The emotional explosion which has been simmering on a level, I was not even aware of, occurred yesterday around 10:30 AM.
Woke up knowing it was the birthday of one of my best- friends-ever who transitioned in 2010. Felt the first tear on my cheek while searching for a couple of pictures of him to post on Facebook for my yearly birthday reminder to all that love him. We most often spent his birthday week at marching band festivals because he was the high school band director…but most importantly we usually spent some part of a couple these weeks in October with him camping and fly fishing.
In Chapter 6 in the the book Embracing Uncertainty, Susan Jeffers talks about her heros….including concentration camp survivor, Viktor Frankl and spiritual teacher and stroke survivor, Ram Dass. Again I thought of Brett…the person in my life who gave me the courage to just be me. Rev Erin, in her weekly message using the hero chapter in Jeffers book, took the story to a personal level for each of us. Sharing her life experiences with her own heros and encouraging us…the congregants… to become aware of the hero’s in our lives and recognize what we learned and what we honor in those heros. Finally using that wisdom in our own lives… absorbing it into our consciousness sharing it/them with the world.
And there it was. The finger was removed from the hole in the dam as I was able to finally experience the grief I have been feeling since becoming aware of the COVID 19 virus. The sadness I had been feeling all week. The sadness and anger I’m feeling about missing the usual activities of spring, summer and fall… missing my family, my children and grandchildren, not seeing friends….the loss of so many opportunities as well as the anger about the division in our country .. the fear I have felt off and on because of the incredible death and destruction in so many lives…
While this explosion of emotion was not pleasant at the time, I recognize the peace that came from experiencing it….letting it come…sitting with the pain in my heart until I was able to become silent.
I had one yesterday…My work schedule begins very early in the morning and I am blessed that I am able to work from my office/craft room in the basement…so grateful … so very grateful that I don’t have to be “out there”. But with this convenience AND inconvenience of the virus around the world comes restlessness. While eating lunch yesterday, I heard myself “shoulding”!
From my permanent self assigned seat in the living room, I watched the gentle movement of the leafless tree branches in the breeze. I knew the light breeze, the blue sky and the comforting temperature would lift my soul if I would only take that first step…off the couch and stepping out the door.
But I didn’t!
It seems to be where I am right now. Thoughts of my least favorite season’s rapid approach is freezing the joy right out of me. The politics of the US, my dedication to social distancing because of the virus and all of the other depressing stories I am telling myself are what is keeping me down. AND I KNOW THESE ARE ONLY ILLUSIONS BASED UPON THE PAST and not my life in this present moment. I know that I need to take that first step to pull myself out of my perception of what is ahead …. the winter doldrums.
So this morning I am envisioning my dear friends and family locking arms, moving forward in the street, the wind blowing our hair away from our faces as we throw our heads back and laugh at the pure joy in our hearts and the love we have for each other. We are enough…it is enough. We are all in this together…It feels better to feel the love and joy than the feeling of the dead of winter in my soul!
This morning one of those wormy kind of things wiggled its way into my consciousness and I recognized it as a symptom of my fear of scarcity. I won’t head dive into everything I’ve learned in the last couple of years about the fear of not having enough…whether it be money or toilet paper or love … but Once I recognized it in myself, I started questioning if this is the fear that has many hoarding toilet paper and chlorine wipes during this pandemic. This fear was a cloud I remember over my childhood…it probably goes without saying that a child should not grow up aware of their parents fear….but we know what sponges children are. My parents were young adults during the depression so I get it!
With that in mind, it is obvious when you look at my overflow closet in the basement that I buy in bulk. The difference in buying in bulk to save money and buying in bulk because of the comfort of always having what I think I need when I need it is a very thin line.
Just like all of my spiritual ah ha moments, I’m not sure why this realization showed up this morning…but I know it comes to be healed. I buy coffee in bulk …a box of 72 keurig morning blend and one box of dark roast. It used to be when the stash got down to 12 or 13 K cups, I knew it was time to reorder. Similar to a friends wife who sent her husband to the store for cartons of cigarettes when she was down to one carton in the closet.
This morning when I lifted the lid I realized that another 2 boxes of kcups arrived this week…I obviously did not need to order. The realization hit me that this is a bigger issue than I realized…this fear of running out. I think the pandemic and the run on toilet paper inflamed my “lack” nerve. Instead of irritation with the lack of toilet paper on the shelves of the grocery store, I send grace to those people who, perhaps, are also suffering from an unrecognized fear of lack. I need to offer grace to everyone who is not exactly like me because I have NO IDEA what their lives and their fears feel like to them!
As morning broke with the sunrise, it took awhile for the full sun to rise over the cloud bank. The beams of sunlight edging the clouds was more beautiful each time I looked out the window until the majesty of the sun was a bright, blinding orb.
I took some deep breaths of gratitude for my view of the world outside my window.
I make an effort to avoid all of the negative, blaring news about our government, our lack of leadership, our current health crisis, our anger with each other, the ugliness that is in my face every time I turn on the TV or open my IPAD. I’m tired…I’m very tired. But the sunrise this morning reminded me that there is beauty out there…we must just focus on the natural wonders we see and dismiss what does not serve our highest good…onward and upward!
