It seems like last week was just a regular week right around Tuesday. However, by Wednesday, everything was literally shifting.
I awakened on Wednesday, March 11th and felt very sad for an unknown reason. I couldn’t explain it. I just woke up feeling empty and full of sorrow. For some odd reason, I remember I wasn’t sleeping well and when I did sleep, I had strange dreams but can’t really remember what they were about. They just left me with an uneasy feeling upon waking. I forced myself to get out of bed and begin my routine; wake my son, let the dogs out, make lunches, really ‘wake’ my son this time, feed the dogs and head upstairs to get ready for work. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed. I was tired and felt emotionally drained. I laid my head back for a moment and began to pet the dogs. One jumped down and ran downstairs. The other stood there barking at me for what seemed like no reason. I tried to ignore him. He was fed. He went out…what? What could he possibly want?
Then, I literally felt the room shake. I thought perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me because I was tired and had a bit of a headache, but no, the room definitely shook. I knew for sure a few moments later when a friend texted, “Oh my God! That was an earthquake!” An earthquake in our area? No, that couldn’t be right. That’s unheard of. Sure enough, within moments google confirmed a 3.2 earthquake in our area. Never have I ever. I proceeded with my day, going through the motions and still feeling as if something was not right. In the days that followed, everything began to fall apart.
It was a magnificent shift happening that appeared to come out of nowhere. On Tuesday, I picked up a few odds and ends at the grocery store-including toilet paper-yet by Sunday, there was not a roll to be found in the aisle.
What is going on here? What is happening?
People are beginning to panic about this virus, but why? Should I be panicking?
That was less than a week ago and yet it seems like forever ago.
Last week-end we were told that our schools were closing. When I first read the message I thought it said one week. I looked again and noticed it said 5 weeks! I thought this had to be a type error but then several posts on Facebook confirmed it was, in fact, 5 weeks.
Now, here we are a little over a week after the storm has begun in our area. We sit in our homes trying to adjust to our new norm. Me trying to support my 1st graders from home with limited resources, and home-school my teen-who clearly wants nothing to do with that. All the teens want is to hang out with their friends and enjoy their ‘vacation‘. The reality hasn’t quite hit them just yet. They beg for sleep overs or at least time to get together with their friends. Yet, we are now at a point where, as responsible parents, we simply will not allow that.
Everything seems to be shutting down around us; schools, restaurants, the convenience of walking into the store and buying whatever your heart desires. Even the NCAA Tournament was cancelled!
What? Really? This is so surreal…
Families are all in their homes practicing something we’re getting a crash course on called ‘social distancing.’ Some parents work from home while trying to home-school. Others go to work and struggle to find daycare. Kids don’t know what to do with themselves, and who are we kidding, neither do we adults.
We read, we listen, we analyze, we worry, we support one another as best as we can and we wonder where this is all going and when it will end. The economy is tanking. We’re isolated. Life as we know it is nowhere to be found. Yet, somehow, beneath all the fear and anxiety there is an unexpected calm, deep within my soul.
You see, the past few years have been turbulent for me and for many around me. It has seemed like time was passing quicker and there has been more dictation and conflict in our lives. There’s been a great deal of fear-based thinking-what I like to call-Stinkin’ Thinkin’. I kept saying, “something’s gotta give!” I believe many people may have uttered that same phrase in the past decade. This crazy, hectic, busy society with brash politics and a deep lack of empathy overall; a decline in compassion, understanding and an obvious disconnect overall. A disconnect between families, neighbors, friends, states, countries and yes, even Spirituality, or what you might call God.
I started thinking back to Wednesday, March 11th. An earthquake is the earth literally shifting. It IS a shift. I began to ponder deeper. Maybe this is the shift many of us have longed for. Maybe this experience-that feels like a nightmare-will make us all a little kinder. Maybe we’ll all have more empathy and a deeper compassion for others. Perhaps families will connect in a way that they haven’t since technology and social media took over our lives. Maybe parents will see their children in a different light and children will gain a whole new understanding of their parents. Maybe students will appreciate the community that schools bring. Perhaps people will put their phones down and be present when we can all meet eye-to-eye again. Maybe, since the whole world is experiencing this at exactly the same time, we’ll realize we are absolutely all in this together. Our race, color, gender, sexual preference, political beliefs, philosophical thoughts…none of it really matters. Because maybe, we are all just part of an intricate and yet very delicate cloth where each fiber depends upon the other.
The world is shifting. Maybe we all need to shift with it; laugh more, listen more, dance more, experience more, live more, and above all, be present.
Look at the grocery store employees who are exhausted and working overtime to meet your needs, in a different light. Look at the doctors and nurses who haven’t gone home to their own families for you, in a different light. Put yourself in the shoes of the teachers who educate and support your children on a daily basis and look at them, in a different light. Look at the person next to you, across from you, or miles away from you, in a different light. See the light through the darkness folks. We cannot see light without the background of the darkness.
What we are experiencing today is difficult. It absolutely is not something anyone in their right mind would sign up for. However, let’s shift and think of it as going through labor. At the end of this, we are going to have a beautiful gift. Let’s start now by speaking more words of kindness, showing compassion to others and supporting one another in ways you never dreamed of. Put yourself in the shoes of others. Find gratitude in every moment.
One day, we will all look back and smile. We will remember our strength and we will be grateful for the time the Universe gave us this opportunity to slow down. I know it’s dark now, and it’s going to get darker because this storm isn’t over, but know that we can come out of this darkness stronger, wiser, kinder and more present.
The Universe is shifting physically and energetically. What will you do with this opportunity?