A couple weeks ago I wrote about the importance of relationships regarding the two significant outbreaks that Nashville had faced in the recent weeks. Today with our country and world seemingly at a standstill with social distancing and quarantining, worry and anxiety are spreading much like the virus itself.
I’m noticing that many are having an increase of anxiety due to a lack of boundaries around their news consumption. Existentially, anxiety is about limitations and powerlessness. We cannot control what has happened, or what will happen. When we flood our being with information that we cannot do anything about, we either become apathetic or anxious. Neither of these lead to good things for us or for those we love and care about.
Before the quarantine, what most of us used to have was a set schedule and boundaries around work life and home life. With that gone, we have become unmoored from what governed our lives. We’ve lost the comforts that we relied on to keep us safe. This week, David Brooks wrote an Op-Ed piece in The NY Times about the virus’ impact on our society and that it’s a test for all of us. How will we respond?
As humans, we don’t exist (to our knowledge) outside of linear time. We’re bound to the gravity that holds us all stable on the ground. The same is true with time. We don’t know how long this will last. We don’t know what life will look like once it does pass (if it indeed does pass). We don’t exist in an alternate timeline, and thus we are left to face the truths that are in the present before us. What this virus is doing to us as individuals, and as a society, is revelatory about us, not about the virus.
Are you becoming apathetic, anxious, or something else? Be curious, what does your response say about you and what you might need to address about your limitedness?