A few years ago it became a big recommendation for women to stop apologizing so much, that we lose credibility or grounding by being sorry- but today as I look at how COVID is impacting your life, no other words feel truer: I am really sorry you are going through this time in history. I have dedicated my life to helping people help each other. The first and most important step in helping another person is to authentically and openly see them. When I look around and observe the people around me, from my 17-year old daughter, my fellow entrepreneurs who are not ‘open for business,’ to my mentee whose five roommates were all furloughed, parents juggling childcare and work from home, and corporate executives who pivoted and lead through the chaos. I see pain, insecurities, stress, broken dreams, arguing nights, loneliness, frozen fears, confusion, and, importantly, special moments of warrior spirits, love, enlightenment, and support in the midst of everything else. Nobody deserves this, and truly, I am sorry you are going through this.
But I also have some wishes for you.
I wish you compassion for yourself in particular. I wish you self compassion over self-criticism, Hope over hunger. Vision over broken dreams. Faith over fear… and love.
I wish you compassion for others around you, regardless of whether people are home for 60, 85 days and counting, or racing out to hit the gym that just opened or sharp-tongued with their siblings. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been profoundly impacted by COVID (I call it COVID non-grata). Cut yourself some slack, there is no way that 3-months ago you or they would have known or understood our hair would be turning greyer, our hospitals would be fuller, in some ways Costco + Zoom would be winners, and The Cheesecake Factory, Southwest Airlines, Uber and hundreds of thousands of others are on the losing side of this battle. Nobody could have predicted that our friends would be furloughed and loved ones lost.
I wish you learning and growth because this is something we all must learn something from: it doesn’t matter whether that comes from the inner recesses of your brain or Youtube, Coursera, a mentoring conversation on FaceTime or Google Chat. They all have value. I hope you find the words and concepts that comfort you and give you the strength to push through another day and another week. I think we grow the most when we are in pain, not when things are easy in life. The great moment of building our resiliency muscle has arrived.
My brother once told me that if I am standing strong, then others can lean on me. If I am not okay and others lean on me, well, we will both fall and tumble over. For many of us, it is in our nature to support others through a crisis, to lose precious sleep, and let our own needs fall on the back burner. This is natural, but let’s ask ourselves: how can we support others if we aren’t okay? I hope you care for yourself without guilt. I hope you make a new relationship with you and find incredible human connection with others cause this too shall pass and you will find yourself and how you grasped these moments on the other side of this pandemic.
(photos courtesy of Pixabay)
I was speaking to a client and she said ‘G-d wants us to reboot’- that really got me thinking and gave me a new perspective. What will our reboot look like? Self-compassion? New learning on what we need to have serenity and stand strong? A new hobby or career? And, hopefully, the ability to truly see one another and the unique hardships we each endure. To help ourselves and each other. Now, for my own personal daily recharge. I’m off to Amy Appel’s amazing online Yoga class—to strengthen my spine and spiritual grounding as she discusses this week the word impermanence.
We believe in people helping people. Employees helping employees.
Julie Kantor is the CEO of Twomentor Managed Mentoring Solutions. Since the start of COVID-19, her company has been running dozens of “Remote, Not Isolated” Flash (speed) Mentoring experiences for executives and their corporate teams to foster human connections and resilience. She can be reached directly at email@example.com. Very special thanks to MacKenzie Moore, leader and valued team member at Twomentor for weighing in and edits.