I’m learning to opt out of participating in human drama whether it be in my own head or participating with all of my senses with everyone else here on earth. This has actually brought me some peace of mind during the pandemic as I have removed myself from politics. I read the headlines in order keep up on what is going on in the country? What I am finding is when I actually “click” on the occasional news story nothing has changed from the last time I clicked. There is only fear-generating expressions of opinions!
Each fall, members of Unity Village Chapel read the same book….individually, then many of us join together in small groups to discuss the book. This one, Embracing Uncertainty Chapter 3, had me overwhelmed with insight. Thus the cut and paste project I worked on last night. It was a very effective way to concentrate on energetic phrases from the chapter to cement them on my heart and in my soul.
“Expectations create attachments…a hope something turns out a certain way”
Often we are unable to let go of our expectation….
“Expectations carry disappointments rigidity, anger, impatience and obsession”
“The moment expectations appear in the form of hope, desire or a wish, close your eyes, take out the imaginary scissors to cut the cord of expectation. Release it like a balloon drifting away from you.”
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!
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.
We fear so we think if we can control everything around us or within us then we will be safe.
Control is an illusion. Learning to let go of my illusion of control, has been a many decade endeavor. I, seriously, believed that once I understood that there is really nothing I can control that the rest would be gravy, so to speak. I really didn’t understand that driving element of fear pressure cooking inside me. I don’t blame my parents or society for my fear but I do question the circumstances surrounding that knowing of where they came from…these depression age people who lived through knowing about the atrocities that can happen if you don’t fight for and protect yourself…just look at what happened to the Jews. The generation grew up fearing scarcity. Perhaps they survived with an oath of never again.
I know this mentality leaked out…as a child, I caught the drips and drifts of the fear cloud that hung over the 50’s and 60’s. There was often something to be afraid of. Keep your head down, don’t brag and fear other people that are not like you!
The gravel road to understanding and healing myself led me to the spiritual inner voice within…not out there…a very simple concept in reality of who we really are but not an overnight fix by any means. It’s all inside me…the answer is right here….not out there…there’s nothing outside there that I need to control….there is nothing out there controlling me.
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.
……and by mental, I mean what is the story we are telling ourselves. As I wander around the house seeing things that need to be done, I tell myself I don’t really want to do them. These are the exact same things I had all kinds of excuses for back in January and February…you know….the good old days.
Now because the “powers that be” have instituted new rules to keep me safe, I feel like I’m being disciplined. This is in no way a Pollyanna commentary that everything is just fine…there is a lot of suffering. But I am trying to just watch the back-of-my-mind running narration telling me that if this was my choice….a stay at home vacation….needed down time from the busyness, I would not be complaining at all. I would be breathing in the solitude…I would be enjoying the guiltless time to read a book, catch up on TV series I had recorded, settling in for an afternoon movie. It’s not like we are without any options for our leisure time.
Is it safe to say that the angst, anger, boredom in our required downtime is more the story we are telling ourselves than reality…saying “I can’t” rather than “I won’t”. Because of the fear of “catching” the virus and the uncertainty of available health care or for me….mortality, I choose to not have any physical association with others. But if that were not a fear… I have the choice …. like so many others are doing …. ignore the rules in order to satisfy immediate gratification. Theoretically this makes it my choice!
This may be activity day for the egoic voices in my head. This thought pattern was only the first 15 minutes of coffee in my hand, on the couch, waking up….buckle up!
This Science Insider YouTube video popped up very timely on my Facebook Feed. Just as we were putting groceries away. I was wiping everything down with alcohol wipes while I was lecturing my audience of one about my belief in wearing a mask in public.
As you can see by the picture, he hangs on my every word!
Thinking a lot about introverts during this nearly voluntary lockdown. So much thinking!
Ordered groceries from Price Chopper for the very first time this morning. Won’t be the last.. In my head, I assumed I would send a grocery list and would receive 1/2 what I ordered. Ahhh that good old pessimistic thinking. It was spectacular. Constant contact from my “shopper” giving me the option of approving or disapproving of any substitutes. Win/win.
