Originally this post was supposed to talk about two types of persons this COVID lockdown has revealed. But with the recent murder of George Floyd, I am editing this piece a bit. I do believe this lockdown has allowed us to learn more about ourselves and assess our strengths and weaknesses. Facing our weaknesses is never a fun or easy task but a very necessary one. When we face them head on, we can change our thinking and thereby change our actions.
Some of us needed this time to work on neglected projects and forgotten passions whereas others needed this time to chill. Like honestly, stop doing the one hundred and one things we are used to. I was excited to do nothing at all but it turns out that I have been conditioned to constantly be active with something. Our childhood shapes us more than we care to admit. It is literally engrained in me. My mom cleaned a clean house.
Anxious for the “free” time, I started looking into things to improve myself during this lockdown. I was already taking an online course and somehow I ended up with six more. I mean they were free! Who could resist? Obviously not me. And I do believe being productive is a good thing but if I am honest, it can sometimes be counterproductive. So here I was with essentially 7 courses and I would not worry but I was also home with two kids, aged 8 and 2. My plate was full with at home schooling.
Instead of just pushing through and stressing myself with juggling all of these responsibilities, I got honest with myself. I adjusted some deadlines and even *gasp* dropped a course. I had to battle the thoughts that this made me a failure. The moment I made the changes, I felt relief wash over me. I now had time to really apply myself to the courses and learn the material. Since then I have completed two of the courses and I am on schedule for the last four. If you are like me, you struggle with giving yourself the grace needed. Don’t set the bar too high for yourself.
Let me tell you about my quarantine to do list! Taxes, filling, reorganization and so much more. I am proud to have completed quite a few of them but ultimately I ditched the list. The first couple of weeks, it was easy to balance everything but then suddenly I had this urge to rest. I had been working out pretty regularly since the last quarter of 2019 and I found myself too tired to work out or not in the mental space. I watched some movies on Netflix, some thing I barely do. I had to confront this childhood idea that I had to be busy in order to be productive. Self- care is also needed. Constantly being on the go and not taking a breather to recharge will burn you out.
The recent murder of George Floyd is overwhelming and we are bombarded with news report after news report. Innocent black lives have been taken due to excessive force by racist and biased cops. Police brutality should have been a closed chapter we reflected on from our childhood days and not something still happening in 2020. The mentality of some members of the police force have been engrained from their childhood days where the KKK was very much active. Unfortunately they have not confronted certain ideas from their upbringing.
We cannot continue to live in a society where a large portion of its members constantly live in fear. In fear of their very lives because someone still believes an outdated theory that one person is superior to the other. Like with any self- reflection, the work is the hardest part and the part we run from but it is working through it that we overcome it. Have conversations about race and if you are a white person and it makes you feel uncomfortable, sit with that feeling and unpack why you feel that way. I read once that when someone tells you that they are hurt, you cannot tell them how hurt they are. Black people are hurting and they have kept quiet for years because that was expected of them. Now it is brimming over.
To wrap it up, I have learned that we all struggle with some limiting beliefs from our childhood. For me, one of them is learning to rest and recharge. I have more on limiting beliefs in future posts so stick with me. We also tend to feel some guilt when we start breaking down limiting beliefs. We feel guilty not living up to the behavior we have been conditioned to. We feel guilty that we did not do more. We feel guilty that we did not speak up more. All that matters is that you identify the limiting belief and work on reversing it.
In the following weeks as more places open and the George Floyd case unravels, please remember to take time to recharge. It is a lot to deal with. Unplug from social media and do things that make you happy. Drink your favorite drink, use your favorite soap, meditate, eat delicious food and most importantly remember to laugh. Remind yourself that you are worthy, loved and amazing.
I challenge you to look at yourself and the limiting beliefs you have of yourself and give them a name. Then challenge those beliefs. You may have been led to believe things that are simply not true about yourself or that hinder your growth. Secondly, stop beating yourself up and give yourself a round of applause for all that you have accomplished. And remember, choosing yourself is an accomplishment.