“Not another COVID 19 post!”

That’s what you’re thinking, right? Well, well, oops! I couldn’t help it this time. 

Have you noticed that when a place is flooded, all the dirt and yucky stuff is brought up to the surface?
Similarly, I realised that it would be erroneous to classify the virus as the biggest problem in our lives right now. It may very well seem that way, but for many of us it isn’t the exact truth.

The impact has been devastating in many countries. It’s very sad for all of those who were directly impacted. I am very sorry if you have personally dealt with any loss, sending you loving prayers.

But on the brighter side of things, it seems that most of the world has not actually been impacted by the virus itself. In fact, I feel that the virus has acted as reality check to show us our core problems. These problems have been with us for a long time, but given the increasing distractions, we kept ignoring them for way too long. And Covid brought them up to the surface, I feel.

There are many businesses which have been impacted and many people lost their jobs, which is very unfortunate. Today though, I am referring to other issues. Have you noticed that most of us are either struggling with loneliness, the inability to juggle family and work life, dealing broken with relationships, or are facing side-effects of isolation due to the inability to travel?

This in itself tells us a lot about what the core problem in our life is. If we are struggling with the inability to socialise, then perhaps we have neglected our relationship with ourselves for way too long. Due to this, we no longer know what to do with ourselves when left alone. Many people feel sick of being at home and being constantly surrounded by family members. For some of us, the pandemic has magnified our discomfort in being at home with family members for too long. Perhaps we had been brushing our conflicts under the carpet for way too long, and now is an opportunity to mend things. Others on the other hand, enjoyed it all thoroughly, whether that’s excessive family time, working from home, solitude, less social commitments. Perhaps these people were already on top of their game, and everyone else around them too. What are the chances of that, eh? Lucky people!

Similarly, if children are struggling to focus at school and are restless at home, perhaps we have unknowingly taught children that fulfilment or happiness is always sought externally. And to a larger extent, I dare say that if a country’s economy is struggling to cope with the impact of the pandemic, then perhaps there have always been internal inadequacies which the virus has only brought to our attention.

All in all, I mean to say that whatever we are struggling with at an individual level or even as a society, is really a gift from life. An opportunity for us to address the underlying problem. For instance, the worryingly high level of mental health problems in the world, definitely deserves our attention more and more now. The problem was always here, however, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to address the issue. Did you struggle with a particular aspect? Perhaps that’s a chance to mend that part of your life and move a few steps closer to peace?

Personally, the restrictions related to travelling had the biggest impact on me. It felt quite uncomfortable to be stuck in one place, but knowing that nothing is permanent surely helped. And as far as socialising is concerned, sometimes I feel that it was a boon for introverts who don’t really enjoy interactions. Can anyone relate? Virtual meetings in track pants are the way to go. But hoping things do go back to ‘normal’ one day. A new normal. Normal, yet different.

On a more positive note, what did you learn during this past year? Or maybe what was your biggest take away? Mine was: Everything is temporary and patience is key. And oh, when life gives you lemons, put them in the fridge for later.