Lots of on line Zoom and Facebook live messenger contacts yesterday. We were freeking busy! It was great. It was a blessing. Do not be afraid to reach out with online conversations and videos. They are easy to navigate and such a lift seeing the smiling faces of lovies!
It feels so weird to not need to check my phone calendar to see what time I should set an alarm for the next morning…. To not have anything on my calendar in general. Our Monday evening book club met on line last night and we began as we always do with a check in. So far everyone seems to be finding their water line…floating in the nothingness and seeking a new normal. I felt so much comfort realizing that everyone was feeling the screeching halt from a lifetime of getting ‘Er done. I FELT our friend, Carol’s, rapid acceptance…they are bringing wood in for a fire, she is doing her spiritual work and she finally has the time to read the books that have been stacking up.
I am actually feeling some comfort today. There’s nothing I have to do…there is only what I want to do…that thought is so foreign in my mind. I committed this morning to use the skills I’ve been practicing to think about life differently. Each moment is a gift that we live in that moment. We have no control…or our normal perceived control over anything. All I have to do is Be. Be in this moment with a gratitude in my heart.
The reality of our virus consciousness is we can be pissed off, we can believe this should not affect “me”, we can go on trying to live the same life we lived before we heard of Coronavirus, we can rip our insides out being internally hateful and angry, we can refuse to trust the government, we are free to read and believe all of the conspiracy theorists to bolster our negative attitudes, we can weep for lost opportunities, we can be devastated by the loss of loved ones and inconsolable because we can’t send them off into “whatever you believe next is” the way we believe we should. But the bottom line is. It has us. We have very few real choices!
This feels wrong! We aren’t use to discipline, we aren’t use to the loneliness, we aren’t use to having to follow someone else’s rules with our private lives. Here in the US, most of us have the American Dream mentality. If we work hard, we will succeed. We can do anything we put our mind to. But that is being taken away from us….just for a little while….just until we are safe…..safer.
There is no doubt, individually, we are going to come out of this with monumental issues….all of those things that you are worrying about right now…some of them may actually be difficult to deal with.
But will we love more abundantly, Will our time out make us appreciate the little things, Will we hug others with heart bursting love and Will we come together as humans on earth helping each other, freely giving our time, energy and love to one another just because we will see how much it is needed and appreciated and generosity will be stylish?
I am already seeing it out there…”out there” outside of where I shelter. The neighbors are checking on each other, able neighbors are offering resources, time and energy to help each other. In between the angst on social media, there is love. We are starting to step up for each other…it’s actually kind of beautiful!
Back when I was all up into organized religion, I was ever reminded that whenever doubt crept in about what I was suppose to believe, that meant I didn’t believe enough. I totally bought it. I bought it because I already had a perfect score in domestication. My parents probably did the best they could bringing up little Nina by passing their own rigid rules and “because I said so” “never cross the line”. AND if you do cross the line or if you don’t live up to expectations then you are not a good girl. What is wrong with you.
So, of course, I internalized how bad I was, how different I was because I didn’t get it…didn’t believe at face value what everyone expected me to believe. I just didn’t have the faith that everyone else had, something was off with me, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?
As I entered my middle age years, I stepped out…I quietly rebelled. I followed rules even when they made no sense. But, I Started gently balking the system. In my head I fought like a ninja to change the rules. For the most part I was polite and strategic and realized in my work and in my family and among friends that if I could put enough evidence out there that change was actually their idea, I succeeded. That’s when I realized I was manipulative. I had learned the art of manipulation.
It all came together for me when I put two and two together and figured out organized “religion”. That’s when I started seeing the flashing lights over the pulpit spelled out — Do as I Say, Not what I Do. That’s when I figured out that the rules and laws and the “interpretation” of the holy book was the way organized religion supervised the running of private lives. That’s when, ding ding, I realized that just because someone says it, just because someone else believes it, just because it’s someone else’s rule does not mean I have to believe it. And the BEST PART ….. I don’t continue day to day with the voices of doubt, the feelings of not being good enough. There is nothing wrong with me. I have choices. I am able to live by intuition. I am able recognize when something feels right and something feels wrong. I am learning to love everyone. I recognize that we are all the same but we haven’t all taken the same road to discovery.
Ding, ding. It’s really all okay until we think it is not ok.