“Just the state of the world,” she said, tears falling one by one. She brushed her long brown hair—that had grown considerably longer this year—off of her downcast face. She hardly knew where to begin.

This day, like all since the start of the pandemic, she gave every ounce of dwindling energy to her job. Her couch joined her little dog in becoming a constant companion. Even with a shortened workday, she was exhausted.

The number of Covid-19 deaths everywhere continued to climb by the day.

Peaceful protesters in the nation’ s capital were met with rubber bullets, tear gas, and military police. Inside the White House was a president whose administration was in chaos, who had just announced an intention to remove us from a third world treaty designed to keep us safe, and who had no words of comfort for the nation.

The rage from endless injustices erupted into violence across cities including hers.

That week a white business owner fired a gun into a crowd of protesters. When 22-year-old black James Scurlock then jumped on top of him, James was shot and killed.  No charges were filed.

And tonight was to be her big night in the theater. BIG. Since last year she’d been anticipating a dream fulfilled. This was to be the opening night of her on center stage playing a role that had been a lifelong dream. The cancellation had crushed her.

“Just the state of the world.”

The shame of knowing her privilege of winning the birth lottery of healthy, intelligent, white, parented, Midwestern, American female was no help. The feelings of loss and desolation deepened.  If she wasn’t at her tipping point, she was on the verge.

What is the comfort for such pain? What is the consolation when your gratitude falls flat? What is the hope when its glimmer has vanished?

She talked. She cried. She told the truth. Pushing others aside and holding on to the belief that “I can do this alone” was not working.

Deep sighs soon followed the tears.  She reflected. She got quiet. She listened to her wisdom.

Kindness. Curiosity. Courage.

Kindness. While she was not ready to join the protesters of the front lines of political action, being kind was within her reach. This included kindness to herself as she realized she was in grief and mourning for countless losses.

Curiosity. Do I really believe I should prevent others from seeing my depressed state? Do I truly think there is shame in seeking support? What is a small step to feeling better so I can do better?

Courage. Can I remember how brave I’ve been in the past?  Am I willing to call forth my courage to be vulnerable? Am I willing to make that choice?

Being wise, she did. And the state of her world shifted ever so slightly.

Coach Koenig

Are you being kind to yourself in your thoughts and words?

What can you be curious about when questioning your own life in these times?

Are you willing to be brave in some small way today?

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