COVID-19 · self-control

My Silent Protest

Ok, so I’ve been silent. Blame it on what you may: busyness, weariness, speechlessness. Any of the above would be true.

But my silence has been more than that. It’s been reflective. It’s been intentional. At times, I’ve been tempted to start a post based solely on my opinions, my frustrations, and viewpoint on current world events… but as I type, I wonder, “What can I say, that hasn’t already been said?”

What can I write that not a million other souls have expressed in various ways on social media, news commentaries, or other outlets? And all speaking with such certainty, such passion.

They KNOW things. And they share these things eagerly. Because they know that everyone on the opposing side is wrong, and they alone have the right point of view.

The only thing I know without a doubt, is that I don’t have a hot clue what is true or not anymore. Everyone has an argument and a professional who backs up their points. And who has the wisdom to say which of them is right?

Opinions aside, I feel quite tiny as I watch the world: Grasping desperately for some sort control, instead of facing the facts… there is nothing about our current world that is IN our control.

Is staying home, locked away and fearful, really “having control”?

Is “staying safe” actually within my ability to control? Can I ever guarantee my own safety or the safety of those around me?

Is a mask a fool proof way of keeping the virus out? Just ask the many healthcare workers who’ve worn mask day after day, only to test positive.

There are no absolute safe guards. Eventually one has to come to terms with the fact that COVID-19 and the passionate responses of everyone around them to the pandemic are completely and utterly out of our control.

The governments rules and regulations are out of our control.

Is the virus serious? To some, it is.

Has it been overblown? To some, it has.

Are we doing the right things? Are we making mistakes?

Not even “the professionals” seem to know.

Still with all that we don’t know, people are shouting things with more conviction and force than ever before.

And I’ve been silent.

Quietly protesting an overly vocal world. My silence is my protest. It says: I’m tired of being one of the screaming voices who wants to be heard, I want to be one who listens.

Ha! Actually listening… There’s an old fashioned concept! Listening to both sides; stopping and considering before forming a response.

Not responding when I disagree.

My focus these COVID days?

Treating others as human beings. Learning that I don’t have all the answers. Realizing that most of life is out of my control.

And then coming to terms with it.

Today my son, my precious son, made me so angry I could barely breathe.

He flooded our new, almost finished, basement that we’ve been working on for the past few months. Plugging the upstairs drain and forgetting to turn off the tap, the water ran… down the particle board vanity, onto the floor, into the floor vent.

Drip, drip, drip. Into the ceiling tiles, the light fixture. Pouring down the wall onto the laminate floor. Swelling everything that was not made to soak in water.

A simple action out of my control.

Had I taught him better? Of course.

Had I been working 12 hour days to finish the basement before October? Absolutely.

But, the mistake that was made was completely out of my control.

And it’s funny what humans do when they suddenly find themselves out of control: They turn to anger.

Anger, as we all know, is actually the polar opposite of having control. It makes us out of control. Anger is a false sense of control.

Of course, I exploded. Of course, I lashed out in anger. But in the end, it did nothing for my situation. My basement was still damaged. The only control I could have in the matter was to fix the damage that had been made: Both the external damage of my sons mistake, and the internal damage of my angry words.

The only control I really have, is self-control. But do I have it?

Control, then, is not my angry or fearful responses, but my rational ones.

In order to find peace with this crazy world, I have to choose to accept that things I can not change, change the things I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. (Paraphrased from Reinhold Niebuhr).

Silence is control.

Listening is control.

Humility is control.

Asking for forgiveness is control.

And so my silent protest is a plea: “Humanity: Let’s take back control… of ourselves.”

12 thoughts on “My Silent Protest

    1. Lol! I’d see myself somewhere in the middle of the debate. I wear masks, but only when it’s required, usually to protect others or at the very least, to help them feel comfortable around me.
      Thanks Chelsea! I’m definitely feeling the stress of it all these days. Hoping no more setbacks happen this month 😕

      Liked by 2 people

  1. The wearing of masks has become the trigger for conflict. Depending on which expert you listen to state that masks prevent the spread of COVID-19. But as you pointed out there are medical professionals who are suited up who still contracted the virus. I wear a masks because its mandatory in my city. I had COVID for over a month, by the grace of God it wasn’t unto death and only cold-like symptoms.


  2. Thank you for this post, Heather. I have so much comfort in the knowledge that nothing is out of God’s control. He’s not surprised or stressed out by the world’s circumstances. I think of Matthew 11: 28-30 “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.””
    ‭‭As we follow Jesus in his character of humility and gentleness, we will be given rest and freedom from fear. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sentence stuck out to me. “Opinions aside, I feel quite tiny as I watch the world: Grasping desperately for some sort control, instead of facing the facts… there is nothing about our current world that is IN our control.”

    It truly isn’t in our control and I had to tell myself this last week when I got so upset about politics. I said “God…what is going to happen if this person wins the election? I’m scared.” He said, “It’s not in your control. It’s in mine. ” I heard that thought as clear as anything and it stunk in some ways. I mean, have I really wasted all this energy and stress and tears and comments on social media when all of it just out of my control?! Yes. Yes I have. And that’s so depressing to me. What a bunch of wasted time. But it was also comforting in some ways because he was saying “This is mine to deal with. Not yours.”

    Things are happening in this country that have to happen for God’s plan and I’m scared but I’m also trying so hard to trust him.

    And yes, I agree about the confusion with the virus stuff. There is no guarantee we can protect anyone and not even a vaccine is promised protection because like the head of the CDC said, not everyone will have an immune response to the vaccine so not everyone will be protected. It’s all a risk. And yes, even doctors who’ve worn masks have caught it, but in some cases that’s related to viral load. They’ve been repeatedly exposed to it and in large amounts, unlike most of us so hopefully the masks will help those of us not in the middle of it all the time.

    Hang in there, Heather. Trust me…I can so relate to what you are saying but I need to enact some self-control and stay silent on some things I can’t control .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this thoughtful comment Lisa! I’m glad you could relate to this. I often question God’s plan in all of this, but in the end, like you said we need to let go and trust him.

      And yes… staying quiet is hard, especially for us writers 😜

      Liked by 1 person

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