Gratitude, Grief, and Letting Go

Where are you in this experience? While I have not been to my office for eleven days, I feel immense gratitude for letting it go, and deep appreciation for essential workers who put themselves at risk by showing up to make sure communities have food, health care, basic public safety and supplies. The list of people who give fully of themselves is very long, and perhaps we will all grow in kindness, compassion, and generosity. I am also grateful that as a hiker I am comfortable with a cloth, which may be washed and reused, working just as well as toilet paper. (For the record, I suggest a cloth for #1 and TP for #2). I’m also grateful for the ability to connect with dear friends and family via Zoom, Google Duo, FaceTime, and the phone from the comfort of my home. I am grateful for my dog, Lonzo, who still takes me on walks and teaches me how to be in the moment. 

While I am deeply grateful for all that I have, I find myself experiencing grief and frustration as well. I feel sadness that a virus may be the only impetus for humans to fully understand connectedness. I grieve for brothers and sisters around the world who have lost loved ones, or will in the days ahead. I feel frustration over the increased risk to essential workers, the vulnerable, and everyone else because people refuse to stop. I hurt for those who do not understand and see that their efforts, while perhaps well-intended, compromise the well-being of others. As a mediator, I understand each person simply does what they believe  best in the moment and the behavior meets a personal need. The attempts to meet needs may be at odds, particularly when an attempt to demonstrate compassion and generosity interferes with safety. While a gesture may appear “good,” a seemingly helpful and kind act may be the very act that spreads this virus to someone who will not recover. I empathize with those who cannot let go of what is or was. While I mourn the manner in which society finds itself being forced to let go, I am grateful the transformation will be filled with grace, peace, and love. 

During times of frustration, anxiety, or sadness, it is a real challenge to show up as our best selves. Naming our needs allows little annoyances to be properly addressed and conflict more appropriately handled. What you are feeling today? What do you need? You may find resources at https://brucknermediation.com/free-resources to help. 

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace, friends!

A civil and family mediator, peace builder, and educator, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help to transform conflict and create peace.

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.