The Great Masker & Magnifier:
Reflection is a powerful practice to better know yourself and what matters in your life. In this spirit, let me reflect on the one year anniversary of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Consider we rename COVID-19 both the ‘The Great Masker’ and ‘The Great Magnifier’. Remember the initial controversy, uncertainty and unknown? We willingly shut down, closed off and tried to believe that ‘we were all in this together’. I optimistically believed this meant that everyone around the world would finally appreciate the solidarity and interdependence between us. However, I fear we masked our mouths but also perhaps our eyes to the reality that injustices are embedded in our systems. Grocery store, delivery, emergency workers didn’t then, and still don’t, get paid their worth as compared to transient entertainers and professional athletes. So we masked our appreciation for true change with a resigning and isolating return to what we already knew. However the story isn’t over yet and every good ‘hero journey’ has a fall from which new heights are gained.
Whatever was a struggle or strength for you before the pandemic, has likely been amplified and magnified this year. Fear of germs, fear of failure, fear of being overlooked, fear of judgement; it was under the microscope of our inner COVID critic and likely felt both mitigated and magnified. Similarly, our strengths were also pronounced. If you enjoyed walking, baking, movies, etc. all of these were given special significance in your investment of time and practice.
‘The Great Masker and Magnifier’ has made it clear for many of us that unhealthy relationships required changing. Habits and patterns that were obscured by busyness were made known, and neglected conversations with friends and family could no longer be easily ignored. The Great Masker and Magnifier has been a stark but useful reminder to see what might have been otherwise been neglected and is now needing to be addressed.
For Maria, Tricia and Pamela, COVID accentuated certain frustrations; within ourselves and in the home. It has shone a spotlight on different approaches to time management, screen use, sleep and self regulation. With an eerie feeling of distance, we saw how either seclusion or feeling overwhelmed in relationships with others can quickly intensify, thus confusing and reducing our quality of life. It was thus necessary to reflect by being aware of ourselves and intentional of where we were putting our energy on a daily basis. COVID thus highlighted our priorities of family time, reading, furry friends, cooking/ baking, and exercise. We had more time, space and freedom to be home, incubate ideas and create opportunities that were important to us.
It has been a formative year. What we know for sure is that ‘The Great Masker and Magnifier’ has amplified our appreciation for the blessings of our lives. We are so fortunate to live in Canada, with it’s various support systems and healthcare services. It is clear how important it is to have the loving support of family and friends. We are all thankful to continue doing this meaningful work with you virtually as we strive to fulfill our promise to be with you on your journey.
What COVID has really magnified more than ever before is that we cannot ignore or mask our insecurities but must choose to nourish our body, heart, mind and spirit to help us through these tough times.
So on this first anniversary, I invite you to stand for a moment of reflection at your window, consider what you have learned about yourself in this past year, recognising an awareness of ourselves at this time, in this space, in this body, and as part of this world.