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Is it Really the Pandemic that’s Triggering our Unhappiness?

Updated: Jan 31

Why has the Universe sent us all to our rooms?

Well, maybe it’s because we shit all over the Earth with pollutants such as trash, plastics, and fossil fuels. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been treating ourselves, each other, and the world's animals poorly. Or, perhaps it’s the fact that humans have become so ego-driven that we’ve been focusing our attention on materialism and external gain and have ignored kindness, compassion & humility?

Whatever the reason, we are where we are and this stillness is triggering for many.

Why is it triggering?

Because nothing is distracting us from how we truly feel, or from what truly is.

What does that mean?

Well, as a collective we have gotten so used to being busy doing with our jobs, and families, and recreation, etcetera that we have been neglecting how we feel, but now with this forced idleness, there is space and time to sit with ourselves and to feel our feelings, and bear witness to our emotions, and to hear our inner voice, all of which can be very triggering.

Yes, I know this is deep stuff, and I can say that because I have been doing deep inner work for a while, and when I sit with the Self, so much comes up for me, too.

For the past several weeks, I noticed people are complaining more than ever and it seems everyone wants things to go back to normal, but I can’t help but wonder if going back to normal will fix anything, and I also wonder if people are using the pandemic as an excuse to complain about things that were making them unhappy all along.

For example, my single friends are complaining a lot more than usual. Some are more light-hearted about it and have simply expressed their desire for a quarantine-mate, which I get because I’m all for Netflix & Chill, but others are really bothered by the loneliness, and then some are triggered by the why: The why am I still single.

I do not judge my friends because I try and not judge in general, and I also share some of their feelings, but as much as you may not want to hear this, now is the time to sit with your feelings about being single.

What do you mean, Janine?

At the root of our discomfort lies the truth, so now is a time to dig deep to discover what is bothering you about your current situation. What I recommend is asking yourself: What is truly bothering you, and why is it bothering you? To dig even deeper, you can also ask yourself questions like: Is it just the sting of loneliness? Or is it the need for love? Or is it comparison (the thief of joy)? Or is it something else entirely? Whatever it is, I suggest you spend time thinking about it and then just sitting with it. Sit with the feelings, and sit with the emotions. Just sit. This is where the magic happens because it is through the darkness that we discover the light.

On the flip side, many coupled friends seem to be complaining just as much, but for different reasons. Some are annoyed by their partners and are agitated by every little thing that they do, and others are going bonkers having their kids home all the time and having to home-school them.

Again, I am not judging, and I think it’s normal to get agitated when spending too much time with anyone. But, have you asked yourself: What is underneath— or at the root of the annoyance with your partner or children?

For example, are you really that upset that your husband left an orange peel on the counter, or is that your excuse because you have been harboring resentment about something he did months ago that you didn’t deal with then, and the orange peel is just the trigger? Or is it little Johnnie’s vroom- vroom car noises the problem, or is it something else, like your lack of patience.

To go even deeper here, try and think about what lies beneath the trigger and then sit with those feelings and observe what comes up. You may realize that you are projecting your pain onto those closest to you because it seems easier to complain about a situation— like being quarantined with your family— than it is to do the inner work of getting to the root of your discomfort. And, you may be surprised


Because our thinking mind is driven by the ego that loves to attach onto stories and excuses, but underneath all that is the truth for you to discover, which will ultimately set you free.

I am also hearing people complain about having too much work or their lack thereof. I would assume that those that still have jobs and income would be happy, but all I am hearing is disdain for too much FaceTime and virtual meetings. And, for those who are furloughed, or have lost their jobs, yes it's scary AF, but at the same token, there is unemployment, government subsidies, deferment plans, and when the world opens up again, I bet that businesses will be busier than ever. That is my opinion, and I could be wrong, but I try and see things with a glass-half-full approach, and this article is more about what lies beneath the triggers in your current situation, rather than the actual situation.

If this situation is applicable to you, you may want to ask yourself: Did I, (or do I) even like my job? Then see what comes up. You may also want to ask yourself if it’s the Zoom calls you hate or do you hate being reachable 24/7. For me, it’s the latter which is a big trigger because it’s a boundaries issue. But, whatever it is that plagues you about your current work situation, try getting to the root of the trigger.

What you have hopefully noticed by now is that it is not the situation you are in, but rather what lies beneath the triggers that need to be resolved. And, this concept can also be applied to all areas of your life.

And, spoiler alert, it’s not your relationship status that is making you unhappy, and it is not your spouse or children that are making you unhappy, and it is not your job that is making you unhappy, and it is not the pandemic that is making you unhappy. You are making you unhappy.

You are choosing to be unhappy by either living in the past, which causes depression, or you are refusing to do the inner work, or you are living in the future, which causes fear and anxiety. So, my advice would be to start living presently, or as Eckhart Tolle calls The Now, and if you are not happy with something in your life, face it so you can change it. You have that power.

And I am in no way shape or form minimizing the severity of this pandemic, but I am suggesting that while you have this idle time, try instead of complaining about what is, try to use this as an opportunity to uncover where the unhappiness lies. Sit with it. Feel it. Be present with it. And, hopefully, you will heal whatever it is—or at least start the healing process. We have the time so and what better time than the present.

With Love & Light,

Janine Forte

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