Change Brings Grief And Opportunity
There are many ways to react to change. The Stages of Grief is a good framework for describing the ways we are reacting to the sudden changes that this pandemic has forced upon us. Yes, we are moving through the stages of grief as we grieve the way things were before the pandemic.
Some states, like Wisconsin, are in the denial stage of grief. They are opening up and acting as if there is no pandemic. That's a very human response to major disruptive change.
Some states, like California, are in the bargaining stage of grief. We are opening in some areas with caution and some controls even as we stay locked down in other areas. We do this under the rationale that if we are "good" in certain areas, we can let down our guard and go back to our old ways in other areas.
It seems that there isn't a place where we have been able to maintain our place in the acceptance stage of grief. A sign that we would be in the acceptance stage would be that we have acknowledged what is and we have decided to act in ways that reflect our new reality.
What that means for each one of us, is that there is our collective grief process at the sudden loss of the way things used to be and there is the personal fallout from the sudden loss of the ways used to be for us personally. Fighting to get back to the way things were has hints of the anger stage of grief. Ultimately, if we stay there, we won't be able to deal with what is.
Acceptance doesn't mean giving up. Acceptance means adapting to our new reality and living another day. It's the power to move on and reclaim our lives in a new emerging way.