I don’t know about you but I don’t like to put puzzles together, especially the 1000 piece puzzles. My aunt loves them. Maybe I just don’t really have the patience or the time to put them together, or I don’t know how to. So I asked her. Do you sort all your colors first, find all the edge pieces, “Yes of course,” What do you do next? You still have 800 pieces to figure out where they all go. She said, “Well...you have to look at the big picture. The box top. It's your guide, it shows you where the details are. Once you know what the big picture is, the rest will start falling into place. If you don’t look at the big picture, you’re lost or it will take you longer to finish it.”
That made me stop and think. The problem with the current crisis is, we can’t see the big picture. We are only starting to see the edge pieces, we may have all the colors put together but we don’t have all the edges and certainly not the big picture. So, we’re lost. Out of control of the situation. We are taking longer than we wanted to or anticipated it to take.
We have to become more aware of our situation. We listen, we learn. We don’t just take the advice of one person, we make it a collective decision and listen to other points of views then we collaborate those views into one. We have to be aware and be able to integrate it into what’s happening right now to start to make a good decision.
You have to have a good inner voice. Your inner voice will help you anticipate the right answer. However, you also have to have agility to change with the times. What we knew two weeks ago, is not what we know today. What we know today will be different tomorrow. So we have to be agile or flexible to move with the changes. Hey, our plan A didn’t work, and Plan B just got tossed so what do we have for a plan c, d or e?
The best way I can help you in all these decisions is to ask you what do you value? If you embrace good values you will not have as much fear under pressure. Why does fear become so dominant? It’s because fear makes the crisis more dominant, it makes it more dramatic.
If these are your values: ACCEPTANCE, COMFORT, CONTROL, ENTERTAINMENT, ENTITLEMENT, EXPERIENCES, HAPPINESS, EXPRESSION OR FREEDOM you will be struggling right now through this crisis or pandemic. If you value acceptance you are reeling without outside connections. If you value comfort, well this crisis does not let you feel any comfort, especially if you are worried about the toilet paper shortage or the food shortage. If you value control you realize everything is out of your control right now. If you value entertainment then you know that you can’t go to the movies, shopping or anywhere else. If you value entitlement you know that work, food, toilet paper are not always available and even if you think you have a need you won’t get it. If you value your experiences you will realize that the experiences you are having to endure now are not ones that you wanted. If your value is happiness you may be seeing the difference in this crisis from happiness to being overwhelmed with grief, to be fearful and full of worry. If your value is expression and you don’t have your audience you will be seeing this value is diminished as well. If your value is in freedom, then you know with all the rules and regulations in place there is no freedom to roam, freedom to decide for yourself, your freedoms are taken from you. Maybe you didn’t even realize they were freedoms. Many of these things we take for granted.
If these are your values: ATTITUDE, COURAGE, RESPONSIBILITY, COMMITMENT, INTEGRITY, HUMILITY, HOPE, GRATITUDE, KINDNESS, PERSEVERANCE, TEAM WORK, AND SELF-REGULATION you have a stronger foundation. You can still work to have these values. In this time you do have the luxury to develop these values to see their worth. Fear will be stronger if we don’t have a strong value foundation. You have to have the value of a good attitude. Being positive in your attitude and thoughts are not easy, they are a choice. If you value courage you will see it in every first responder that has put their life above those who are sick and struggling, above the fact that their families want them with them. If you value responsibility you will step up to the challenges that we face now, knowing that it will take all of us working together to collaborate in making a change. If you value commitment you will make the commitment to do what’s best for your family, your friends, your co-workers and yourself. If you value integrity you will want to be intentional in your connections and be honest with yourself and those you love. If your value is humility you will know that putting others' needs above your own. If you value hope, you will see the end of the tunnel, you will know where you should place your hope. Not in things or people but in God who is there to see you through. If your value is in gratitude, you will be grateful where you are. You will see the good things or the Holy Moments of the beauty of spring and all the moments you have been given instead of the things. If your value is kindness, you will prosper today by making those connections to those who are also struggling. By helping your neighbor or the shut in, the lonely, the one that can’t get to the store, the one that can’t mow their grass. If you value perseverance you will be persistent even though times may be difficult. You will be willing to see the light at the end of the tunnel and encourage others along your way. If you value teamwork, you will see the team you have right now through different eyes. You will appreciate each gift they bring to the table, you will value their input and you will lift them up. Your team may not be the team you had in your head, your team may be your new team that you have always had. Your family, your friends, your church. Your team may look different, but they still are part of you. If you value self-regulation, you will know how to help yourself by being willing to self-care. You will know even though someone isn’t there to keep your hand out of the cookie jar, to stop and grab an apple instead.
Work on building a stronger foundation for yourself and those around you. Learn how to be a great YOU.
Elenor Roosevelt said this~ “Good leaders inspire confidence in leaders, Great leaders inspire confidence in the people themselves”
Good fear causes you to prepare, bad fear causes you to avoid. Face your fears, name them and then look at them through a different lens. I know that we will come through this. My friend Carol who is 63, (sorry Carol) suffered with COVID-19. She is an overcomer, she is a recovery number that we don’t hear about. Let’s spread some positive outcomes.
If you can picture your mind as a garden, where the positive thoughts are the flowers, fruits and vegetables; the negative thoughts are weeds. That’s how I want to set up this last story.
A gardner went out to his garden area that was full of weeds and started to put fertilizer on it. His neighbor runs out frantically waving his arms and shouting stop! Stop! What are you doing? The gardener says, “I’m fertilizing my garden.” The neighbor says, “You have to pull the weeds, plant the seeds and then fertilize!” What the gardener was fertilizing were weeds of negative thoughts that can grow and choke out the positive thoughts. The neighbor was right, you have to pull the weeds of negativity, plant seeds of positivity, then fertilize the seeds.
Location: 205 E ALLEN ST WENTZVILLE, MO 63385