Surviving and Thriving in Sheltering

Tis the season for… feeling lost, untethered, confused, rebellious, angry, scared, brave, foolish, reckless, paranoid.  Feel free to add to the list.  Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving. 2020.
We have never in our lifetimes been in a pandemic in this country.
When we study past pandemics, like the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, we see three features that were pervasive: denial, fear and …lies.  Give a listen to NPR’s Fresh Air podcast with an MD who studies the social impact of pandemics, epidemics.  A worthy half hour of your time.  
If we are willing to face this experience from a psycho-spiritual perspective, it is a time to go within ourselves.
Nearly everyone I know is experiencing what I would call the multiverse of our pasts.
Friends, patients, colleagues are reporting a sort of flooding of memories.
These can appear like little video clips, they may intrusive, they may only arrive as dreams and nightmares.
Please, if you are nightmaring, just know that your unconscious very much wishes for you to listen and learn. Listen and learn.
And integrate whatever you have been running from, if indeed you have.
Hardly anyone I know hasn’t left some part of themselves in the darkness. Hardly anyone I know can say honestly that they are not anxious about the state of our country, our politics, our souls. Most of the people I know who are just fine are people who have a safe, predictable life and can afford to shelter in place till it’s safe to go about.
Gosh, but we hate to see ourselves as selfish.
Yet, we are.
We don’t like this. We fight this. Surrender is a dirty word for so many.
Surrender means this: quit fighting, estimate your damages, potential for losing or winning, endangering yourself or others… and sit still.
Face what arises.
Call a friend and see how they are faring.
Call another friend and tell them how you are doing.
Try to cultivate gratitude and kindness.
Toward yourself, towards others, even those you feel alienated from.
Stay open, try being curious instead of reactive. Yield.
Listen to the Mother Earth. She is shouting, she is shaking the trees of life and saying we must wake up and take care of her; she is truly tired of caring for us without much in the way of thanks.
Let’s endeavor to grow.

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