Self-reliance. Independence. Mistrust. Control. If I have learned anything during this time of quarantine at all, it might just be that I identify with these aforementioned characteristics just a little bit more than I would normally like to admit. As a leader, I certainly identify with these character traits - some of which probably (ironically) led me to the leadership position I hold today. I am self-reliant. I can function independently. I don't wait for things to happen, but I foresee what needs to be done now to influence outcomes in the future. I don't describe myself as controlling, but I can see that I most definitely have done my best to lead giving the perception of control. Because, most of the time, I (gasp!) believe I have it.
Enter COVID-19. I am still trying to wrap my brain around how a tiny, minuscule virus can come around and completely obliterate all of our defense mechanisms in one brash swoop. I didn't even have time to challenge the diminutive, pygmy thing! Just like that, all sense of control was lost. I no longer contemplated my fellow human beings through a trusting lens, but rather one of suspicion and even disdain. This wasn't a great time for travel to evoke empathy from me, folks. Instead, it was one of instantaneous fear and utter and complete dependence on God.
Newsflash. Unfortunately, as it turns out, I really don't like to trust God. I say I do, but ladies and gentlemen, my daily actions do not demonstrate the implicit level of trust in Him that I would like them to. It's still pretty much the Jess Aless show down here on Earth. Smh. Hand-to-the-face emoji. #needaquarantini Ugh.
All joking aside, however, I can see why it might be so easy to spin into an unhealthy spiral of angst, boredom, self-loathing, depression and utter despair if we aren't careful to turn upwards and then turn inwards in a hurry. And it has to be in that order, folks. We can't just simply go it alone like before. There is soulwork to be done! I think, just maybe, this quarantine might be a means for us to accomplish just that.
So, for those of us who have gotten very good at exhibiting 21st-century praiseworthy traits (self-reliance, independence, forward-thinking and control), what do we do now that we suddenly find ourselves in positions that are completely and utterly out of our control? How do we give it back to God? How do we allow our actions to affirm and exhibit that God really is in control? How do we live in a way that affirms this for those around us every day?
It isn't easy to let go of character traits that society has reinforced and applauded us for achieving over the years. What we are undergoing is truly a time of personal transformation led by a paradigm shift.