The past several weeks have been some really unusual ones, I’ve experienced a lot of emotion, and at times I’ve felt baffled by human behavior. We’ve been in isolation, instructed to leave only for essentials, and weeks in the grocery stores still have empty shelves by 10am. People are sleeping more, watching the news and stock market closely, and doing their best to keep up their jobs through telecommunication. 3.3 million people have applied for unemployment, and wait to see if they can receive compensation while the world fights to stay healthy and protected from this infamous virus.
Some of you know that I run yoga and meditation groups at local drug and alcohol rehabs in the area. It is one of the most rewarding and heartbreaking areas of my work. I was guided to allow clients to complain, I allotted the first five minutes of our group to let them vent freely. I was surprised to hear them chime in for thirty to sixty seconds, and then naturally start to shift to the positive. They wanted to focus on the good, and it’s the same for all of us. As important as it is for us to feel heard, there is a drive within us that magnetically pulls us toward what lightens our heart and spirit. Our group began to think of what we feel grateful for, what we are glad to have in our life, relieving our minds of feeling burdened down.
I actually got married the very last day that the courts were open here in Orange County. It was planned that we would elope, but we definitely pushed the process forward when we heard the news that the county recording offices would be closed until further notice. I was ready for anything when it came to posting about my sudden nuptials on social media, especially because I still legally had someone else’s last name as mine less than two years ago.
I was shocked that my photos gathered more interest than anything I have ever posted. Not just a little bit more but three times more than the typical commotion my notable posts make. Amidst the unprecedented scare of the coronavirus, which, as I write this has had my county inside for the last two weeks and expectedly should remain so for the next at least four more, people WANTED to see something pure and good and loving. People wanted good news, they wanted to see love, they wanted something to celebrate. It struck me by surprise. It was the most inexpensive wedding announcement one could ever use.
I’m not going to deny that COVID-19 has been the scariest thing that our world has faced in decades. I have found myself wondering in moments, “God, is this going to be the end of my time here? Am I going to be meeting you soon?”, and it alarmed me at how much that scared me. I’m sure there is something biological and chemical that makes death a formidable event, even in the most fit spiritual condition – but it begged the question for me, how well do I understand this God of my own understanding? If I am certain of his benevolent love, would my faith and trust in His plan for my life abolish all hesitation about my earthly passing.
I’m proud of the way most of us have made the best of this situation. There seems to be less whining, and while I anticipate that the world will need time to rebound from this tremendous attack we have all been faced with, I see more gratitude, a deeper appreciation for the simple pleasure we had been taking for granted and a consideration for each other as a community and society like I have never seen in this lifetime. My own mental health has its own predictable ups and downs, but I, like many of us, have adjusted to this circumstance with a recognizable amount of strength and grace.