Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Who's in charge?

A decade ago I was floundering. I was in the middle of a crumbling relationship, on the verge of leaving my thirties, and entering a financial recession with my small business. I felt a longing for someone to be in charge. It was at that time in my life that I started, in earnest, to look for wisdom teachers who could help guide me on my life path.

I think my first teacher at that time was Isabel Allende. One night I heard her on the radio talking about her Prayer Circle, a group of women who she came together with once a month to witness and honor each other's experiences. That very night that I heard Isabel Allende on the radio, I started my own prayer circle which I stayed with for more than eight years. I've had other teachers since then-- my teacher Astrid, various yoga teachers, and different healing professionals who have become teachers and mentors to me over the years.

Right now I am in need of guidance; I want to feel like someone is in charge of this whole mess. I find myself longing for someone to tell me that everything will be okay, and then I realize that there may not be a teacher who can tell me that right now. This world crisis might be too big for any one teacher. While I still look to my teachers and am very grateful for their encouragement and guidance in my life, I feel myself seeking something even beyond these wise teachers right now. 

As I look at the billions of people affected by this world virus, I am supremely aware of how profoundly, in this moment, we are undeniably connected. We are all one. In every corner of the world we are each as vulnerable as our neighbors in all directions. This virus speaks no language, favors no country, spares no religion. I see clearly that we are all in this together, connected by an unstoppable force. Seeing this, I am compelled to acknowledge the presence of something bigger, something far beyond any of us. I can feel my faith in the universal connection and consciousness deepening. And though watching the devastation that comes from this virus is painful and scary, it reinforces a belief that ultimately gives me comfort. It's taken this world crisis for my faith to grow stronger. 

Before this crisis we were living an unsustainable reality. We were (and still are) on the verge of environmental collapse. The economic disparity gap grows larger every day. Our ability to look at people in the eye and be in the moment has been diluted with every new technological innovation aimed at greater efficiency. And now we are here, at a full stop from before, waiting for the time when this will be over.  We are in a limbo of sorts, this in between, keenly aware of the life we lived just weeks ago and the precarious nature of getting to the other side of this. I do have faith that there will be an after, but for right now we are very clearly in this limbo space between. This space between is hard. It is difficult to breathe, sometimes impossible to see beyond the fear of the daily news briefing, but in tiny moments I know that there will indeed be an after.

This belief that there is going to be an after is how I can feel my faith showing up. I have faith that there is something greater guiding our planet and our humanity. The after will be different. Yes, there will continue to be environmental destruction and economic inequality and social-emotional unconsciousness, but there will be something else too. We will all have lived in this in between time together and we will each be forever changed by this experience.  

I miss my life before. I miss the security (albeit false) that tomorrow would be business as usual. I am struggling. I feel like I am constantly trying to take a deep breath.  A friend said the other day that right now it's like Mother Earth has sent us to our rooms for misbehaving. I totally buy that; it's like we're being grounded for not listening to the repeated warnings in the before.  So now we have to stay in our rooms and think about our actions, about what we've done, and how we'll behave differently when we get the chance. And I have faith that we will have that chance to do better, that there is a greater good, a universal force connecting and guiding us that, at least for me, is undeniable. 

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