How do we live fully and unapologetically from the heart when everything remains so freakin’ uncertain?
It seemed like this day might never come. Well, it hasn’t quite come yet.
We’ve been holed up for over two months here in the San Francisco Bay Area. While we’re not even close to reopening fully, there are signs of activity all around.
We’ve run the gamut of emotions:
- The initial fear and panic gave way to a genuine kindness and care I’ve only seen after a disaster in the community (remembering the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland).
- Then came waves of anxiety and anger over prolonged social isolation.
- Followed by a palpable resignation.
- Which was ameliorated by neighbors drinking beer from soda cups outside the local bar this last week.
How are you managing the social and economic ramifications of COVID-19? It’s been a roller coaster.
In one ear, you’ve been urged to go within. This is your opportunity for deep reflection; we get to monitor our consumption and pair it more closely with our values; maybe this is how we elevate human consciousness…
In the other ear, you’re urged to get back to normal as soon as possible. Get everyone working and consuming again, so we can end the suffering. Let’s pretend this whole thing never happened (except we’re pretty sure we’re coming back here in the fall)…
This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day in the US. We started this tradition back in 1868 after the American Civil War in order to honor those military personnel who were killed in battle.
The Civil War may have been the unmistakable line in the sand to which we can trace the deep divide of the American people. (I’m not much of a historian, so I could be totally wrong. It sure makes for a better story, though.)
I’m feeling deeply conflicted this week. As states reopen, the division is now visual. It’s literally on your face. You can pick your side based on who wears a mask and who does not.
The energetic pulse has shifted again to indignation and anger. With my usual curiosity and a healthy dose of managed concern (which is quite different from worry or fear) I’m taking in the news of employees receiving broken arms or death sentences for asking patrons to wear masks in public spaces.
And of course, there’s Arnaud Arberry’s murder. And who else was swept under the rug thanks to 24-hour fear-mongering Corona coverage?
Is this what we are returning to? Is this what “back to normal” looks like in America?
It’s important to honor what has been lost and harvest the joys, learnings and wisdom so that we may move on. This is why we celebrate Memorial Day. To honor the lives of those who died while in service to the nation.
What if we memorialized the old ways in order to evolve? What can we learn and honor from our past so that we can elevate and move on from a place of wisdom?
Maybe it is time to let the old ways die.
If we are creating a New Earth, do we have room in it for competition? For division? For entitlement at the expense of others? Do we have room for murder or hatred? For fear and anger that runs so deep that another’s life means far less than your own?
What are the old ways we want to keep and nurture?
What are the old ways we – collectively and individually – are ready to let die?
I’m ready to hug and hold the people I love, share meals and stories and breathe the same air.
I’m ready for humans to feel whole, to embrace and embody their worthiness.
I’m ready for all of us to feel grounded, rooted and safe. And to know they are connected – truly intrinsically connected – to everyone and everything. To feel inspired and in love with their life. And to live fully from the heart.
What’s at stake is only everything.