Doom, gloom, and misery are everywhere. COVID-19 has rocked our world and many people remain afraid of the virus. In innocence, ignorance, or even knowingly, many have allowed fear to become the idol that they serve.
But there may be an overlooked silver lining here. Rebel that I am, I decided to survey people about their positive outcomes from this craziness. As you read these comments, please think of the gains you experienced during the pandemic and are perhaps still experiencing. Think about the blessings in disguise that you have encountered and let them uplift and encourage you.
Julie, a dancer and dance teacher, said: “The precious gift is this: being faced with change and how it has affected my art. I am happy to say that I am going forward with joy. I have needed to strip away the frills and delve into a deeper place; studying on my own, working on my art, and enjoying nature and life brings me clarity. I will now teach, coach, and create with limited groups and intimate performances. Ahhh, and to think, I thought last year was the end, but it’s only the beginning.”
Sheryl, an office worker, said: “Working from home is the best byproduct of the pandemic. Because of it, I’m healthier and enjoy more time with my family.”
Suetta loved it, and she says, “My marriage is stronger since I’m working from home, and my new lunch buddy is my husband.”
Brandy, a very diligent young lady, said: “I took up several new crafting hobbies and decided to open an online crafting business called ‘Not Your Normal Knick Knacks.’ I also enrolled in college to get my associate of applied science degree with a double major in human services and psychology.”
Kari, who worked in an office, said: “I was blessed to work the entire time. I met some of the most sincere people along the way.”
So, let’s see. So far, we see these benefits:
- Getting rid of frills
- Having time to think
- Working from home
- Enjoying more time with family
- Embracing a healthier lifestyle
- Experiencing a better marriage
- Developing new hobbies
- Starting a new online business
- Enrolling in college
- Meeting new friends
Some incredibly significant gains are represented here, but they don’t fit the fear-inducing beat that the mainstream media drums 24/7. Why is that? Could that be because these media have an interest in peddling fear? That old newspaper saying about how to position tragic news—if it bleeds, it leads—likely applies. But there’s always beauty in chaos. It may seem elusive at first, but as we search for it, we will find we emerge from such experiences stronger and with renewed clarity.
Every time I spoke with someone, I learned of more benefits that people gained during this stressful time.
Shannon, who worked in a hardware store chain, said: “People were rude during the pandemic. I got cussed out at work all the time. So, instead of being mean back or walking away, I decided to pour out kindness, an exceedingly small piece of my heart, one day. It helped me more than it helped them.
“They still were angry, but I chose to be better. God helped me through that and gave me a new job at a beautiful place with positive people. It pays less, but my peace of mind is more valuable than any amount of money.”
Not only was her new job more enjoyable, but she also found peace of mind.
Marianna, a fitness instructor, said: “Staying home seemed like a vacation to me. It was early spring, so I learned about landscaping and gardening and began my new outdoor adventure. I had to be creative where I was, and I was at home.”
“Pulling weeds, clearing my yard of sticks, arranging stones, and adding mulch and borders became my new occupation. I found some new grocery items and learned some creative cooking because my old standbys were not available. One night, we had a dinner that was indeed creative and somewhat novel: leftover chicken, pickled beets, and sliced water chestnuts plus an onion that was in my fridge all combined to make a stir-fry.”
Additional benefits realized during 2020:
- Finding peace of mind
- Learning gardening and landscaping
- Discovering new food products and recipes
- Expressing creativity by thinking outside the proverbial box
It’s almost always possible to gain from any loss, as long as we remember to grow through the process. Remember the positive things that you have discovered during this strange time and be thankful for them. Write them down. Refer to them often, and they will be in your memory when you face complex challenges in the future.
You can make it through any challenge if you decide to find the beauty in chaos.