Covid-19 has impacted all of our lives in deeply pervasive ways and simultaneously given way to an emotional and mental pandemic of fear, as contagious as the physical virus, increasing suffering as anxiety expands into all aspects of society. Combined with erratic leadership from some of those in power globally, manipulated by some aspects of Social Media, we are left shaken and having to let go of our realities on a day to day basis. Maintaining equanimity and resilience day to day in the face of such threat is our challenge as we seek to find new ways of living and expressing ourselves in this new limiting world.
Our lives are now on pause. Prior to the virus when life was thundering along on autopilot, when some of our fears stemmed from thoughts not facts, worries of the past and projections of the future, we couldn’t have imagined the surreal world in which we find ourselves today in 2020. The virus has brought our lives to a screeching halt, forcing us to re-evaluate what is important to us at a fundamental level.
How to then mitigate in the face of potential disaster? How can we find ways to be calm, to develop resilience while managing our complicated multifaceted lives in peace and equanimity? We have already seen that despite the calamity there have been moments of kindness, gratitude yes, even joy. That there is another way to live. The enforced pause on life has given us collectively time to reflect, to be with family, for good and bad, to reassess what this being human means to us, individually and as a whole. We now have the opportunity to reinvent a new world for ourselves and the next generation.
This challenge has been met by millions in many different forms and for many, cultivating Mindfulness and Self Compassion Attitudes or strategies in daily life is one way in which we can help reduce anxiety and stress.
By starting with ourselves, in healing those aspects of our own suffering we may meet these various challenges.
I believe that Kindness is the default for most human beings. We feel better when we do good deeds for others. Look at how Captain Tom Moore affected so many people in his gesture, and how the ripples of his strength snowballed, encouraging others to be selfless and compassionate even to strangers. We see evidence of people performing acts of kindness in all sorts of ways everyday. You may also have noticed within your own lives that you feel grateful for small things that went unnoticed before. The sun on your face, a child laughing, connection with people virtually or in your own spaces. Gratitude for small things in particular offers us a route to real happiness. Compassion (and essentially self compassion) is our route out of this crisis whatever the outcomes.
It is entirely possible that the global crises currently are sweeping us clean for new ways of thinking and behaving toward ourselves and our fellow Human Beings. Perhaps in our new Being Human we may cultivate new loving attitudes to create a new world, in this, our Home with our family, our humanity.