Grace for Life: Powerfully Transcendent

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour.” Viktor Frankl

I have had several people over the past few weeks tell me that they feel bipolar. With all due respect to people who have been diagnosed with this disorder, the term has been used as a generalized expression or label for unusual or more frequent moods swings.

If the conversation continues, people are telling me that they feel depressed, sad or hopeless and have been losing interest or pleasure in most activities. They have the occasional moments where they may feel euphoric, and full of energy – but also where they are unusually irritable. Many are gaining weight, and sleeping longer and more often – and some describe sleeping less and sensing a general anxiety. One even went so far as to say that she felt “homesick”.

In general terms, we are disoriented. Consider the definition as to whether you can relate:

“Loss of one’s sense of direction, position, or relationship with one’s surroundings…Mental confusion or impaired awareness, especially regarding place, time, or personal identity.” 

You may or may not have experienced depression in the past – but in this season of COVID over 1/2 of adults in Canada state that they feel their mental health is declining.

Consider again, “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour.”  Viktor Frankl

How can grace help with our resilience in this season of emotional swings?

Grace: “the safe space where we take 100% accountability for our actions, reconcile our mistakes and then move back into alignment with the delivery of promise”.

It starts with acceptance. COVID is bigger than any one of us. You didn’t create it, and you are simply doing your best to navigate the emotions and myriad decisions to whatever a new normal will be. It continues with a release of judgment. There is no need to judge others (or self) for their/your attempts to navigate COVID. They, like you, are trying to navigate their own emotions and myriad decisions.

One thing that significantly anchors grace is the context of transcendence. Think of your life as a bridge. You enter the bridge at birth and you exit the bridge at death. No matter how stormy the see beneath, or the sky above, you are anchored at both ends – as are ALL others. You did nothing to bring yourself into life. Nothing. You did not design your life, or fill out a requisition for where you would arrive, in which country, or to any specific set of parents — and you can do nothing to extend the ultimate day you will leave. While some fear death – this knowledge should actually bring us peace. We are birthed in, sustained, and we depart, but as I wrote previously – we enter with “promise”.

Promise is our human potential, and it is also the reason to believe or expect anything. Where does promise come from? If we did nothing to bring ourselves into life, and promise arrives in each of us at birth, then it comes with us as a part of our created essence. Therefore promise is transcendent of our temporary circumstance. This gives us a reason to hope, and to #LiveWithGrace.