The shut down of the world came as a surprise. Did you even imagine that it would be possible for nearly 7 billion people to stop their ‘normal’ activities and go into seclusion? In my part of the world the retreat began in March. I was suddenly thrust into an alternate reality. But it took time for me to comprehend the change....
Most news I receive is by email. What seemed like a far away concern has now become a serious issue. The coronavirus is causing a world wide ‘shut down.’ We are advised to ‘stay at home’ and wear masks when going out. Stores and restaurants are closing down, flying is precarious and so my daughter decides to stay a bit longer. Bags of frozen fish, canned goods, and cleaning supplies are added to my shopping list to shorten trips to the store.
My refrigerator terminates and we salvage what food we can in a couple of coolers in the garage. Rats, I just filled up my frozen section! What a time to have it go out. It is a couple of weeks without refrigeration before I find a business that is willing to come inside and install a new refrigerator. Within minutes of the new one being stocked my garbage disposal goes out. Leaking from the bottom an inch deep of water covers the floor of the cabinet. It has to be fixed pronto in order to use the kitchen sink. My patience pays off after a masked trip to Home Depot waiting in long lines and talking with four different service personnel trying to figure out how to give me a refund for an unneeded refrigerator part while my daughter retrieves the new disposal. With her strong arms and ingenuity, she has it fixed and the house is humming once again.
Every day there is more news about the novel virus spreading and I hear people having trouble with feelings of isolation with the ‘stay at home’ order. For me, nothing has slowed down. There are waves upon waves of situations popping up that need prompt attention.
The strangeness of this virus is incomprehensible. My heart is heavy and weeps for my cousin, his wife and son and his sisters. A beautiful gentle soul, he is no longer with us.
For the moment, the quiet does not disturb me. I see how others are struggling and hear about all of the deaths. It is so hard for the families not being able to be with their loved ones as they go through this illness or to be with them as they pass. It gives me a greater appreciation for the safe enclave where I live and what I have. My heart reaches out to give solace, hope and care.
I’m observing the reactions of people and have been asked to do a podcast on the effects the shutdown and fears of Covid-19 are having on people. The fears are more than the virus. People are dividing depending upon their fears, beliefs and values. The situation is shining a lens on whatever fears and beliefs have been hidden. Some people are concerned about getting the virus or unknowingly giving it to someone else. Others are concerned that their freedoms are being impinged upon. Whatever is valued most is being unhinged.
There is an ominous foreshadowing as the fear spreads. Tensions are rising. It is as though the world has succumbed to a thick sickening green pallor, a ubiquitous deep silence is enveloping and blanketing consciousness. It is the stillness before hail pellets drop and the furious swirling funnel of turbulence rips and tears at the earth and psyche of humanity.
Disagreements between friends and families cause ruptures in relationships. It might be about how to deal with the virus, or the protests, or the economy, or corruption or what the heck is the truth. What one person holds as a value or sees as a truth is at odds with others. It is surprising to feel the enormous animosity and anger when a person’s intrinsic safety, beliefs, values and way of life are confronted.
July & August 2020
It does not matter what strata of society one comes from, this sense of despair and uncertainty is affecting people from all walks of life. Michelle Obama spoke about how her sleep has been off and how she goes through periods of emotional highs and lows where she just doesn’t feel like herself. She described it as a form of “low-grade depression.” She expressed her anguish at witnessing the enormity of racial injustice and the effects of the virus on all levels of people’s lives. As any one of us suffers, we all suffer.
An Existential Wake-Up Call
The existence we once knew is no longer. We have exploited the resources of the earth by opening up gaping holes, tearing down mountains, destroying land and water supplies with little thought to the consequences. We have been using toxic chemicals to wipe out insects, poisoning the land and water and in turn are poisoning ourselves. People are sick. Their immune systems are suffering. We have lost our relationship to the creatures and elements of the earth. We have upset the natural balance and the interdependence of life that we depend on.
Sadly, we have forgotten our kindred relationship to each other, to our fellow humans. Relationships are suffering. We have forgotten how to care and support one another in our striving for independence and the determination to be rich and successful at all costs. It is Costing us Greatly. It may cost us our very existence.
It is right to be depressed because that energy, which slows you down says, “Look around you, look inside of yourself, something is out of kilter.” The time is up for self-interest that includes heartless detachment, prejudice, discrimination, greed, hatred and careless unmitigated derision of resources and people.
Fear is at the core of survival. What is your relationship with fear? Our mode has been to resist it, fight it, suppress it and run away from it. It is in resisting it rather than meeting it with understanding that creates the destruction we are engaged with. When you sit with your fear, what does it speak about? What can you learn from it? How do you react to it? Learning about your fear will tell you much about your relationship to life.
Yes, these are challenging and pretty scary times. I look back on March and see how the wee problems that occurred in my life are simple and easy to solve. The larger ones are upon all of us now. It calls for us to reach out to one another no matter what another’s values are or the culture they have come from. Learn about the people around you. What challenges and fears do they have? What do they care about? What do you care about? Find the higher aspects of yourself. Face your fears with compassionate care.
We are all waking up from a very long slumber. Our fears have been driving us over the edge. A portal of opportunity has opened for us to look deeply within and realize that fear is not an enemy. It is here to help us survive. It does not need to control us nor destroy us.
As you get familiar with the driving scared parts of yourself and relate to them it opens up other health giving vital aspects that have been waiting to arise. Beautiful expressions of calm, caring, friendly, loving, confident, wise, creative and playful facets are allowed to emerge.
Can you imagine what happens when you allow these parts of yourself to express? Can you imagine what it feels like to be in harmony with people and in balance with nature? Crossing this threshold takes you into a new wondrous dimension. You can do it if you want to. It starts with befriending your fears.