“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11
Researching on the Internet about these novel emotions that I am feeling due to the pandemic and the quarantine, I discovered an article from the Harvard Business Review called “The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief” by Scott Barinato.
According to the article we are collectively suffering of anticipatory grief. It says, “Anticipatory grief is the mind going to the future and imagining the worst. To calm yourself, you want to come into the present. This will be familiar advice to anyone who has meditated or practiced mindfulness but people are always surprised at how prosaic this can be. You can name five things in the room. There’s a computer, a chair, a picture of the dog, an old rug, and a coffee mug. It’s that simple. Breathe. Realize that in the present moment, nothing you’ve anticipated has happened. In this moment, you’re okay. You have food. You are not sick. Use your senses and think about what they feel. The desk is hard. The blanket is soft. I can feel the breath coming into my nose. This really will work to dampen some of that pain.”
When I read this paragraph I thought about the verse in Philippians 4:11. When Paul wrote this verse, he was in a dire situation. He was incarcerated in Rome. He pretty much “realized that in the present moment, nothing he had anticipated had happened. He was okay”. Paul knew that God was in control. By focusing in his present situation Paul was able to give thanks and praise God.
Like Paul, we can avoid this anticipatory grief by focusing in the blessings we receive every day, and by trusting God with our future.
Heavenly Father, help us focus in the present time and praise you for your blessings flow. The past brings up sadness and regrets. The future worries us. We meet you in our present because, Lord, your strength and your grace are sufficient in all things. Amen.