Lynne Celli, PhD, Executive Leadership and Training
We have all been through so much during a very unprecedented year; one that has been so different in many respects. Some of us have experienced the worst; loss of a loved, some have experienced other losses such as loss of a job, and perhaps loss of a circle of friends because of the isolation. Regardless of what type(s) of loss or losses we have experienced, it has affected us in many different ways. Many of us are trying to be strong and say that we have survived unscathed. This perhaps may be true for a few of us. However, it is true that the majority of us have some lingering affects personally, professionally, and emotionally from the last year+.
One area that has affected a large part of the population is loss of a job, due to the economic effects of the Pandemic. This loss may seem trivial. However, for some, unfortunately, their jobs had defined “who” they were; instead of defining themselves by their wonderful qualities as human beings with personal, compassionate, and loving relationships. For some, the unemployment sent them into deep depression and to a long road of trying to find another position. Additionally for many, some are still travelling this long road to finding a new position. Thus, the feelings of insecurity both personally and financially are prevalent of a regular basis. Because of all of this, self-esteem has taken a dive and the work to rebuild this self-esteem is difficult, combined with continual search for an appropriate position (add to this, for some, the shame of filing for unemployment benefits for the first time ever), it has become a recipe for not being able to avoid constantly looking at the negative in life.
With all this in mind, I write to encourage all to do what we have been taught to do; concentrate on the positive, be grateful, and smile as much as you can everyday. Yes, easier said than done, and a whole lot of dedicated work to make it happen in our lives. It is not an easy fix. It must be a committed, multifaceted effort to getting back to loving thyself. This work must begin with acknowledging the negative feelings through journaling, discussions with friends, family, and professionals, revisiting positive professional and personal times in life (through videos and pictures), as well as waking up every morning and saying, “this is going to be a good day” and ending each day with appreciation. It also includes adding new perspectives in our lives each an every day. These may include a new appreciation for the small things; the daffodils sprouting, the weather, albeit not warm yet, but sometimes still bright and sunny, the smiles we may get from new neighbors and new friends that have come from this atypical time, and for the love of family and friends that has possibly become even deeper because we have had to find creative ways to connect our hearts these last long months. Without a positive view of oneself and of life in general, loving thyself will continue to be difficult. If we do not commit to this positive work in everything we do, we will not be projecting our best selves in any aspect of our lives. The loving ourselves journey will be much easier by embracing all the all the positives that we may be able to find. To this end, embracing the special person we are, always, committing to happiness, joy, and gratitude for the people we are, will help with the challenges that are the results of this Pandemic. Look to this time as ongoing “lesson-learning” and not so negative – a time to make us better at everything we do in our lives and all the relationships we have. We are now even better people; full of love of ourselves and others. This self-love will propel us to more loving relationships, more positive energy to find that special next step in our lives, the next professional experience, and embracing life with wonder and awe of new learning experiences. We will project our best selves in all we do.
Commit to the work of self-love and life will always be bright and joyful.