again. As the days begin to warm up, the snow begins to melt, and we all start to thaw out of this very long literal, and proverbial winter state, what will be “life-bringing” to you? It is very important to not bypass legitimate feelings of anxiety or caution, but now is a good time to take an inventory of them and ponder the external metrics that will help you spring to life in ways that honour your experiences and values. As well, we want to be intentional about making space for others as we find our “new normal”.
To come together and heal and grow in community is always the goal, but to have some authentic self-definition is a good starting place to begin the reflecting and introspection phase. That will allow room for the gentleness, compassion, patience, and connection that we are all needing, while respecting people and the pace they feel comfortable moving at. We have adapted and grown and have many tools in our kits for our safety, like, the use of masks and vaccines. Some might be ready to go and others might need a nudge from a friend to consider joining in something again, and that is okay. When mandates and restrictions are no more, the responsibility will shift to us -- to know our own limitations, and to accept that others have their reasons for caution, but to work together to use wisdom to engage safely in this next unknown phase.
Where are you at, and what will be your next steps in your readiness to return?