Three weeks ago, a number of ominously upbeat messages trickled into my inbox. There was talk of exciting innovations, like the potential for my children to continue their weekly dance class and music lesson online.
As impressed as I was by the commitment of my kids’ instructors, I found their enthusiasm strangely unsettling. Perhaps this Coronavirus pandemic was going to hit closer to home than I’d imagined?
Three weeks ago, it felt as if the fabric of my daily life had a loose thread. Since then, the whole garment has rapidly unravelled.
My calendar is now stripped bare, with event after event having been abruptly cancelled due to the exponential spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in my city.
Crisis – a threat to our serenity
Crisis. That’s what they call it when the rhythms of daily life are suddenly thrown into chaos.
Having lived through several years of crisis while adjusting, simultaneously, to life with small children and life with a chronic autoimmune illness, I’m familiar with the early warning signs of shock and stress:
That knot inside your gut, the stomach ache of uncertainty about the future, which sometimes tightens when you try to untie it.
The way your vision blurs as you look at the calendar: it’s hard to plan ahead when you don’t know what each day will bring.
The feeling of inadequacy as you look at all of your responsibilities and realise you lack the resources to carry the load.
The realisation that this could go on for longer than you thought; the finish line keeps advancing and you have no idea when life will go back to “normal”.
The panic when you sense that you’re losing aspects of your freedom. Life suddenly feels out of control.
The grief — which can floor you, even when you maintain a thankful and positive outlook.
The sense of isolation — which can pervade, even when you are surrounded by people who care.
Serenity Prayer – regaining a sense of peace
I designed a Serenity Prayer graphic last year, as a kind of therapy for myself on a particularly troubling day, and now feels like a very appropriate time to share it with you!
When my mind is overwhelmed with concerns, I find it almost impossible to pray — it feels like my thoughts are knotted and twisted together in an unravellable clump.
Writing my prayers down seems to help unclog the brain at times like this, allowing my thoughts and feelings to flow again.
If you’re feeling stuck, try writing your concerns on this printable. It may help you to regain a sense of calm within the chaos.
Below you can read the Serenity Prayer in its entirety. The remainder of the prayer is not as well known, but I find it wonderfully grounding!
May God bless you as you take the words of this prayer and make them your own.