Day 160 - What to do Now?
Well life is getting weird. People are panicking. Things are shutting down. It is hard not to be afraid. It is hard not to feel unsettled. It is hard to know what to do next.
I feel overwhelmed. I feel scared too. I feel like everything is changing and I cannot adjust my emotional state fast enough to accommodate the world changing around me. Me and everybody else. Just like me seems the best way to describe my emotional state right now. We are all in the same proverbial boat. None of us know what is going to happen. None of us know how this is going to go down. No one knows.
This is very unsettling. But it should not be unfamiliar. We don’t know what is going to happen every single day of our lives. We have plans and things happen that force them to change. We love people that we lose. We gain others, sometimes that is a good thing, like a new friend or lover and sometimes it is not so great like with a new boss you can’t stand. We are presented with circumstances that are hard to accept and things that we don’t like. None of us have ever been able to escape old age, sickness and death. It comes for us all...no exceptions.
Seems to me we all have a choice here. We can allow the looming uncertainty to freak us out. We can allow all of the fear mongering to make us forget our humanity. We can allow fear to spread so that we are cut off from each other in proximity as well as in our ability to be concerned for our mutual well being.
For me, I have to turn to spiritual principles. Trust God. Clean House. Help Others.
I have to believe that there is a plan. That plan may or may not include my own survival or that of those I love. Regardless, I am not the center of what ever is happening but that is not to say that how I act and think doesn’t have an impact. I am part of all that is going on and because of that, what I do matters, what you do or don’t do matters. We are all in this together...not just now, but always have been and always will be.
I think, for me, what is being addressed with all of this is how much I believed that my life was separate and apart from all of yours. That I was just over here living my life and you were a sometimes player in my life. Crossing paths when I chose, spending time together when convenient. I lived in this ideology that I was separate to some degree. That I was different from. If there is any lesson in all of this for me, it is that I am not separate from anything. I can’t be. It isn’t how this whole thing works.
So for me I am going to first trust that there is some divine plan and I am going to pray for whatever universal intelligence is out there to help us get through this trying time. I am going to lean hard on my belief in basic goodness and dig deep into my own personal development to maintain a loving, giving person. I am going to trust the God I believe in, that doesn’t likely look anything like your God. I am going to lean into right action, right thought and right speech. I am going to endeavor to allow all of this to make me a better person. One who cares and gives unconditionally.
I am going to clean my house. I am going to wash my hands, wipe down my counters. I am going to remain vigilant because I have been told by people who ostensibly know more than I do that these efforts make a difference, not just for myself, but for everyone. I am going to stay home. I am going to keep my physical distance not because I am afraid of you, but because I love you and staying physically separate from you right now is the best way I can show that I care.
I am going to help others. I do not know if I am going to get sick. If my parents and children will be affected. I just know that I am going to commit right now to doing what I am called upon to do. That may mean staying home and just taking care of my immediate family. That may mean that I am called to action to help in my community. I am going to trust that I have a purpose in all of this and my only job really is to remain open and willing.
I turn to my spiritual teachers right now. I turn to them for words of comfort...
"What do you do when you find yourself anxious because your world is falling apart? How do you react when you’re not measuring up to your image of yourself, everybody is irritating you because no one is doing what you want, and your whole life is fraught with emotional misery and confusion and conflict?
At these times it helps to remember that you’re going through an emotional upheaval because your coziness has just been, in some small or large way, addressed. It’s as if the rug has been pulled out from under you. Tuning into that groundless feeling is a way of remembering that basically, you do prefer life and warriorship to death."
Pema Chodron - Comfortable with Uncertainty
Today, all of our collective coziness is being addressed in small AND large ways. We are all afraid because our lives as we have been living them, are changing and we are being asked to do things that are not comfortable and scary. But we do get a say in how we respond. We get to decide if we go through this in complete panic mode, or if we take a step back and remain calm.
The most spiritual thing I have ever learned is that there is a collective consciousness that is loving, kind and true. It is inherent in all of us, all the time. There is some of it even in the worst of us. For me, the best, most loving thing I can do right now is to tap into this basic goodness and meditate on how much we need each other. If the whole world goes crazy at once, we all suffer. I can have an impact, because I am connected to the source. The same source that all of you are connected to whether you believe you are or not.
So for me, besides trusting God, cleaning house and helping others, I am going to lean into the fear, the sadness and the feelings of powerlessness. Leaning in is what I have learned to do with things that are hard. It is the way that I get to experience in equal measure the opposite feeling from the negative one presenting itself.
We are all in this together, with all the people we love, like and don’t love and don’t like. The virus is an opportunity to see, that regardless of what we think, everything we do impacts others all the time. What matters most right now, is to stay vigilant in how I show up for my rapidly changing life. Who I bring to the moment is becoming exponentially more important day by day.
I pray that we all can see that it is our connectedness that is the key to our mutual survival emotionally, physically and spiritually. Let’s all work together to help each other through. Let’s all do our individual work so that we don’t all go crazy at once. Please. Namaste...