There is so much fear ricocheting around the globe now. Fear of the deadly coronavirus and fear of disease and dying. Basically, fear of survival. This survival-based fear is embedded deep in our cellular memory as a species on this planet; it is a powerful force affecting everyone. Our collective consciousness holds the emotional residue of every event—wars, famine, pandemics, natural and man-made disasters, etc.—and all that is coming up to be released so that we can reach a new planetary balance. Mostly we aren’t aware of the rebalancing yet, but it is happening. As the virus spreads, we feel both present and cumulative fear, as well as other strong emotions like sadness, anger, or panic.
You can see it in the frightened individuals fleeing epicenters of COVID-19 like New York to other locations—and in the angry reactions of residents in those places who resent their coming (and perhaps bringing the virus with them). Issues of money and privilege come up. In crowded cities where people often struggle to survive every day, the choice of leaving does not exist for most. In such times as these, adequate health care also becomes a huge concern. Countless courageous individuals in this field are stretched to the limit. People are angry at government delays in issuing stay-at-home mandates (Florida finally institutes one today), jeopardizing human lives for business and political interests. This virus points up all those disparities. Who lives, and who dies?
We as a people shouldn’t have to reach that point. We are in the process of awakening to our common destiny and our common survival. Alone and separate, we are diminished and disconnected; together, we survive and thrive. The unspoken belief that you can somehow outrun or outwit death is an illusion. If your time is up on this planet, it doesn’t matter where you are or what you own. So, then, what really matters in the course of a lifetime is how much you have loved and cared for others. Are you living with empathy and compassion, or are you driven by fear or self-interest?
This virus is making us face ourselves, face how we are living our lives. It becomes raw and challenging, but in that uncomfortable mix is the opportunity to awaken to who each of us really is at our core, which is a sensitive soul. Beneath the fear, anger, and defensiveness is something tender and vulnerable: the human spirit. It takes courage to peel off all the protective layers and admit that you are no different than every other human being. You are born and you die. What happens in between is the gift, the key, the opportunity for shared experience and oneness. Even in pain, even in fear. There are held-back tears within you. Cry them. Because when you do, your heart will open, and you will see that you are surrounded by family everywhere. Have the courage to feel compassion for every person who crosses your path. You may not realize it, but that is why you came to this planet: to feel with others, to offer comfort and protection. To look out for one another.
On my walk this morning, I came across four ducks standing still in the middle of the road. I stopped and watched them to see why they were there. One smaller, younger duck was in the middle, and the other three were facing outward in a protective circle. As the smaller one began to move, the others adjusted themselves, always keeping watch in a wide circle around it. Slowly, they moved off down the road and disappeared into the bushes. I felt as if I had been given a beautiful gift from the natural world, a vivid example of how we humans could live together harmoniously. We are all children of Mother Nature. We are all vulnerable and in need of protection and care at one time or another. Now is one of those times. May we encircle and protect one another in our vulnerability and fear. May we have the courage to live every day of our lives with compassion.