Major Life Transition: Envisioning the Future After COVID-19
We’re currently undergoing a collective major life transition, due to the impact of coronavirus. We’re all striving to envisage the future after COVID-19.
It’s a big occurence when an individual undergoes a major life transition. What does it mean for us all, when a great many individuals in a society undergo related major life transitions simultaneously?
C.G. Jung was very wary of about using statistics to describe the journey toward wholeness of individuals. Yet there can be a place for statistics in discerning the impact of major events on the lives of many people in a society. A study by Nanos Research for the Mental Health Commission of Canada has indicated that the number of Canadians feeling stressed regularly has increased dramatically in the COVID era. However, it also showed that many Canadians were experiencing a greater appreciation for friends and family, an interest in returning to a simpler life, and less interest in buying and owning material possessions.
In research for the Globe and Mail, Nanos found that most Canadians don’t think that we will simply revert to our prepandemic lifestyle. Also, a great many people feel that COVID has generated a greater appreciation for life, and what is really important in life. Nanos interprets this as a return to self-reflection and “soul searching”–akin perhaps to the experience of “soul making” that I referred to in my last blog post.
One of the things that can be very difficult for individuals in dealing with a crisis such as COVID-19 is the sense that the future has been foreclosed. Living with the amount of uncertainty that we are experiencing in many cases, it can easily feel like the door to the future is shut, and that there are no good possibilities open to us. It is very easy to feel powerless, both as individuals, and as a society.
Yet, it’s very important for us to be clear on the difference between actual powerlessness, and a lack of ability to imagine possible directions in which things might move. And, we might add, it’s particularly important to think about what direction we might want things to go, for our personal lives, and for our collective life as a society.
How can we engage or connect with possibilities that we might be able to live out? We’ve been living with a set of assumptions about how our world works that we carry in both our conscious lives, and in our unconscious mind. They condition us, and lead us to feel that they represent “the way the world is” Yet, they actually may represent merely our projections, individual and collective, upon that world. Could a situation such as the one we’re confronting at present possibly change our perceptions–in useful and life-giving ways?
Soul and Envisaging the Future
It can take a considerable amount of courage and strength to envisage a future that could be good for us and that could be well-suited to who we are. It could also require us to know a great deal about ourselves, and what we really want and need–as opposed to what others expect of us.
It can be easy to let ourselves be driven and motivated by the expectations of others. However the net effect of this can be that we get driven further and further away from who we really are. We can end up getting caught in a rut of conformity that feels futile, and lacks meaning. At a time like the present, when the conventional world that we have known seem to be rapidly changing, that could be a recipe for despair.
Envisaging Your Future After COVID-19
To envisage meaningful future possibilities for ourselves, we have to know what we want. This is true whether we are considering our own individual future, or the broader future, that embraces the entire future of our society. This may require exploring parts of ourselves which are not that familiar, and attitudes and feelings that have been in the background for a long time, yet are only coming to the fore in the present. In a huge number of peoples’ dreams at the present time, there is a common theme: something new is breaking in. It’s essential for us to be attentive what that might embody.
In the present time time, we’re called to self-exploration and a self-compassionate acceptance of who we fundamentally are. These things are actually fundamental to a vision of a future after COVID-29. It can be of tremendous assistance in developing that self-knowledge and self-love to work with a Jungian /a-midlife-transition, as an individual works toward a viable, meaningful way to move into the future.
Wishing you every good thing on your journey to wholeness,