Since Covid-19 has surfaced, everything feels shaken. Our individual lives as well as our societal norms are being restructured. I find myself looking for true anchors in light of everything else that feels unreliable.
What I am reminded of is the nature of humanity and the waves of experience Life brings us to and through to recreate what we know. One thing feels certain: that Covid-19 is calling us into change and that life is and will continue to be different as a result of its influence in our lives. While most things are changing, human experience proves consistent in some ways.
1. We are all susceptible to suffering and the spectrum of emotions that go along with suffering.
We are all involved and affected in one way or another by Covid-19, and we all are having reactions to those affects. It’s important we give ourselves permission to suffer and to feel the arising associated emotions. They make sense and make us human.
Our usual routines are disrupted. We have to think twice about touch. Our awareness of how our hygiene impacts others and generally how closely we are connected is at the forefront. Financial security is threatened, which reminds us of our basic needs to survive. All of that is breeding grounds for anxiety without even mentioning the most obvious threat of physical health, the potential of losing loved ones and the stress our medical care providers are experiencing.
Often, when we experience one fear, a whole host of others fears, related or unrelated also rise to the surface. As we experience collective fear, many of us are faced with what has been underlying. My loved ones have been reaching out to me aware of unamended relationships, existential concerns, and past traumas that are surfacing in response to the external anxiety.
Of course we are affected. We have collectively been washed with a wave of fear and change and it is only right that we have reactions to that, and anything you are feeling is okay.
2. We experience life together and cannot fully separate our experience from another’s.
I’m reminded of how interconnected we are as I hear how this disease can spread. We breathe the same air and are touched by the same things. What I do affects all of you, and what you all do affects the rest of us.
While there are practical actions we can take toward change here and now (social distancing, washing our hands, filing for unemployment etc.), some of these collective anxieties will be around for a while, and together, we have to live in the tension of uncertainty. The answers and solutions are unfolding, and in the meantime, we must carry on. By the nature of our connected humanity, not only is it physically impossible for us to carry on alone, but if we want to go the distance, we can’t do it alone.
“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”
3. We are inherently resilient and when we dig deeper, there is energy to be found.
With the increase of social distancing, people are connecting virtually in ways they hadn’t before the pandemic began. Across the world, people in quarantine are making noise from their balconies in show of support to medical workers. My clients who have sat with their fears have found huge insight into what they have been experiencing for years. It is our resilience in times of suffering that brings us deeper into life in new ways.
In his book Living an Examined Life, Jim Wallace quotes,
“All those whom we admire in history had to go through something, and when they did, they learned on the other side, they were still there, though the world was different. Then they began to step into their possibilities and felt more completely the support of energies within.”
As we as a collective move through this time of fear and reorganizing, let’s be with it, allow it to take us deeper into our interconnectedness, and ride the waves of what we are being called into.