Dr. Paul Miller
Life After the Pandemic: Self-Improvement
What was the biggest thing that happened to you or for you during the pandemic? The pandemic began officially around March 13, 2020 and a gradual release has been occurring as more adults have become vaccinated. As the vaccine was first announced I was a very strong opponent of it. I was worried about several things such as the Tuskegee project, or even the possibility that the government could insert a chip inside of us, reminiscent of multiple movies out there. I was concerned that it may make me sick, like the flu shot has the two times I have taken it. I know the research says there are no live flu antibodies in the shot, but what I can say is; that I took it twice and got sick with what felt like the flu, twice, right afterwards.
In my initial thoughts I figured it could be a ploy to kill off Black people. My sentiments were that I may consider taking the vaccine if I see that people aren’t growing horns from their heads, and tails from their behinds. After waiting, debating, watching, analyzing, and a lot of prayer, I reluctantly decided to take the vaccine. What does this have to do with self-improvement, you may ask? Not too much actually, but the things that led me up to the decision are all about self-improvement and more. A few years back around 2017 my career was gaining momentum. I had written and released my second book “We Need to do Better”, which helped catapult me to opportunities on a national stage. I was traveling frequently to speak or promote the book as well. I thought I was happy because a lot of things I always wanted, appeared to be coming true. I was happy on the outside, on the surface, but on the inside I was hurting still, from youthful trauma.
Often in life, because I didn’t heal, holes would get poked into my box and my hurt would seep out. Causing more issues, specifically for myself and my immediate loved ones. This box strategy wasn’t good, because I modeled it for my kids as well. It led to the demise of my marriage including a divorce. For the record it takes two people to disintegrate a marriage, in my case two hurt people, hurting people. All of this was happening to me a few months before the pandemic. It all was enough to get my attention. It was enough to get me to hear that God wanted me to handle my issues differently. I had to heal myself, so I could be good for others.
I was working on myself, then poof the country was shut down. The biggest thing that happened to me is that I gained the most beautiful gift from God. I gained time. I now had time, I was forced to be with myself, by myself, with time. The time to think, pray, acknowledge, open boxes, and to heal. I had to force myself to be comfortable being uncomfortable. There was no more, busy, or traveling the country. The pace of life went to a 0. God forced me to take a look at myself. Now we all have free will and I could have avoided, evaded, and circumvented God, but I chose to use my time the way I felt he wanted me to. I needed to turn my setbacks into my setups by doing the real work, not the work that I thought was going to make me happy. Through time, therapy, and God I have been able to process my emotions and pour the old out, to empty my glass, with the hopes of refilling it with all the right liquids this time.
Ultimately, the time led me to heal which opened me back up to write my third book, develop my consulting business, a new healthy relationship, even a new daughter (Who’s the cutest baby ever). I ultimately got the vaccine to make sure I don’t expose the baby to COVID, however, without the healing and the self-improvement work; I would have never been ready for all the new blessings God has placed in my life.
Dr. Paul Miller is an educational success expert with more than 21 years of experience creating systems and tackling approaches that help Black young men graduate. He is a speaker and the author of We Need To Do Better: Changing the Mindset of Children through Family, Community, and Education, and Cyberbullying: Breaking the Cycle of Conflict.
Comments or Questions? Want to share your educational experience with COVID? I cordially invited you to reach out! All respectful, on-topic comments are welcome.