You are not meant to avoid the darkness. You are meant to go into it, feed it love, illuminate it and transform it into light.
Only love has the power to heal the darkness within you.
– Alyonna Parveen
I hesitate to describe my “new normal” anymore because it is, indeed, only mine. Each person these days is facing completely different circumstances and interprets these circumstances differently. We are united, I guess, in a certain exhaustion or frayed nerves due to emotional and political upheaval. Our coping skills, risk tolerance, and way of dealing with the circumstances we find ourselves in is very different based on age, economic reality, social reality, occupation (or lack of one), gender, race, and disposition. None of this is news to you. It is obvious, it is the day to day reality.
In a divided world, we are further divided.
So, I can only speak to what is helping me find meaning these days. I said to a dear friend earlier this week that I’m learning to “micro-appreciate” each moment. When I find myself off kilter, it is often because I’ve quit appreciating the gifts of each moment and have fixated on some pain, anxiety, irritant or hurt that has captured my mind’s focus.
Stopping in the moment and allowing my focus to shift to my breath, to any movement of the air, the temperature and the surface that is supporting me, calms and centers me. Savoring the light, the view outside the window or right in front of me, allowing love for simple beauty, small comforts, soothing sounds helps me travel to the place where I remember. I remember that I am okay, even blessed, in this moment, I am loved by my dear ones and by the Divine, I am connected to Mother Earth, to nature, to the universe and by this, I am held.
From this simple practice, I ask myself, “Is there anything I need in this moment?” Often, the answer is “no,” but sometimes I need food, rest, a shower, to take care of a task I’ve been avoiding, to tidy my space, or to reach out – to send a note or make a call. I carry the beauty and comfort of that moment into my next steps.
My life these days is lived within these simple parameters. Some days I feel I must “do something!” I feel the need to contribute light, love and hope to the ailing world. Generally, upon reflection, I recognize that this is not my time to “do” anything. I may drop some food at the food shelf, send a card or gift to a loved one, or contribute some money to a worthy cause…but for the most part, my job at this moment is to Be, not to “do.”
One day, probably nine or ten years ago, John and I were hiking and I had the sense of a very, very brief message from the universe. Essentially, the message that came to me then was, “It is time for you to be an observer.” I have resisted this “call” for years. Moving away from all that was familiar and doing so right before COVID-19 has brought me back to this message. My worth, my self-esteem has been so based on doing. I guess in some strange way, this difficult time has at last begun to teach me about being.
I will be ecstatic when I can hug my friends and family again. However, I doubt very much that I will ever go back to “normal.” I predict that our household will spend less time doing and more time being in the years to come. Time to stop and smell the proverbial roses – or in our case, cacti blooms.
Much love to you,