Days have turned to weeks and into months. Is there an end in sight? Where do we go from here? I ask myself these questions daily and I wonder, how much more of this can I take?
The discomfort that we are all feeling is one of the many stages of grief. Yes, we are also feeling anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is the feeling we get about what the future holds when we are uncertain about broadly imagined futures. With a virus, this kind of grief is so confusing for people. Our primitive mind knows something bad is happening, but you cannot see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We are feeling that loss of safety. I do not think we have collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.
First, I felt a broad sense of denial that coronavirus is real. That denial is followed by anger. I find myself bargaining about so many things; the ‘should have, could have would haves’ are taking up a tremendous amount of my mental energy.
I fight against the doldrums of depression and I have resigned myself to this new situation with a sort of acceptance. I find that I have accepted that this is the new way of life, for now anyway.
Our society is experiencing a weird kind of collective trauma. When I think about my own transformation of trauma into triumph, I realize it has always been my determination to overcome all odds.
In my book ‘Dance Because You Can,’ and the 5 Steps to Transform Trauma into Triumph, the very first step is determination. The determination may seem cliché, but it creates a fiery drive to reach an end goal.
As a professional theatrical producer, when I start a production process, I work backward from show day goal. I analyze things like the timeline and budget and where adjustments need to be made in order to reach the final product of show day. Going through this process provides a workable blueprint and plan.
The determination as Step One is what I personally played out and share in my book, with the many months in q burn intensive care unit after being run over by that New York City bus. I remember laying in that bed in mid-May, barely able to raise my heard when a friend asked me to share my story in September. I had a lot to overcome in those 3 short months, sitting up was hard, and getting dressed seemed almost impossible. Without hesitation, I answered yes, determined to be there, and speak at her event. At that moment I began to focus on getting better to share my victory story and encourage others.
With this goal in mind, I had a sense of purpose and I was determined to get there. The recovery road ahead of me looked bleak at best, but I chose to focus on the goal and take the necessary actions to get there.
Fast forward to now, where we are smack dab in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Our lives uprooted in a way that forces up to re-invent ourselves. I again ask myself what goal am I determined to meet? Step One in your Victory Dance sets you up for a win with your end goal in mind.
When every day is an emotional roller coaster, use Step One as a reset to focus your attention and determination on meeting your goals. It is even ok if you need to re-determine your resolve daily, moving forward it what counts.
COVID-19 will eventually be resolved in some fashion, but will life be like it was before? How we come out of this is still unknown, the unknown reality is hard for most of us. After my accident, I had no idea what my life would be like and that was scary and uncomfortable. I just kept determining and redetermining my every day and I stayed focused on my end goal.
Use Step One Determination as a tool to stay focused on what you CAN create. Know your end goal and do not lose sight of it. Step One is your key to creating your personal magnificent Victory Dance of life.