Many of us know this quote from St Francis of Assisi. When I read it this week I was reminded that we all can use a refresher on these prayers. With our busy lives and changing times we all too often forget that not everyone is having a positive experience.
I recently spoke to a woman who separated from her husband and moved during the global pandemic. She realized once the pandemic hit that if she didn’t change some parts of her life quickly she would be “stuck” in some very uncomfortable situations for a long period of time. I had great respect for her knowing that she made life changing choices quickly and acted without all the answers. She is more than a year past that period and is glad she made those decisions up front. Where there was despair she found hope.
I spoke to another person who is close to the end of their Bachelors degree, the last year being completed online. They could not imagine having to finish without classroom time and were very depressed about that prospect. Now that they are two weeks away from finishing they survived and thrived during some dark and lonely days. Where there was darkness they found light.
Our neighbor’s father died due to COVID-19 and he has been gone several months. By catching the virus his already compromised immune system shutdown quickly leading to his demise. This past weekend the family celebrated his life with friends finding a new way to appreciate all he gave to his family and friends. Where there was sadness they found joy.
My last example is a person who is being called back to the office, which is not what they want anymore. After more than a year of working remote (which they NEVER supported) they now understand the value a flexible work situation provides. The work got done, everyone thrived AND every person on their team has actually been pleasantly surprised at how flexible and supportive this nay sayer could be on this topic. Where there was doubt they found faith. Faith in their people, faith in the process, and faith that people will step up even if they cannot be physically seen.
I am blessed and inspired by the stories I hear about people coping with all that has, and is still happening in our world. None of us will ever be the same, and hopefully was are all better for it. St Francis’s words still ring true almost ten centuries later. We have the opportunity no matter our circumstances to bring our best self to the world. We can conquer the worst of times and become better versions of ourselves. Who knew that a saint from 1226 could provide such timely and effective insights into our modern day world. Where there was injury we have all learned how to pardon. Take that COVID-19!