I am a lover of words, and throughout the last 18 months of the pandemic that won’t quit, the rekindling of my relationship with them is one of the most profound gifts I’ve gained from this period in our lives.
Esoteric is a word that keeps sneaking its way into my brain.
I love the word, but why the sudden appearance? So, I asked myself what it made me think about.
Like much of the mindful population of humankind, I am scratching my head as to why this pandemic can be described as…esoteric.
1. intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
That knowledge is empathy, and the interest is humankind and the mindful protection of all beings. It’s becoming obvious that these are specialized qualities. But that doesn’t necessarily need to crush us in this unwelcome round two of COVID-19.
In the vein of being human, our division is not political, in my opinion. The division is one side possessing valuable emotional maturity, while the other does not. A gut punch of a realization, and a disheartening one, at that.
In America, state-by-state numbers are showing anti-vaxxers that they’re putting up a good fight in their boycott of us banding together for a greater good. It seems these folks have chosen to ignore the out-of-control hospital admissions of the unvaccinated that have ICUs reaching maximum capacity. To me, and many others, it seems they’ve chosen to “take a stand” against “the man” in this pandemic with a mix of willful ignorance on top of dismissing science on top of hateful pride.
But here’s what I’ve gained, what I hold dear, and what I feel pressed to share with the community that is holding on, holding strong, and doing what they can alongside me:
Heal with it. Flow with it. Grow with it.
What’s happening in my soul is happening in yours, too. I can feel it, I’ve been feeling it, and it’s time to share it with you.
I want to guide you away from the rabbit hole of feeling helpless.
I want to ease you away from trying to change minds.
I want to remind you that you have done what you can, and you will continue to do so.
Right now, more than ever, we are being tested, collectively. Separately in our own ways, but all with the same something that is adding a suffocating stress to each of our lives, in some way.
I’m here to remove that weight, my friend. Not the thousand pound weight of the pandemic—I can’t do that alone. I can’t shield any of us from being impacted by this in ways that are outside of our control.
Instead, I want to remind you that we can’t change their minds. Getting angry and worrying about it won’t do anything but heighten our chances of stress-related illness.
We can honor what we possess, hone those qualities and skills, and prepare.
Prepare for when it is over, because one day, more likely than not, it will be.
If you find it difficult to love yourself during this time, know that when we band together, it is easier to find that love than when we aim to do it individually.
So add these to the list of reasons you should be head over heels in love with yourself during this difficult time:
Love yourself harder for possessing empathy, love, and tenderness for not only your inner circle but for those you’ve never met. The pandemic has further proven that this is hot commodity. Vaccinated? You are already a pro at this.
Love yourself harder for using your intuition, your common sense, and your intelligence to not only protect yourself and your loved ones, but also as a step toward protecting the world—even if there are just as many choosing not to follow. There are many times you had to do the right thing knowing that others might not follow. It has always served you well; this is no different.
Love yourself harder for knowing and honoring that so many beautiful humans out there live in places where COVID isn’t the most dangerous of their worries right now. Keep honoring that by having gratitude for what you do have. This is your new superpower.
Love yourself for rolling up your sleeve and taking the biggest steps in controlling what we can control. You do it every day. You mask up and sanitize, and you keep doing it. That’s discipline and massive worldly respect. You are incredible.
Instead of focusing on the division, the war between those who value ego over empathy and those who are standing up to this pandemic as one, take yourself out of this narrative and love yourself and your community harder.
You’re not them, so take a breath. Find your gratitude in that. Exhale. Let go. Hang on.
Heal. Flow. Grow.
We won’t change their minds with anger, though we can absolutely make a world of difference by continuing with this little “mantra” and becoming better people while we trust the process.
Whether it’s with Covid, or any other struggle in our lives, we can find the benefits hidden in the wreckage if only we shift our gaze and challenge ourselves to look hard enough.
When the weight begins to feel like it’s making your knees buckle and you’re struggling to keep going, please, this time around…
Love yourself harder. Focus on what you’ve gained. When you do, you may surprise yourself with how much it outweighs what you’ve lost.
And, as I will be reminding myself, everything is temporary. We deserve to be outraged, but please do not stay there. Do not become what you are not. By doing so, we do this world an unpleasant disservice.
Find your calm, and keep healing, flowing, and growing.
While it seems like that’s all we can do at the moment, maybe that’s our greatest gift in disguise.