Permission to Widen the View


Right now people are living with a great amount of grief and uncertainty. We can’t dismiss our feelings or our very justified worries and concerns. However, we can have a both/and way of thinking.

It may help to think of it this way:

When we are anxious or uncertain, our gaze, our field of focus, it narrows.

Give yourself a moment to expand that view.

Imagine your life two years from now. What does that look like? What does imagining that time feel like? You can visualize that your field of focus expands wider each time you increase the years.

Now imagine your life five years from now.

Ten years from now.

Fifteen years from now.

As I do this, I feel a softening in my chest, a relaxing of my brows which seem to have a fixed, furrowed look of concern these days. I don’t know what those years hold, but each additional year brings a greater promise of hope and possibility.

Today we face pervasive issues of public health, injustice and inequity that require our sense of urgency. I’m not encouraging an abdication of immediate response and I don’t intend to minimize the very valid concerns of the moment. But occasionally, give yourself permission to imagine your life at a future time, far from 2020. I’d argue that if we allow ourselves to engage in that future thinking, it can give us the feeling of a clearer head and a greater sense of purpose to help to inform how we act in the present. Because if I just sit on my hands for fifteen years…I end up in a world that I had no say in…and my hands are asleep.

Honor your situation and your feelings at this time. They are valid. Also, allow yourself occasional permission to widen the view.


About Author

Katie Seavey Pegoraro

Sr Associate Work Life Program Manager

Katie Seavey Pegoraro supports employees with issues of stress and balance, providing tools and resources to cope when life feels overwhelming. Katie is a contact for those who may be coping with issues of mental health, substance use, or grief and loss. A young professional herself, Katie is a unique support to employees who are navigating the many life transitions that occur in your 20's and 30's.

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