So currently we are all going through an enforced clipping of our social butterfly wings, many of us will be feeling we have lost our sense of purpose. We will be missing out on social gatherings, weddings postponed, significant birthday parties cancelled or celebrated remotely not the same I hear you all say. Other outlets such as being part of a choir or an art group all on hold or being performed remotely over Zoom or Skype never could this have been imagined? The words “social distancing” or “self-isolation” and “virtual” have become a daily occurrence in our vocabulary.
As human beings with have an inherent need to belong and be part of and involved in the world, it gives us a sense of purpose a reason to get up in the morning and carry on. It is a known fact that those of us with a strong sense of purpose not only live longer healthier lives but happier ones too.
This weekend is V.E. Day 75th celebration, this should have been a huge public national celebration that now obviously will be completely different to the original planned parties and events. The generation that fought in this war are all reaching centenary birthdays and the song associated with this time is We’ll Meet Again, performed by Dame Vera Lynn, strangely it kind of rings true in this time maybe Ed Sheeran should record a new version!
Thinking about the significance of this weekend and this world pandemic as a human race we have a common cause to fight against, Goodness prevailing over an unseen evil. I think about my Grandad who would have been Captain Tom Moore’s age, a quiet dignified man who had seen so much and missed so much in that period of six years, did he have faith and belief through it all, and what was it that kept him going in the deserts of then Persia now Iran and through a ravaged Italy to collect and bring home soldiers at the end of the war. Sadly, I never asked him how he got through this knowing he had two children and a wife at home that were growing up without his presence and his love and guidance, so different to our instant life of technology today. It has been nine weeks since I have seen my daughters and granddaughter not 8 months or a year and I miss them dreadfully, the joy of being together physically just doesn’t compare to a face on a computer screen.
I wonder if during the war when my Grandad was in the desert with his comrades' amid all the devastation and noise were there quiet moments when he had time to think and reflect take joy in the peace and simplicity of silence. He must have had faith and belief, if not in a religious way, within himself a sense of purpose and belonging maybe.
Belief has two meanings in the dictionary one being an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially without proof. The second, trust, faith or confidence in someone or something. Faith is similar in meaning complete trust or confidence in someone or something. A strong belief associated and based on spiritual religious conviction.
A sense of belonging comes from a state of accepting yourself just as you are, and not just trying to fit in with others,caring less about what others think. We are all unique in the way we see the world but we all will experience times of doubt when our strength of belief and faith are tested and wobble a little, but ultimately we all pull on belief and faith to survive life's challenges making us more resilient in the process. Life is a great teacher and adversity can have profound outcomes, I doubt any of us will look at life quite the same after this and maybe some of us will have stronger a sense of belonging than we did prior to lockdown. I have no life changing moments occurring at present, but like the man who I knew as my Grandad quiet, kind, happy and devoted to his family and a friend to others maybe this is enough to value and hold close. Blue zone residents have these qualities embedded into their culture and daily life is this their true secret to longevity?
Wondering about how a sense of purpose could help you? Our Health Coaches can chat through this with you, or maybe belonging to our virtual gym The Other Room might help. To find out more go to https://www.oneyoulincolnshire.org.uk/lincolnshire-residents
Lisa Dean, Lead Health Coach
May 7, 2020