Love in the time of Covid: Nurture Self Discovery

Suzette Standring
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Like anyone who has ever lived  (I’ll exclude Jesus and Buddha), I get so annoyed when obvious solutions (to me) are not followed. I’m not alone. Fingers pointed across both sides of the chasm, “It’s YOUR fault for (fill in the blank).” Then I’ll read something that puts me in my place, like this little tire popper: 

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

It’s a reminder I’m not “all that” (and perhaps neither are you). Just this week, varying reactions gave me an inkling how six others are handling social restrictions.

“Suze, I love it.  I come to the office, and I’m the only one here except for one other guy in another department.  Nobody to bug me. It’s so peaceful!”

“I may never enter a store again. Everything’s delivered.”

“I’m terrified of getting sick and dying alone.”

“Spending this much time with my family is the best thing ever.”

“The pandemic is a hoax.  It’s just a flu. It’s all about control.”

“We’re pregnant and it’s due in October!”

Each person has a different view of the future, so I work on myself.

Someday when I look back at this pandemic, I will remember it as the time I first took up watercolors.  Oh, my first attempts were sad like an early drawing of my two granddaughters. My husband labeled it “The Skeleton Sisters.” Now I get how their misaligned eyes were set in thin faces with smiles seen only on Day of the Dead skulls. I nearly gave up.

But my friend-in-pandemic-art-therapy kept cheering me on.  Just do one every day for fun.  Everyone has their own style.  Stop being so self-critical.  The one encouragement that touched my heart was, “Let the little girl inside of you have fun.”

So I did, from late March until now, I do a daily card-sized painting.  In May, I began posting my paintings on Facebook.  Not because they were great (no way), but because I wanted to delight the little girl inside of me who liked to draw. 

Then one day a friend saw a dog painting of mine.  Her own dog had died and she asked me to paint him. He was her little man in a dog suit, so human in his comforting reactions to others.  It was an intimidating request, but I did it, and it was exactly the visual comfort she needed. 

The point is, we’re all grousing about social limitations, but seize it as a self-discovery advantage.  Proverbs 27:1 says Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. It means we cannot brag about controlling the future, but we might surprise ourselves by staying open.