The "I Should" Virus
Updated: Jul 9
A virus is defined as " a potentially harmful or corrupting influence". It is defined as having the "potential" and so we have often shrugged it off as something unassuming, manageable and part of our everyday lives. (For example the common flu). Because it has the potential and not a guarantee, we tend to underestimate its corrosive power. Right now the virus getting all the attention is Coronavirus (Covid-19). But what if I said, there is another virus, invisible to the eye, currently familiar and unassuming, but gaining corrupting influence as it thrives in the circumstance we are currently facing ourselves in. I believe this harmful and corrupting influence to be the self-imposed word ‘should’.
Although this extreme circumstance is unique to our lifetime, we are by no means a stranger to change and uncertainty. And with change and uncertainty, is the also familiar modern day self-inflicted expectation that we should not just be surviving but thriving in these uncertain times. We are all self-isolating and, yet, I find myself at times stressed not by this potentially life-threatening disease (at least not yet), but by how I am being made to feel on what I ‘should’ do about my current circumstances. I am being told by everyone (including myself) on how I should be better handling everything: such as how to self-isolate with family, keep fit, be more efficient, manage my career and or develop my hobbies. How can I not miss out on all these wonderful free online resources that have suddenly become available to me? Suddenly the globe has become more connected than ever before, with resources everywhere, providing free material for us to use so that we can ‘cope’ at this difficult time. More than ever before we have access to free tutorials, blogs, books, videos. I can do Pilates while learning Japanese, take up vocal lessons and prepare a special meal - all the while being ‘connected’ to everyone and anyone.
We have a habit of thinking that knowledge is power. And so we arm ourselves and those we love by forwarding opportunities to learn as much as possible and when possible. But is throwing information at one another really helping? I would argue that while at times "knowledge is power", knowledge, if not in the right frame of mind and or state of well-being to absorb and digest it, can instead cause more anxiety. And so here I am, obligated to tell you how drawing and other such pastimes, may now be very good for your mental well-being. But I have no want nor intention of being a ‘should’ spreader - suffocating your air and inbox. If you are experiencing anxiety and would like the human connection, then the offer is there for you join to our free webinars. But drawing, like all things in life, has its time and place. Maybe it's now. Maybe it's not. But do ask yourself one question:
What, at this time of global lockdown, will give you the strength and joy you need?
Then do just that.
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