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:: grieving your big plans and goals doesn’t mean you’ve given up on them ::

Here we are, many of our best-laid plans for 2020 steamrolled, sidelined, or at the very very least, shook the eff up.

Whether you’re an online entrepreneur pivoting to create new offerings or a brick-and-mortar biz owner learning how to navigate online spaces…

Whether you’ve been let go, furloughed, or are working more hours than ever with less protective gear than safety measures warrant…

Whether you’re used to working from home or homeschooling your kids or you’re newly adjusting to all of it…

Whether you felt financially, emotionally, or relationally stable BEFORE all this or not…

Whatever your starting point was in January of this year, it’s quite likely that you’ve got a very different perspective on it all today. And that perspective will likely continue to evolve as we all learn how to navigate each new iteration of shared space together.

There’s been a common thread in most of my conversations lately around the range and variety of emotions being felt. 

One of us will ask how the other is doing in all this, and the response comes as something along the lines of, “Well, you know… I have good days and bad days.”

But when we dig in a little more, it becomes clear that there doesn’t actually seem to be such a thing as a “good” or “bad” day for many of us right now

Excepting the fact that I’m generally not a fan of labeling anything “good” or “bad” if I can help it, and allowing that, when we’ve said it before it’s been understood that of course there could and would be elements of good in the bad days and bad in the good ones.

All of that aside, if we’re going to try to package and label a day as anything at all right now, it’s been more like a bundle of moments and feelings that somehow stitch themselves together to create a patchwork day that ultimately feels good for the handmade comfort it brings as you wrap it around your shoulders and rest up for the next one.

To call them “good” or “bad” wouldn’t begin to accurately reflect the quality of the feelings and moments we’ve been cycling through at random in each of these days.

Hopeful, worried, tired, relieved, appreciative, so very sad, light, resentful, touched, alone, lonely, heavy, cared for, loved, connected, productive, defeated, amused, depressed, ready for anything, uncertain, scared, etc., and so on, exponentially continued, repeat.

There’s often little correlation between one feeling and the next or in depth or degree. Some feel mere whispers of an expression, others so profound they make you feel like you might actually burst. 

As I’ve observed and reflected on my own experience of this, I’ve noticed that sometimes the feelings come on as if out of nowhere, and they often disappear just as fast — especially when I let them in instead of fighting to keep them out.

Many of my friends and colleagues report a similar experience when asked.

So if you’re feeling emotionally all over the place, please know that YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE.

It’s perfectly rational and reasonable to be feeling neither rational nor reasonable right now.

The more you worry about the feelings that come, the tougher it will be for them to pass.

And they WILL pass. I mean, they might very well come back. We’re not living in one-and-done times right now. But the more you fight them, the more they’re sure to fight back. 

Now, there are a lot of well-meaning folks out there insisting that you stay positive, reminding you of everyone else who has it worse than you, and unintentionally shaming you for feeling your very real feelings.

They think they’re helping, and although denying or minimizing your reality may in a way seem to lighten your load, when it comes to emotional luggage, no one escapes baggage claim by merely snipping off ID tags.

And the bigger the gap between how the bright-side brigade says you should feel and how you really do feel, the crappier you’ll ultimately feel which, aside from being shitty, leaves you more vulnerable to all the extra challenges you face right now.

Not that you need permission from me, but ima give it in case it helps. You’re allowed to feel what you feel about all of this. 

And you’re allowed to grieve the loss of what might have been — your big and little plans, your anticipated timelines and schedules, your goals dreamed and not achieved and successes not yet succeeded.

Grieving the fun things you miss being able to do doesn’t make you selfish or superficial or mean that you don’t understand what’s at stake.

Grieving your big plans and goals doesn’t mean you’ve given up on them.

Grieving these things is what will create space and sustenance for reimagining what’s next and then taking action toward it.

And yes, this process, much like reopening our states, may take a little longer than you’d like. But it will take as long as it needs to take, and that stretch of time must be honored.

It’s a space of transition in which you may take small sacred actions every day to reflect, grieve, heal, reveal, and grow.

That’s the work right now. Trust yourself to do it. 

xxoo, cc

Some Resources:

  • Want to learn how to turn your household chore time into space for mindful meditation? Get my free sinkside mindfulness guide here. (Bonus: I’m offering a special rate for 1:1 coaching support right now to subscribers!)

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