Finding the Gifts in Crisis
We have now arrived at the one-year anniversary of living within the parameters of the COVID pandemic. What a life, work and community altering year, involving losses from the mundane to the monumental. People have been affected in very different ways and their responses to this radically new way of living are diverse.
In the midst of a crisis it can be more difficult to see what good can come of it, reflection over time can reveal the positives. In her book The Gift of Crisis: Finding Your Best Self in the Worst of Times, psychologist Dr. Susan Mecca shares strategies to build physical, mental, and emotional resilience needed to persevere through difficult times. Her wisdom was gleaned through over 35 years of counseling practice and dealing with her own very challenging family crises. She suggests
“while the energy of a crisis is invariably disruptive, it can be transformative. I believe crisis can be the Divine’s way of getting our attention.”
Prior to my diagnosis, I heard people say that getting cancer was one of the best things that happened to them. I thought they were nuts. However, I can honestly say I now agree with them. The Divine sent me clear messages about what needed attention in my life, and I am grateful for a long list of transformative experiences that shifted my life in truly enriching ways.
One might be hard pressed to see the gifts in the multiple pandemics of this past year while reading/watching the mainstream news. However there were also wonderful stories that emerged demonstrating the upsides of living in our upside down world. The New York Times Opinion piece The Year Our Reality Broke includes a series of articles about a diverse range of people’s experiences. In We Learned what was possible. Rachel Cohen writes “Across America, the past year has seen once-unimaginable experiments in housing, criminal justice, education and more. They have worked out pretty well.” Let’s keep looking for the gifts.
Your Gift to the World
card by Jane Norton
” The most appropriate response to a crisis is to look for the gift.”
songwriter & performer
founder, Force For Good Music
- what new experiences did you have this past year that could be considered gifts?
- what beneficial outcomes have you seen in your community, the country and the world?
- are there past crises in your life that you can reconsider to see the gifts that you might not have seen before?
Keep a journal, or a list, where you track the good that has come out of crises in your life, your community, and the world. Start with what you’ve identified above and then add to it. The next time you are confronted with a challenging situation, this record could provide some solace and inspiration. And share it with others when they need some encouragement.
Jonathan Sprout is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and award-winning performer with a focus in educational children’s music. You can find his music here. He also co-founded Force For Good Music to create and share uplifting music and song-films that encourage personal and global well-being, happiness, and respect for the environment.