To open the news each morning takes a gigantic force of will.
I’m mentally and spiritually exhausted from the headlines. I can’t look at NextDoor anymore for all of the spite and ugliness unfolding daily as neighbors turn on neighbors, publicly shaming each other in a battle of ‘my pain is bigger than your pain’ and ‘don’t you care enough to…. (Fill in the blank on any given day)?’
As I walk on the greenways I’m greeted with nasty sidewalk graffiti calling the people who listen to the social distancing rules idiots and pawns of the government.
As I work to plan meals to cutdown on my grocery store time, I realize I haven’t planned well enough in advance to catch a coveted curbside pickup spot. I surely can’t afford delivery at this time given my unemployed state, so I have to brave the store.
As I shop at the local grocery store I ‘m greeted with suspicious glances because I’m not well dressed enough in this new era of Covid- 19, where people seem to be sporting designer masks and gloves.
I have a mere scarf, and am not equipped with the high-grade surgical masks I see many people wearing (where did they get those anyway? I’m still waiting on a shipment of surgical masks expected to arrive by end of June…). As they peer at me over the tops of their masks, I cringe in shame and decide next time to head to a less ‘highbrow’ store where the people have scarves or nothing at all.
To combat the feeling of insignificance and embarrassment, I tell myself ‘it’s the pandemic’ and throw a bunch of crap food into my basket (Mint Milanos anyone?), a 12 pack of Truly (love the pineapple flavor) - and then I remember.
What the hell am I doing?
Where is my discipline?
Where is my resilience? My mental fortitude? My stamina?
And since when did I give myself permission to slide into hopelessness, so much so that every time I put another cookie in my mouth I’m saying 'oh well, its a pandemic. Might as well eat ‘em if you got ‘em. '
I’m not going to tell you to pretend that nothing is happening.
It is all happening.
And it is happening now.
But that doesn’t mean we stop putting one foot in front of the other.
That we throw in the towel on our self-care.
That we wallow in our suffering. Our sadness. Our despair.
That we 'process' it online, with friends, family or anyone else who will listen.
Enough. Is. Enough.
We can acknowledge it. Should acknowledge it.
Hell, ‘time box’ it if you have to, but then move on to the good stuff.
And there is always good stuff.
Yeah, it’s tough to see that sometimes, but trust me, it’s there.
If you can’t see it, try harder.
Be kind even when you feel like being mean.
Be of service even when you feel like you have nothing left to give.
Be yourself even when you’re afraid that everyone will laugh at you. Who cares if they do?
Be steadfast in your values even when nobody else is watching. You are.
Be compassionate with yourself and others. We all make mistakes.
Be mindful of your thoughts, actions and words. They all count.
Be courageous enough to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves, even if it means being branded ‘different.’
You have the strength to overcome anything.
But first you have to believe you do.
But what comes before belief?
Being willing to believe.
This is Truth.
This is Your Truth.
You don’t need permission from anyone to decide to change your mind about:
what you are seeing,
how you are feeling,
what you are doing,
...and what you are saying.
You decide. It’s your superpower.