We’ve heard stories or know someone who, when confronted with a scary diagnosis, abruptly and fundamentally shifted on the deepest levels of soul and the disease “miraculously’ disappeared. The stark face of mortality often adjusts our perspective to not roam carelessly into the abyss at the end of our days. It’s the call to treat every day as if it our last. And to treat every day with respect and gratitude.
Life is precious and we forget that until we are reminded. So let us be reminded by the Coronavirus and instead of focusing on the fear of the “what ifs”, lets find the peace and beauty in this moment, breathe it in and be sustained in case we, in fact, do have to face one of the “what ifs”.
Maybe we can stop worrying about the stock market and live more simply. Maybe we can stop debating global warming and just stop polluting. Maybe we can stop blaming others for our unhappiness and do something kind for another and see our mood lift. Maybe we can stay home and be with our families instead of at the mall looking to buy something we don’t need.
Maybe we can stop eating junk and nourish our bodies with foods that sustain health and protect against bugs. Maybe we can stop judging whole races as guilty of something and begin seeing that we are all brothers and sisters of the human race. Maybe we can stop feeding our fear with “Yes, and did you hear…?” and instead keep quiet and listen to what you really need to know to protect yourself and those you love.
Maybe instead of blindly believing everything we hear or see in print we can check a few facts and understand what to sensibly do if we are directly affected. Maybe instead of liking and sharing a post without thinking or reading, we read and think if this is what we want to spread. Maybe we can witness that there are no actual borders between countries. The Earth holds all humans equally in the palm of her hand.
We are all carriers of something. And to the extent that we spread fear and unhappiness, it solidifies into our environment, merges with similar personal environments, then community, country, continent, world and finally rests heavily in cosmic consciousness or the collective unconscious which is the repository of all thoughts of all times.
The first gift of this global alert and threat of the Coronavirus is the message to take care. To take care of our own and the earth’s hygiene; wash your hands and don’t pollute. Care of our bodies; maintain your body’s natural defenses with nourishing food and good rest.
Care of our thoughts; question the truth of “facts” before you file them and repeat them as truths. Care of our emotions; meditate so that fear is restored to its useful place of alert for real danger and meet groundless fears with calm dismissal. Care of our words; instead of being on auto repeat of what you have heard, choose to speak words that are constructive and uplifting.
The second gift is the awareness that what we do affects our fellow human. Did we wash our hands? cover our face when sneezing or coughing? Even with a common cold, do we consider our fellows and stay home from work and away from crowds, or do we ignore the body, take an over the counter “remedy” and forge on. Do we speak without thinking? Post without checking? Judge before knowing?
The third gift is the most important and the one I described at the outset and that is the gift of appreciation. Savor every day and seek the love and beauty within every minute of that day. See the beauty that is right in front of our eyes, a tree reaching high in its forest family or heaving the concrete on a sidewalk, see the sunset reflected in downtown windows or shimmering across the sea, the smile of our child newly born or a stranger who saw you smile and responded before remembering his worries.
Whether it is a virus, a runaway bus or the peaceful slipping away when our body is spent, death will come and claim us. One by one. If we live in fear instead of gratitude we die in spirit a little every day.
Today we are in a growing global crisis and it’s serious, but it is also a day of our life. Don’t invite the infection of fear. Instead, lets spread the antidotes of care, awareness and gratitude and love the life we have right now.