While uncertainty is fanning the flames of fear, the flipside is that this is also an opportunity to manage our reactions, step into our strongest selves and help others do the same.
This is a super-challenging period, there is no doubt, but within that, what if we could also understand that we have two options: to drop into fear, or to take another perspective – one that helps us navigate these times, and come together to get through this global pandemic.
What if we could counter fear with courage, panic with preparation, feeling isolated with knowing that even if we physically apart, we are actually quite interconnected?
There has been something circulating on social media that was purported to be a letter from Bill Gates on what this virus has to teach us. Though it was not from him, here are some interesting points that are worth sharing.
The letter starts with “I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or bad.”
Let’s use that lens to broaden our perspective to ponder the potential effects of this pandemic. So what is there to learn from this?
It’s a reminder that have choices: we can be patient or we can panic If we choose to believe that this is an apocalypse, we effectively overload the system, cause more stress, and reduce our immunities. We can also use this time to reconnect with our deepest selves. We can adopt strategies to calm ourselves down, (meditate, exercise, limit news etc) and tune in.
It’s a reminder that we’re all equal, no matter our country, status, education, religion, culture, or financial situation.
It’s a reminder that we’re all connected, and even the borders we’ve created cannot protect us against this virus. By oppressing us for a short time, it reminds us of those whose whole life is spent in oppression.
It’s a reminder that we can show up for each other, and even under challenging upheaval, we can bring forth our humanity:
There are stories of great courage and caring on karunavirus.org, created by my friend Nipun Mehta:
It’s a reminder of the shortness of life, of impermanence, and of what is most important for us to do, which is not our job title, or how many gadgets we own, but to help each other, especially the old and the sick. It’s times like this that show our true colors.
It’s a reminder of how important our family and home life is, and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and its an opportunity to strengthen our family unit.
It’s a reminder to take care of our planet. The earth is sick, we need to be as concerned about the rate of deforestation as much as the speed at which toilet paper is disappearing from the shelves. but we can learn from our mistakes. Jack Kornfield quote “The Coronavirus is not happening to us but for us.” In many ways it is a wake-up call. There’s a fascinating film on the topic you can view.
It is a reminder to take the longer view. We can understand how this type of situation has happened many times before in history, and just as it came, it will go. Life is cyclical – after every difficulty, there is more ease just like in nature – this is just a phase in a great cycle. We do not need to panic – this too shall pass. Instead, we can pull together, we must - if anything that is the greatest thing we can possibly learn right now.
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