To me at least, there has never been a time when more compassion was needed. Compassion for others and compassion for ourselves.
For many, fear and anxiety are running high. For others, it’s just frustration and anger, or maybe boredom.
Either way, triggers are being triggered and none of us – I’m pretty certain not one of us – are at our best.
There is also an unprecedented outpouring of love, caring, and connection. People are reaching out to others. Neighbors are helping neighbors (and strangers). Italians are singing and playing music and doing aerobics from their balconies.
There is a chance to see the beauty – of nature and of humanity – as well.
I know that staying in fear, no matter how justified, can’t help me right now. And it certainly can’t help me help anyone else. Following the strict guidelines. Washing my hands (for at least 20 seconds and under the nails) and not touching my face. Social distancing. Doing my best to stay connected with but apart from others. Those things can help. They can help me feel like I’m doing something, and they can help flatten the curve. (See this amazing quick talk from an infectious disease specialist to help us all understand how much staying at home can make a difference.)
But fear? That doesn’t help.
So, when it rises, because for me it does, the first thing I do is put my hand on my heart. I take a deep breath. I feel my feet on the ground (or my butt on a seat) and remind myself that – yes luckily – right now I am here and I am okay.
I keep my hand on my heart, to comfort myself, and I tell myself I love myself. (Yes, sometimes out loud.) Actually, I say, “I love you spectacular.” (Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know what that word somehow means to me.) I wash myself with self-love and self-compassion.
I keep my hand on my heart and I find someone to share a virtual hug with. I send love to the world. I think of all the people sick, suffering, in fear, and fighting for the lives of others, and I send them love with all my heart.
I find a way to donate food or money or coffee (seriously, go to www.dripkit.com and you can send coffee to a medical worker!). I find a way to connect. I text. I call. I Facetime.
I keep my hand on my heart to soothe myself as I pray to whatever I believe in and I, again, follow all the guidelines and find whatever small way I can to help.
Because, to me at least, there has never been a time when more compassion was needed. Compassion for others and compassion for ourselves.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!