‘How are you doing?
‘Good! How are you?
We ask this and say this…. all…day…long.
How dare we?
How dare we neglect how we really are doing? How dare we lie to others – and ourselves – by telling them something different than what is the truth?! How dare we not even care to know how they are really doing – when we just asked how they were doing?
Unfortunately, as busy distracted human beings, this is how we have come to exist - In denial of how we are all really doing...
…. but the Covid-19 pandemic is waking us up.
And for that reason, We Thank You, Covid-19.
Physically, emotionally, and mentally, the pandemic has taken a toll on us. People are getting sick and people are being impacted personally, professionally, financially and in many other ways that none of us want to be impacted.
At the same time, the pandemic is waking us up to realize what is important in life. It is waking us up to realize that we feel lonely. And it is waking us up to realize our lives through today have been largely about distracting ourselves all day long so we would not have to know we actually do feel lonely. And maybe the best part of what the pandemic is doing for us is it’s waking us up to the fact that feeling lonely is painful – and to avoid this pain, we are finally ready to do something about it for ourselves and others.
When we spend a few moments by ourselves – in our houses and without TV, internet, work, friends, family, or any other distractions - we find out the truth is that we avoid being alone at all costs. And when we really dig deep, we realize that we avoid being alone – because underneath it all, we truly feel lonely - or if we can't feel it, maybe we simply aren't aware of our own feelings.
Try it out: Sit in a room for 30 minutes without any distractions. 30 minutes or less……that is all we need. Just you and yourself, zero distractions. Doing so, we will quickly understand what this blog is about.
Feeling lonely…. sucks.
I would like to thank people like Greta Thunberg – the now 17-year-old game changer who at age 15 got the world to pay attention by being blunt and telling it like it is. Watch her eye-opening speech here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMrtLsQbaok
She has inspired me to do the same and has reminded me that I have spent most of my life skirting around conflict, difficult conversations and speaking my truth to make sure people always liked me and that I never hurt anybody or turned them away.
I would also like to thank people like Sarah Brodson, another teenage game changer that recently created a video to speak out about isolation and loneliness. Her video…
It’s courageous people like Greta and Sarah that remind us that the debate isn’t about whether climate change or isolation, loneliness and unhappiness are real or not. Science and statistics on all state the overwhelming facts. Instead, the debate is about whether or not we have what it takes to look past our fears and TALK ABOUT IT.
Loneliness, isolation, unhappiness….and talking about it….. is scary.
We are scared to take a true look at ourselves and notice that we in fact – are – lonely.
So as Greta would put it, ‘How Dare We’ - choose to hide this? How Dare We spend all our time, relationships, money, and physical, emotional, and mental energy distracting ourselves to avoid the real problem? How Dare We not talk about it out of fear of others knowing we are lonely?
Even if we are afraid to share what is really going on inside ourselves, How Dare We not talk about the core reason that is causing physical, mental, and emotional stress for those we love that is making them sick? By not talking about what is really going on, doesn’t that make us accomplices to their unhappiness?
Well maybe there IS a solution….
.....Because Covid-19 is waking us up…..
NOW is our time to be authentic and real and take different action to be less lonely and be less unhappy – and help those we love to do the same.
NOW is our time to admit we do not like the way we feel and that we wish our lives were different - and that the things we have been doing to distract ourselves is not the answer.
NOW is our time to see that we are NOT alone…. Nearly every human being on our planet feels this same way – in their own version.
NOW is the time to have real conversations below the ‘I’m Good!’ surface, so we realize this to be absolutely true.
NOW is the time to learn from Greta and Sarah and speak up and tell it like it is. We are simply not happy and ‘I’m Good’ is rarely how we really feel. And if we do not know this, we are in denial.
And NOW is the time to turn ‘I’m Good’ into ‘I’m Great!’ and actually feel great.
Covid-19 is allowing us the opportunity to change. Life the way it was – on autopilot full of distractions – is no longer ‘normal’ - and ‘normal’ will be different going forward.
A different life going forward can be happier.
A different life going forward can be about what is truly important – quality time with ourselves, our loved ones and even strangers that we discover we really care about and they care about us.
A different life going forward can be about being authentic and sharing what we are really feeling, which lifts the weights off our shoulders so we can be happier.
A different life going forward can be about real connections with ourselves and others where we feel heard and understood and loved and like everyone else.
A different life going forward can be about what we have always wanted it to be about…...peace.
So, thank you, Greta Thunberg. Thank you, Sarah Brodson. Thank you, Covid-19.
You are all paving the way for all of us to change and you are paving the way for all of us to do it together as a community.
Answers on how to change to become more connected and happier are forthcoming and we will see many of them in future blogs, podcasts, videos, and Gatherings.
But for now, the most important and impactful answer on how to be less lonely and less isolated and less unhappy – is to admit that we are more lonely, isolated, and unhappy than we want to be.
This action alone is the biggest step towards a different way of life going forward…
Thank you for reading this blog and for taking this first step towards being more connected and happier. Next time we ask someone 'How are you doing?' - let's actually be interested. And next time someone asks, 'How are you?' - let's be authentic about how we feel. When we all do it together, WE will make a difference.
Lyf is Short. BE Authentic.