I have thought about this metaphor for a few weeks now and today saw it written like this. Most of us are staying at home. For the first time in modern history the world is united in the sense that we are going through the same thing. While medical staff are working day and night to serve those in need, store clerks are keeping super markets open and delivery guys are bringing food to your door. The rest of us just have to stay home and wait it out.
So, it should be easy, right - but what do you find when you take the time to look? Single people may feel the lack of companionship more than ever and married couples now have excess time together which could bring dysfunction to the surface. Children see their stressed parents and wonder what they did wrong, and older people fear being with others, including their family, because they are the most vulnerable. Covid-19 is not easy for anyone! It’s a great equalizer. We may be alone at home, but we face uncertainty together.
I’m a person who needs to go inward to charge my energy, so admittedly staying at home has not been a horribly difficult talk for me. I know for many it is very difficult, however. The difficulty of it and disbelief has been part of the reason the virus spread so quickly in Italy in fact. Even after weeks of tragic news, police still struggle to get people to take it seriously and stay home. The sudden restrictions, interruption of our daily routines and immediate reorder to keep some systems still working has been a tremendous shock globally.
For the mind this is a real whirlwind if we don’t center ourselves and grab hold of a reality that stabilizes us during this difficult time. While we may find temporary relief in a humorous meme that goes around or by watching a comedy, the general feeling is up and down, like the Covid-19 numbers. We are on lockdown, in quarantine and it forces us to look at ourselves and the lives we’ve been leading up to now.
This is a lot like the life in a cocoon. A cocoon is restrictive, dark, uncertain…. and a nightmare for anyone who is claustrophobic. The promise is to become a butterfly, but what does it take?
Before entering the cocoon, a caterpillar consumes up to 300 times its body weight per day in preparation. This is essentially the fuel that will allow the transformation to take place. Our quarantine came at a surprise and the collective responded in fear leaving super market shelves empty and medical supplies scarce. Unlike the transformation of a caterpillar whose programming includes preparation for a transformation, for humans it is choice.
We have a choice which operating system we will function from: that of love or that of fear.
This is also about perspective. The news is grim. It was before the virus and it will be afterwards too, prepare yourself. Depending on how you look at it, this crisis is a tremendous gift. Crisis itself in Chinese is a blend of the words “opportunity” and “danger” (危机). Our perspective shapes the reality we are living in now, and is it a stable one? Are you able to cope? Take this picture for example. The first man can’t see beyond the cell bars while the second man sees the forest behind. He sees beyond the limitations (the bars) to the bigger picture.
We may be called to just stay home, yet we have been given a gift of the greatest resource of all, time. What we decide to do with our time while in the Corona Cocoon will shape the world when this calms down. Today I saw a brilliant post about the two types of people who will come out of this: 1.) the ones who will have chosen their true power, identity and unique added value, to give their best to the world. 1.) and those who will be afraid and stay dependent on who tells the best story, be it the news or the neighbor’s loss.
The cocoon brings challenges. There are limits unlike before, but once a upon a time a man saw a butterfly struggling in its cocoon and he cut the cocoon to relieve the butterfly only to find that its wings were too small to fly. There's purpose in the struggle for transformation.
As you paint like the men above, what’s on your canvas?
What operating system are you using: that of fear or that of love?
Things will not be the same after this, and let’s not be the same either. We have a choice to find out just how big our wings can be. Let that be your Corona Cocoon experience.