Finding Beauty in the Struggle, Together
This pandemic just so happened to reach me during one of the toughest times in my life. Maybe because of that, it seems to have magnified every single area where I feel stuck. It has reminded me in a not so gentle way, of the things about myself that I still need to work on. Suddenly spending all of my time with another person when I am used to being alone, has reminded me to practice being more patient. Constantly making mistakes, like sanitizing groceries and later realizing I could have done something more carefully, has reminded me to not be so hard on myself. Taking things out on others because I am frustrated and sick of hearing about all of the bad going on, has reminded me to stop, breathe, and be more mindful.
It has been hard to watch these parts of myself come out. Especially during a time when there aren’t as many things to distract myself with. Its like here you go Jill, some things to work on! And you have nothing else to do so what are you waiting for. And me pretending I am sleeping so that I don’t hear anything this imaginary voice is telling me to do. But maybe this voice is right. Maybe it actually is the best time to turn inward and deal with the not so pretty parts of ourselves. What else do we have to do? Trauma tends to bring out issues. And this may be one of the most traumatic events in our lifetime whether we realize that yet or not. But there is good news. Roughly 8 billion people understand what you are going through.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES
When a group of people go through something together and that circumstance is infused with the are we going to make it, we might not make it, we can’t stop until we make it, drive that pushes you to your limits. You don’t know if you are going to survive but somehow you do. Together. It bonds you for life. You can go your separate ways, but you never forget.
This is why when someone asks me what my favorite countries have been so far, Cambodia is always on my list. They went through something significant and it really changed them. In the late 1970’s, a mass execution took place across the entire country, killing nearly 2 million people. This was a fourth of the country’s population. Amongst the survivors, you can feel their sense of community. It as if they understand the pain each other endured and it continues to ground their souls and connect them in the deepest way.
You can feel this the second you step foot there. The locals seem to genuinely appreciate each other and enjoy spending time together. As you walk down the street, you are greeted with warm hellos and smiles from every single person you pass. You existence is acknowledged. Your presence is welcomed. And it feels really good. In Buddhism, it is the contemplation of death that makes one understand and appreciate life. In Cambodia, it is as if they have embraced this ideology and used this tragedy to create a culture full of love and connection. If you ever visit, take the time to stop and feel the energy. It is truly a beautiful feeling.
I remember feeling this same type of energy in the United States on and after 9/11. In the days following, the pace of life was slower and it seemed quieter outside. Being reminded of death had made us more mindful of life. Strangers were nicer to each other. We were mourning, but together. And for a moment, it felt as if we were united as one. You could just feel it in the air. If you were around, you know the feeling I am talking about.
There were even several studies done measuring collective consciousness and the energy surrounding 9/11. In a study by Princeton University, researchers found that such a large number of people around the world were affected in the same way that their collective mental energy actually altered the operation of computers!* Which shows you how powerful this energy actually is.
“Large scale group consciousness has effects in the physical world.
Knowing this, we can intentionally work toward a brighter, more conscious future.”
Imagine if we all changed our energy and feelings about this pandemic at the exact same time. From a perspective of fear, to one of love. If we used this situation as a catalyst to start to remember what really matters in life. One thing about collective consciousness is that whatever energy is most prevalent, is also contagious. And the stronger it is, the more sustainable it becomes. And we need now more than ever, to feel love. In order to keep us going.
THE ONLY WAY THROUGH IS TOGETHER
The entire world is going through something that most of us if not all of us, have never experienced before. And I think that is why this could potentially end up way more traumatic than we are yet to realize. We are currently fighting a war where the enemy is invisible and silent. I think that is so incredibly scary. We know that this thing can potentially kill us and we can’t see if it is hiding in our homes. We don’t know if it is on our clothes, in our food, in our bodies. And even if it is, we don’t know much about how to fight it.
It is understandable why it took or is taking some people so long to take this seriously. It seems like something out of a movie. But it is real. And I think that as that sinks in, it is going to start hitting us pretty hard. We are going to need to lean on each other as much as possible. When everything else is stripped away, we are left only with each other. And that is what is happening right now. People are losing their jobs. Plans are ruined. We are beginning to mourn the loss of our former lives.
We may live in different countries. Have different backgrounds, jobs, religions. None of this matters anymore. What matters now is that we are all going through this together. We need to help each other through this by remembering how similar we actually are as human beings. We have the same fears. The same daily struggles. We are simply trying to survive. We get frustrated at times. Other times, we feel trapped or are scared of the future. And sometimes, we even feel like giving up.
IT STARTS WITH YOU
While the struggle of this is real, it is also incredibly beautiful. And humbling. I saw a nurse on TV today crying and it really pulled my heart strings. She had spent the last thirteen hours caring for COVID patients and it was really starting to break her down. The severity of the situation was becoming real for her. And how hard it is for her to try and help patients all day when she doesn’t know if they will survive. She was begging people to stay home. Because it is getting worse and will stay that way until we work together to stop it. I felt her pain. I cried her tears. My heart was overflowing with love for her. This is hard for everyone. But that also means we aren’t alone. And that is the part that is beautiful.
A world where everyone is going through the same thing is a world full of empathy and understanding.
We have a huge opportunity and I think even responsibility, to use this pandemic and our current situation to reunite globally. To create a collective energy that is positive, loving, and supportive. One that is lasting and that can be felt across the world. It is a way we can create something beautiful out of this tragic situation. And the only way to change the energy of the world is to start within ourselves. It is the best time to do this. Surrounded with a world of people who understand, it creates a safe space to be vulnerable. To let other people help you. To help them as well. We can all share in this experience together and by doing that, create lasting change.
We need to use this time to be willing to look at the not so easy to see parts of ourselves. Think about how we can grow and become better people. We can take our uncertainty and use it as a reminder to appreciate who and what we have today. Let the recent changes in our lives remind us that nothing is permanent and use it as a reminder to learn to let go. Let our fear of death remind us to embrace life. Let’s take this time to stop and reset our entire way of being in order to create a more peaceful and loving world. Now is the time to become one again. And it starts with you.
“Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness
and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
– John Lennon
It is easier to connect now more than ever. Everything is online, you can join groups with people from all over the world. Talk to people who are going through the same thing. Use these resources to stay connected and become more mindful.