Doing what you’ve always done will get you what you’ve always gotten. New paths lead to new experiences. Life is for living. But not all actions and not all paths make you feel alive. Some kill you. While others painfully diminish you. At the end of a lifetime, people close their eyes to the memories they’ve made. Enough good ones will brighten your eternity. The alternative is hell.
To have a conversation about feeling alive in the middle of a pandemic may seem out of place until you realize that this is still living. Consciously or unconsciously, you do things daily, attempting to feel alive. You may be hitting the wine bottle because, for a few hours, it elevates your mood. Engrossed in a gardening project with your hands in the dirt, satisfaction washes over you. A fun call from a friend sends your mind down memory lane reliving the good old times. A skydive. A new love. Playing. Exploring. A new idea captivates your imagination. There are many positive and fun ways to feel alive.
Sometimes, feeling alive is the result of surviving something terrible. On the other side of danger, there’s relief and gratitude and the desire to do more with your life than waste it on the mundane. Sometimes, the very experience of struggle brings out the zest to live and concur, the same way darkness draws in the light.
In pandemic mode, we feel on a mission to survive and thrive. The struggle is real, financially and socially. I come across many examples of people trying to make the most of the situation and ending up with the best time of their lives. Unexpectedly, they find themselves completing projects, checking items off their bucket lists, stumbling on adventures, rebuilding essential relationships, and valuing quality time with others and alone. People energized by finding their faith and their calling during a pandemic work tireless for a better future. Unstoppable and resourceful!
At the same time, others, feeling powerless, lash out. They argue. Cause harm to themselves and those around them. In a dark place, they seek the thrill of drugs and alcohol. Angry, they sabotage their friendships. Depressed, they blame the world and life itself.
I believe it is in our DNA to want to live and feel alive. The strategies for accomplishing this are encoded in our minds from an early age, watching adults around us and emulating that behavior. We grow up gravitating towards what is familiar because it is easy. But we don’t have to. We can break the bonds of habit and familiar cycles. We just need to take personal responsibility for the outcomes of our actions and choose to make the kinds of memories that will make us smile for all eternity.
A pandemic is a great place to start.
Valentina Petrova has been helping people with life, health, relationships, financial, career, professional, and business challenges since 2015. She has a Master’s in Psychology and is a certified Life Coach. You can reach her at www.valentinapetrovaconsulting.com.