Here is the entire stanza from a William Wordsmith’s poem published in 1807.

So once it would have been—’tis so no more;
I have submitted to a new control:
A power is gone, which nothing can restore;
A deep distress hath humanized my soul.

Very prescient words written two centuries ago. Right now, our world does not seem within our control. Our power is gone, and even when the virus ultimately passes or is brought under reasonable control, the world will not be the same – or least I hope it isn’t. Many years ago, when something distressing happened to me, a wise counselor asked me, “What meaning are you going to give this?” If our suffering does not alter us in some meaningful way, it is a tragedy.

When working with my clients, I focus on two facets: Who do they want to be and What do they want to do? Most people search out a leadership coach to help them do things better or differently. But that is only part of the issue. Who do they want to be takes some deep reflection, and some unvarnished exploration of who they are now.

As we social distance and stay at home more, it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on who we want to be, as an individual, a community, a nation. Many of us are connecting on social media; entertaining each other, supporting each other, mourning together. And that is wonderful as people are built for connection, but some time spent in quiet self-reflection is time well spent.

Who do you want to be – after? Will your relationship to your community change? Will what you value change? Will you spend your time differently? What meaning are you going to give this time in your life?

This article, written by a fellow student in my Masters of Applied Psychology program further explores the importance of finding meaning in your life. Click for article