Updated: Apr 9, 2020
If there is one single thing I have learned in my 46 years is nothing is what it seems. Mostly it is what you think it is and what you think is mostly not reliable. The best nugget of advice I got thanks to our global village (AKA internet) is a quote: You don't have to believe everything you think! So how does that notion turn a global pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen, into an opportunity to grow, to thrive.
Did I forget to take my meds you might be wondering?
So in the run up to the lockdown, among decisions about how many chocolate bars and non-essential items like 2m gum poles (explanation needs its own blog) to buy, was a decision my ex-husband and I were making about where we were all going to spend 21 days isolating... together. My partner was down from his 'other home' in Pretoria, some 500 km north, and had packed for 'if I get stuck in Howick' and we were both pretty chuffed with the idea that it might happen. (He works in PTA and comes 'home' once a month or so just to clarify)
We all made the decision that in the interests of 'what's best for the kids' we would all hunker down together in Howick, or rightly coined by a friend of mine and most apt given this situation: How-Hick!
So my ex arrived on the Thursday evening, to much excitement from the boys and an interesting mix of emotions from my side, to live in the garden cottage. WTF I hear you saying - who would choose to be 'locked down' for 21 days in a 1000 msq property with their ex- husband, their partner and 2 very active little mud merchants - aka my kids! Yup understandable given societies ideas of what one aught to feel about one's Ex-anything and how we should behave... civility is seen as beyond altruistic!
The only variation in our decision was which house to hole up in - there was never a doubt that we were not going to all be together. I am grateful that How-Hick won out as this is my home and I have filled it with heaps of love – always a good plan to go into anything with your A-game energy!
We eat meals together around a small round table (the round table knights thing is not lost on me!) every other night and the boys are over the moon to have all the people they love in one place at one time. What a gift! To be able to 'get over ourselves' and our 'what society might deem' marriage failure and do something beyond our wildest dreams. Who could have ever predicted that we would all be 'making happy families' one day thanks to a COVID outbreak. Not me - eva! But that is what we are doing. 'Making happy families', as these moments, these experiences and this honouring of each other has and will change the way my boys see the world and relationships and it will give them what the world desperately needs - A NEW NARRATIVE. On Ex-anything, on community, on unusual families, on kindness, on support, on celebrating our differences, on choosing a different way, on beingness.
It is not all fluffy and rosy as kids are kids and we all have hangry, out of personality moments but we are honouring each other and doing our best to use this gift of lock down to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We support each other as humans beings, not as contractual ex's, or unmarried partners or 'for the kids' sake'. We get to choose our thoughts if not all the circumstances. That is our superpower and that is what creates a life filled with laughter and love and gratitude.
So from the me, the gratitude guru to you on this unusual day in time; what are you doing to shift your ideas, energy, relationships, life. If you haven't had a Tap and Trust moment to completely turn your thinking on its head - let me help you gently with my story.
Just for today:
Lean forward into the unseen, the unknown and trust. There is always a gift in everything.
Here’s an idea of how to do it:
Decide that everything you 'know' might not be true
Find the things which 'activate' your fear
Try to reframe them with the following:
"I wonder what the gift is in this ...."
"If I was totally safe, totally self-assured, totally at peace - what would that feel like?"