The pandemic is greeted by pandemonium, and it’s no surprise.
To humans, who are programmed to want to maintain balance and control, the level of uncertainty that surrounds us fuels the stress and anxiety of our surroundings spiraling into complete chaos.
We seek to understand -- through bits of media, we consume in bite-sized pieces, accepting those that align with our political and social beliefs and ignoring the ones that make us most uncomfortable.
We panic, hoarding toilet paper, and purchasing non-perishables we’ll probably never partake.
In a world that has been uprooted by the presence of a new virus, we frantically scramble to keep order in our lives and maintain some semblance of the perception of control -- that we are in fact the masters of our lives.
A reminder: there are hundreds and hundreds of them circulating the globe each day -- you might even have one, HPV, HSV, even the regular flu are quite common and equally misunderstood, though admittedly less fatal. 150,000 people die every single day*, but it’s the additional 300 currently added to the count that causes this additional stress.
I am enjoying this time as a universal reminder to everyone: we are not, and never were in control. We love to think as humans that our infrastructure and systems are what keep the world moving. Our economy keeps people alive (or rather, not dead, and productive), the stock market slowly ticking the value of each party’s contribution.
But the reality is, most of it is meaningless.
There’s never been a better time for truly embracing the nihilism that nothing matters than now, when the systems we were conditioned to trust have shattered.
Worldwide and local travel has ceased. Restaurants, events, stores, and small businesses are shut down. The value of our stock portfolios have diminished, and most of the collective forms of community, capitalism, and social infrastructure are crumbling, whether by government mandate or by choice.
People are panicking. How will we continue to feed our families (the administration has promised to help, at least a little)? What will my life look like tomorrow if I don’t have this job, or this house, or this car, or this family member by my side?
The truth is, these things are always under threat. Coronavirus has just shone a giant spotlight on the fragility of all of it, snatching souls and savings from us in what feels like a matter of seconds.
Nature exists in this state: conflicting forces of chaos + entropy. She accepts both and does not try to control them for they are larger and more powerful than Mother Nature herself.
She trusts the balance and flow, that tides come and go, seasons bring life and death.
So in a time when many are preaching the importance of STAYING PRODUCTIVE I am practicing patience and watching. Observing the world move around me, watching blades of grass wave in the wind. Planting seeds in my garden to grow the only nourishment I need. Slowing down and learning to listen to my body and what she wants.
This human form which is equipped to survive without work, bills, empire building, fancy clothes, and restaurant meals -- these are all programmed beliefs, attributable to the 21st century western society I inhabit.
It feels freeing to let them go.
To live my life on my own terms. With slow mornings, sipping coffee in the sun, writing pages that pass through pen to paper as easily as blood flows from my body.
Eventually, I’ll check my email and attend to the people whose goals I help accomplish in order to collect the paycheck that provides me the luxury of this free time, funding my dreams. The cost is quite high, and I recognize it is not sustainable as a choice I can continue to mindlessly make day after day.
So for now, I get back to the work of others, but with a renewed promise that I will continue to put myself first -- honoring my intentions, my spirit, my soul’s purpose, which surely isn’t to get rich or die trying.
That is not the life for me.