Barry’s words – April (Week 2)

Dr Barry Fatovich

At our weekly team meetings Barry will have a chat with us to get us thinking and to also help the stress levels through these strange and uncertain times, the Lockridge team and Barry thought it would be great to share this with our patients.

April (Week 2) – COPING WITH CORVID 2020

Last week I talked about strategies to help ease the anxiety that comes to all of us as we confront the corona virus and the fears if generates. Today, I wanted to shift the perspective and talk about how this uncertainty has disrupted our lives and how we might take a different perspective.

We make plans about holidays, people we want to see, things we want to do, friends we want to catch up with and so much more. Usually, we can do these things because there is a consistency in the day to day structures of our lives, but in a Corvid world all our plans go to dust.

Perhaps, a small shift in perspective can be helpful. Instead of looking at the world through the prism of uncertainty, with its connotation of loss of control, we could look at this as a mystery.

Mystery has a connotation of not knowing, and there are so many mysteries around us. The universe was formed 15 billion years ago according to the big bang theory. What was there before?

The earth was formed 4 billion years ago, how did life start? When we are children so many things are mysterious, and we look at them with wonder. Perhaps we can look at what is happening now as a mystery, something that does not make sense and yet something that will gradually get unravelled.

We are now a part of something that is bigger than any one of us, bigger than one country, something affecting the whole planet. It’s like an earthquake has come into our lives. We have had earthquakes rock our world in different ways, WW1, and WW2 were events that engaged the whole world and the people of that time came through. The world we are familiar with is changing, and we don’t know what will take its place, we can approach this with fear or with trust, we can be awkward, brave and kind. If we choose to be kind, we can help each other much better and we will get through this.

I have found the words of the poet Rilke helpful. Rilke was born on the 4th of December 1875 in Prague when it was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and he died of leukaemia at the age of 51 on 29th of December in 1926 in Switzerland. He had much difficulty and sadness in his life and was a German language poet and novelist. He was renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart.

He said:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

R M Rilke

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