Emptiness

And just like that, the world we have known is over. Welcome to the new world.

If it’s not obvious already – this is the most dramatic shift as a collective that the world has experienced in over a century.  This crisis dwarfs the events of September 11, 2001 and the aftermath of that.

I had this Utopian vision – right at the beginning of the outbreak, everyone would just “pause” in place, go home, the virus would be contained and die, and then after a short period of time, we would just “play” and pick up right where we paused.  Unfortunately, hubris, lies, and, most of all, ego got in the way early on to prevent that dream. And the consequence of that now is death, suffering, and the world economy crumbling. And that’s that. Silly dream.

This is a reminder of just how fragile our systems are. The chain of events leading to this crisis are fascinating to consider and observe.

This is not by choice – this is by force.  This circumstance is not what we want, it is not something we asked for, it is just what is.  We are forced to accept it – and it makes us uncomfortable.  This crisis is a brutal reminder of how we are not in control of things the way we think we are.

What this crisis also is – an auspicious opportunity.

It’s an opportunity to reset our core values.

This is an opportunity to create a new understanding of our own mortality and of death.  If you’re reading this – congratulations – because you’re alive – for now. Everything is impermanent.  We really don’t know when our life is going to end, and our best laid plans just had a big wrench thrown right into them.  So appreciate the time you have had, appreciate that you’re here now, and value your health, taking sensible and reasonable actions to protect it – because for some of us, it will be taken unexpectedly.

It’s an opportunity to understand how we relate to food, our food supply chain, and our relationship and expectations of local, state, and federal governments.

This is an opportunity to work on a passion project and catch up on entertainment and reading.  As most of us self-isolate, we all set an example and test ourselves to see how we handle this and make sensible decisions – both large and small.

Most of all, it’s an opportunity to introspect and determine if we will choose fear or we will choose love.  What does that mean, you ask? It means that it’s a chance to take a breath before making decisions and not be reactive. It means asking yourself what is the most optimal outcome of what you’re about to do and hopefully having the sense to realize it’s a fear-based decision – choosing to change your mind and do the opposite.  It’s that simple. I find that this feeling comes to me after meditation and I use it to propel and guide my day.

To those that are still out, still working at grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals / health-care facilities, and other critical service industries – we thank you. You are all choosing to work not only for a paycheck, but because you want to help others. We cannot appreciate all of those on the front lines enough. You are the new heroes.

Things are changing rapidly by the day. As of today, we do not have martial law, but it’s probably coming. We also have governments creating money out of thin air, which will cause hyperinflation.  News is coming into our feeds from friends, family, and outside sources, and we have to triage and distill it so that it fits within our understanding. And with all this comes a new set of challenges and tests of our resolve and of our freedoms.  It’s a lot to handle. Cool heads will prevail.

People unite over a common enemy – whether it’s a foreign invader, a potential alien attack, or today’s enemy, COVID-19.  Will humanity and governments use this opportunity to pause (stop?) waging war on each other, making bombs, imposing sanctions and other instruments of destruction upon each other and come together as well?  Or after this is over, will we just pick up where we left off and continue existing patterns of oppression, fear, and violence? We shall see in the days and years to come. Today, right now, we are living through a reckoning of everything we know and have ever known.

We get to have this auspicious opportunity.  How we choose to act and react, both as individuals and as a collective, starts from within.  It starts with you.

An Auspicious Opportunity – Companion Commentary


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