As the trees begin to blossom, and flowers and grasses bloom, for many spring is a time of renewal and refreshment. As we shrug off the cold, grey days of winter we long for the warmth of the sun and the promise of new things.
This year we have all faced an unprecedented experience of stress and anxiety, needing renewal and refreshment more than ever. There is not one part of our community, our culture, our world that has not been effected by COVID-19. The adjustments we’ve made to stay connected, get our work done, provide for our families, educate our children, and the sick have been felt on every level. So the question comes up “How do we deal with all of this? How do we get through something we’ve never experienced before?
No one in the world has lived through an experience like this. There are no teachers or leaders that can show us the definitive path forward so that we are healthy and strong when this has passed. So we must take a moment to look inside ourselves and assess what is most important. What do you truly value? What can you let go of or release to make ends meet?
The response that we are all called to give must come from the heart. A loving response at every turn. It is a loving response to wash our hands, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet away from one another. It is a loving response to respect the fears and anxieties of those around us by not engaging in verbal arguments; saying mean or unkind things when someone has a different opinion or experience. It is a loving response to reach out to those that are important to you to see how they are doing. It is a loving response to give yourself permission to slow down and feel your feelings even when you are helping others with their feelings.
I am hearing so many stories of true acts of kindness and connection. Just this morning as I was working from home I heard a commotion outside on the corner in front of my house. I saw several parents and children standing out there and then I heard car horns honking and saw a long line of cars going by as the children and parents waved. The cars were filled with teachers and other parents from the nearby elementary school waving and carrying signs that said “We miss you.” And “We’ll see you soon.” And “We are in this together.” There was this lovely moment of community connectedness.
A loving response at time when we all needed a sweet reminder of love and connection. Love is always the answer to managing difficult situations. Sometimes it takes a while to find what that loving response should be but the answer does come. This time of COVID-19 requires all of us to be creative and flexible in finding the way forward.
At Treehouse Family Counseling Services we have video conferencing sessions scheduled to help children, teens and their families manage all of the challenges of managing and responding to the stressors. We are here to help and support you. Please let us know how we can help. We care about you and your wellbeing.
Mary Ruth Cross, MS, MFT, NCC, RPT-S
CEO/Owner Treehouse Family Counseling Services, PC