Pandemic hours and days roll right into each other. But, quite frankly, I’m not sure I remember ever living such a simple life with this level of contentment. With that being said, I am filled with compassion for my family and friends who are navigating this new path of daily living. Complicating that confusion is the information we receive from our “leaders” and the media, thus the only reliable guidance available is inner wisdom ……. that inner knowing that we file away page by page as we experience daily life…brick by brick day by day over the years. We are each living from our gut…societal “leadership” is out there but the voice is hard to hear….and I often feel we must compromise ourselves and our instincts because “leadership” seems to compromise its integrity by refusing to follow a moral compass when we need it the most.
Even the COVID-19 virus is separating us. An illness…a virus! At this time, we cannot agree on anything. I found the following on Facebook. I appreciated the dichotomy of raising our children with busy, busyness vs children experiencing a different way of growing up. Slowing down. Is it possible not returning to school during this deadly pandemic will not, in fact, be the end all for healthy children but a new way to experience life while growing emotional intelligence?
There is no “right way” to do anything. Most often, opinions are not based in fact but rather based on personal beliefs handed down from generation to generation…those beliefs and opinions never questioned. Seems we are running out of choices…perhaps coming together sharing innovative ideas is the solution as opposed to scratching each other’s eyes out like wild animals.
Looking outside the box. Think differently, unconventionally or from new perspective.
Drawing from negative space. When drawing, you need to forget the “name” of objects and what you think you “know” about them and simply see them as shapes among groups of interlocking shapes.
My “A Course in Miracles“ Lesson today is there is another way of looking at the world. The idea is to shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects. Apply this idea the instant you are aware of distress. Close your eyes and think of your life…be aware of your thoughts …. the things that right now…this moment…are causing you stress or anger and repeat THERE IS ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT THE WORLD.
Today’s lesson follows…I am not a victim of the world I see and I have invented the world I see.
It all has to do with our own perspective and the daily choices we make …. in our own heads…of what we see, think and feel!
I’ve felt a bit off center this week…maybe related to but not entirely because of staying home and avoiding COVID and more importantly the talk about COVID. The constant blah blah blah, the anger, the dissension…Facebook, worldwide, family, friends. I just refuse to be paralyzed with fear; yet, I refuse to rip off my clothes and nakedly confront it. I have learned healthy respect over the years and this is the time to show respect…respect of guidelines issued by the medical community just because my ego may want to yell and scream about some perceived rights I might have over the next human….I prefer respect….kindness!
Sadly this is the last picture of the happy family. I took it while on a walk yesterday after I watched the baby dining under the bird feeders.
Jr was missing this morning. We did have more geese fly in raising a ruckus. I assume they will be tenants and not just visiting from a neighboring pond. Im guessing we won’t have anymore babies this season because I think mating season is over. Although you wouldn’t know it by the strutting going on. I felt a loss when we realized Jr wasn’t around.
I found this cluster of iris yesterday by a bridge along the trail.
#gratitude to the person who planted them so neighbors could find them!
The weekend is upon us. At least I think it is, I really would need to confirm with my calendar but let’s just go with it.
I totally subscribe to the law of mind action. The key idea — that human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Simply put..if we think sad thoughts, we experience sadness. If we think happy thoughts we experience happiness. I think we can fill in the blanks with the emotions we often feel and the fact that we draw those things to us. I also believe the theory that the short temper and irritation we feel toward others is a mirror effect….if we examine our reactions to others, we most likely will see a reflection of the personal behaviors and traits we find offensive to match similar fears and traits in our own behaviors.
Similarly, I’ve found some mental relief by not watching, reading or hearing the news. Going from being a news junkie every waking moments and feeling panic, anger and hatefulness seemed to be drawing things to me which caused similar reactions. I was actually starting to feel gloom and doom all of the time. I was afraid! I finally figured it out. Savvy reporters know how to write a good 1st paragraph to keep us coming back with one new fear after another. It’s part of the news gathering and writing process and I chose to take back my power.
Instead I have recently been drawn to the smooth and passionate, soul soothing voice of Andrea Bocelli. I have never been drawn to this genre before but my soul knew what I needed to hear. I’m not suggesting that everyone start listening to Bocelli music…I am suggesting that turning up the music and allowing the tunes, the voices, the passion be the backdrop of your day and allow some music to replace the chatter and soothe the soul!
We have been quite content following quarantine rules… content might not be the word I want to use…*exchange content with safe. As long as we are home or outside on the walking trail, I’ve felt safe and secure…it felt comfortable. No decisions had to be made while thriving in my bubble.
Now the Governor is opening up the state on May 4th. Mayors in several cities close to the KC Metro have given May 15th as opening day. People are still getting sick…yes…not as many perhaps…but I always find it incredible when someone rationalizes the low percentage of people that may die. I saw a Facebook post recently that asked “those” people who were comfortable with a small percentage of people dying to please write down the names of two people in their family they were willing to sacrifice in order to have the freedom to get back to what they believe normal is.
I came to the conclusion after overthinking Covid-19 that it really isn’t fear that is causing me to avoid crowds or avoid contact with other people when I have no idea who they have been in contact with. But I guess it must be a little bit of fear…I don’t want to get sick…whether its a bad head cold, influenza or Covid-19 virus. It’s kind of like deciding if I want to lose an eye, a hand or a foot. I don’t want to lose any of them.
So for now, I don’t plan on lifting my personal restriction on practicing social distancing…staying at home, washing my hands, coughing into my elbow and wearing a mask if I do venture out. It’s what I feel is right for me. I don’t begrudge the humans that want to start shopping and dining out, etc. I hope they stay healthy, I hope we can lift up this virus to a level that it will take care of itself, I hope for good medication or better yet a vaccine… but I am comfortable with my personal choice to stay home and stay healthy.