here in 2020 ... the twilight zone

We blinked and the world changed. How has 2020 been for you? Crazy? Surreal?

No wonder. 2020 has been, as a friend pointed out, a mash-up of the:

- Pandemic of 1918,- Stock market crash of 1929,- Mass demonstrations of 1968, and- Contested election of 2000

I think of the eerie opening music and lines of the 1960’s TV series “The Twilight Zone,”

“… a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man ... a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity ...the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.” (Source)

We stepped into the twilight zone in March. Seven months later, it’s unknown when we’ll step out. This prolonged uncertainty takes a toll on us all.

Dissonance triggers tension, like the diminished chord in music. We instinctively ask for it to resolve to something harmonious. The longer the current uncertainty persists the more we can experience feelings of loss, anger, exhaustion, loneliness, worry, and more.

With tremendous change and persistent uncertainty around us, it’s natural that we experience emotional roller coasters. So, we should

1. Cut ourselves some slack; practice self-compassion2. Be aware of our emotional collisions, without judgment; practice mindfulness3. Be aware that others are facing similar challenges; practice compassion for them4. Avoid self-pity; focus on the needs of others

For this epic moment I’ve found the following helpful for me and my family. You may too.

Brackett, Marc. Permission to Feel (2019)David, Susan. Emotional Agility (2016)Harris, Dan. Ten Percent Happier, Revised Edition (2019)Neff, Kristin. Self-Compassion (2011)