I am aware, as I write this post, that at the moment all through the world, there is deep sadness and grief; there is anguish and anxiety and there is also great gratitude to all the health workers and supporting workers that go unmentioned in thanks. Let’s take a moment to be mindful of all who are deeply involved body, mind and soul whether on the giving or receiving end.
Most of us understand the ripple effect that Covid 19 is having on the world and that is why we are distancing ourselves and trying to isolate ourselves at home as much as possible. Reading the information about corvid 19 is important. It is good to be informed; but what does it take to cause panic for you personally? For some it might be pouring over visuals, others it might be the posts that lay people have posted, full of drama and words to manipulate; for me it is talking about it with others who are not calm. When we’re done talking my mind goes on wild tangents.
Whatever it is one’s mind begins to race in ever more crazy and unproductive circles. Eventually you could find yourself hyperventilating or just wafting aimlessly through your day not knowing what you are doing. What happens in your mind can be insidious at first, tiny increments in a dangerous direction. Like the ripple effect: one statement, one article, one whatever drops into your brain like a stone splashing into a pond. Ripple effect. Ripple upon ripple, motions outwards in ever bigger circles effecting your mind, your life and other people – just like Covid 19. Stop it.
How do you stop the ripples?
Every stone dropped into the pond is like every person not staying at home and potentially passing on the virus; you need to take your thoughts captive. ‘Keep them home’ otherwise your thoughts will be just like that virus. Don’t let them wreak havoc. When you let statements or thoughts in which are not helpful put them on hold. Don’t give them airtime. Of course you must be sensible and stay informed but ask yourself, or if necessary, check in with someone you trust e.g. doctor, mentor, or trusted person:
‘Are my thoughts constructive?’
‘Am I letting my imagination run wild?’
‘Am I filling my mind with rubbish?’
‘Am I letting my ‘scaremonger-mind’ take over?’
If you are needing healthcare or have a family member who is struggling or dying do take it seriously. You have every right to feel sad, anxious, angered, frustrated and bewildered. You have every right to take action but for many of us we wallow in self-pity or anxiety that needs to be stopped because it is not helpful to you.
Now is the time to be still. You have most likely stocked up and are prepared for staying home. You are called to be at home. That is your temporary state of being. Be still firstly and act with intention secondly. Let the future look after itself, in other words, deal with the future when it arises. Focus on now, today. Now again I say ‘Still your heart, still your mind, still your body.’ It’s not a time for rushing around.
Maybe as you still yourself and find peace you feel inspired to one action. Here are some ideas:
- catching up on something you have been pushing to the side,
- contemplation or thinking about your life – taking stock of what you have done, who you have become. Do you like what you see? Do you want to make changes? Do you feel a new vision rising up? Contemplation doesn’t have to be just sitting still with your eyes shut.
- It could be looking through old photos, remembering, appreciating, being grateful; no doubt some photos are painful memories, maybe it is time to let go of pain and forgive.
- Journaling is a good way of finding order within all the busy thoughts. It could be that as you journal you contemplate on your life and your feelings.
- Drawing, sketching or other forms of art can be a useful way to express your turmoil and stilling your mind.
- Some people have found in this time when communal worship is not possible that it is a good opportunity to renew a personal connection to God the Creator. There are so many ways of doing that too.
Let’s hope the ripple effect of staying home on the health situation will be positive. Many of us don’t like being on our own. It’s probably easier for introverts than extroverts. Many of us say we find it boring but what we often mean is, it is difficult; possibly difficult contending with ourselves. Do we find ourselves boring? Maybe you are lonely? Maybe it is a time for you to reconnect with yourself. It is hard if you have never done it before but some of the above suggestions could help. Or you might have your own methods. I would like to hear about them. Others might be confined with too many people in a small space and this would have its own challenges too.
Try thinking of things that will positively affect you; let that ripple effect be for the good of yourself, others and the repair of the world. Choose your thoughts wisely. Choose your actions wisely too. These days there are so many ways of staying in contact through social media, the internet, and the phone. Reach out to someone else. If you can’t do that create something to give to someone else when all this is over. Remember you are enough; you are strong enough to get through this. If you don’t feel like you are you trust that you will become strong through it all. We have a life force within us, it wants you to grow and develop. A rose is a rose whether it knows it or not. God waters his garden and shines his sun on all.
A ripple effect, although beautiful, is not always what we want in life. Yes there is hardship and there will be hardship in the future that we will have to face but it depends on you, how you choose, if you create positive ripples or negative ones at the moment .
Take care of yourself and your loved ones and lets encourage each other.