When “good” things happen during “bad” times

I’ve had a number of conversations this week about something that’s been playing on my mind and seems to be echoed by others. As I write this, most of us in the UK have been living in lockdown – I have for 39 days. We’re experiencing a global pandemic and many people are dying. Most of the world’s population is living a restricted life in some way. 

I think almost everyone would agree this isn’t something we’d have chosen to happen and isn’t something we particularly welcome. 

However, it is happening and it is something that has been with us for a while and is likely to be with us for a while longer. During this period of time, we will all experience highs and lows; ebbs and flows of life. There will even be some positives that may come because of the situation we find ourselves in – whether that’s as a society or as individuals. 

The part that I feel compelled to share is the feeling that we shouldn’t feel too good or too appreciative during these times because of what is going on and how devastating it is. I’ve had it myself and I know others have – feeling like we shouldn’t enjoy things too much because there are others that are suffering. 

Here’s the thing though. Unless the suffering is as a direct result of the “good” that we are experiencing, there’s nothing at all to feel bad about. And this is rarely the case. We may be more aware of the suffering, but it isn’t our doing. So it doesn’t make sense to feel any guilt for the things that feel good to us. 

Maybe we’ve got some extra free time and we’re really appreciating it. Maybe we’re saving money and that will help us in the future. Maybe we’ve had the opportunity to do different work that we’re really enjoying. Maybe we’ve been able to reconnect (virtually) with more family and friends. Maybe we’ve enjoyed spending time with ourselves. Maybe we’ve developed new exercise habits or eating habits that we’re really proud of. (And maybe it’s none of these but something else entirely!).

Over the last few weeks all of us will have experienced some things that feel good, and some things that don’t feel so good. We always do in life. The fact we’re living in a pandemic doesn’t change this. 

So, let’s choose to appreciate the things that feel good. Let’s celebrate them. Let’s shout about them from the rooftops to share the positive energy with others. It doesn’t serve us or anyone else to keep quiet about the good things. It doesn’t mean we’re dismissing the challenges; we’re just focusing our energy on the amazingness of life. 

Don’t hide the good stuff. Let it shine! ????

Disclaimer: I’m fully aware that no situation is categorically good or bad, and it all depends on the judgement you place on it, though I’m sure these feelings are still relatable.