I literally hesitated to write COVID-19 in the title. It was like I didn't want to put more of it out there, or something. However, as I typed it, some of the ickiness I felt about it melted away. Like it had less control over how I feel about it. After all, it's just a word, right?
Or is it?
It is impossible to downplay in any capacity the seriousness of what that word represents. It is real, it is out there, it's in our province now. It is stifling the world and the repercussions of it are far from being fully realized. It leaves us all wondering what to do. And no one really knows for sure what that is.
I wanted to share some perspective I am contemplating during this that may or may not be helpful to you. But it is helpful for me to write it. So if you read this, thank you:)
1. Compassion. I surround myself with compassionate people. Most of those I speak with are willing to do their part to do what's right. They are heeding advice from healthcare and government officials, despite how it impacts them personally. Many are not concerned about how contracting the virus could impact that them, but rather how it could impact someone else more vulnerable. For this I am grateful.
2. We are a global community. We rely on each. More than ever, our interconnectedness is highlighted. We are interested in what's happening in other countries and are acutely aware of how it impacts us from many miles away. We see clearly how something that impacts someone half way around the world ends up at our own doorstep. Today, that is COVID-19. We see how our actions can stop the spread of it. We have a role to play. In the future, can we can remain acutely aware of how the spread of love, compassion, and acceptance can just as easily cross borders right to our front door? When refugees from afar need help, will we easily recall the last time we were all in together instead of it being someone else's problem? I hope so.
3. Mother Earth. As people move more and more into social isolation, the need to get out will find us with not many more options that going outside in nature. Alone or in small groups, our only escape may become the fresh air and wild wilderness. There is so much healing that happens when people connect and reconnect with nature. It excites me to consider the breadth of this healing as more and more people who otherwise wouldn't be in nature may find themselves in playful wonder and exploration. The collective healing energy that could arise from that alone is limitless.
4. Enough. We have enough. We may have to decrease our trips to local supermarkets. Or some supplies may become unavailable. This will encourage people to ration the food they have or return to making real food from scratch. In our culture of excess and disposal, will be able to remember how little we needed once all of this settles down? Will be remember who the most vulnerable members of our community are and do more to ensure they have enough? With all the stockpiling that's happening, are we sharing with others, trusting that we have enough?
5. Enough. We are enough. I took a moment this week to sit with the strong emotion of disappointment that came up when this COVID-19 outbreak affected me personally. Plans that were very important to me were cancelled. I didn't want to go there because it felt selfish. I know this outbreak is not about 'me' and I didn't want to get caught up in my own drama with it. However, taking the time to feel the disappointment gave a satisfying new perspective. That I am enough. These plans I made, as exciting as they were, didn't define me. I am still a wonderfully good person who can find joy and fulfillment even with strict limitations on where I can go. I can explore and discover new opportunities all around me. The familiar can become unfamiliar with a new attitude and direction. Appreciating what's right in front of me; feeling grateful for what I already have and where I've already been; it's enough. I am enough. Truth is, every single of one of us is somehow impacted by this outbreak. I hope it helps to know that right here, right now - you are enough.
6. Acceptance. That which is out of my control doesn't get any of my time or energy. I accept that something far bigger than me is happening, but my response doesn't have to be.
7. Be not afraid. Be concerned; be informed; be prudent. From there you can make rational decisions. Fear breeds panic and impulsivity. I am not afraid that I will starve to death so I haven't cleared supermarket shelves. I am not afraid to run out of toilet paper. So I haven't stocked up. I am not afraid I will die from Coronavirus, so I would still drink Corona beer. But I am concerned and informed. I clean my hands far longer and more often than ever. I clean my phone and car keys. I am cleaning surfaces in my home more frequently than usual. I have enough of my prescription drugs to get me through an extended period of time. I am monitoring my own health and will self-isolate if I present with any questionable symptoms. I ask people who I normally hug if it's ok now. I choose out of concern, not fear. If my circumstances change and I or someone I know gets infected with COVID-19, I hope I respond rather than react.
8. Send love. Love is the antidote to all the fear and anxiety in the world. During situations like these that are far bigger than me, I meditate and send love. I visualize energy from my heart surging outward. I believe it is received by some living thing or person that needs it. I can't control where it lands, but I can choose to send it. Other days, I meditate and ask to receive it. There is an infinite amount for all of us. So when you need it, just take moment and ask. When you have some to spare, send it. Love. Love the person next you. Love is all you need.