Before the pandemic, there was a constant need to keep going. When we weren’t sleeping, we were either working, going to work, or too busy with everything else after work. But as the world was put into a standstill because of quarantine, we had a pause like we have never seen before. All of the time we took doing all the things we have packed our schedule with was opened up, leading to an overwhelming sense of, “what now?”. I think COVID-19 has asked us all to go inward. When you go inward you cannot help but face the stuff you often push aside because life is busy.
Unfortunately, being able to face all that stuff that has been ignored has been difficult for some. I remember asking people, “how are you,” and the answer always being, “fine”. I cringed at how fake it all felt but I never really knew how to challenge someone to be more honest. I’m not saying we aren’t fine, I’m saying I would listen if you weren’t.
My dear friend, God bless his soul, passed away after a battle with alcoholism. During conversations where I reached out to see how he was, he was always ok and asking me how I was. I wish we had gotten real. I wish I could have gotten him to feel vulnerable enough to tell me about his heart’s pain.
What if COVID-19 was about chaining the surface way of life? I don’t know who needs to hear this, but one check-in per day is my goal these days, no body is telling me they are ‘great’ so I’m motivated to continue checking in with people. There is a lot of power in being vulnerable, but some people think it is the opposite. The truth is, being able to recognize that you aren’t doing well takes way more strength than turning a blind eye to it.
Make the decision to show other people the importance of being vulnerable by taking time to pause, and check in with them. When they say they’re “fine”, I encourage you to tune into their emotions and truly analyze if they are okay. At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel seen and heard!