The pandemic raises fear in me. At the start of quarantine, as an acknowledgement of my fears and a way to express each one, I listed them in my journal. Here is an excerpt from my journal dated March 25, 2020:
- I fear not seeing or hugging my mom ever again.
- I fear the loss of normal routines.
- I fear people becoming socially distant and disconnected.
- I fear people becoming unhinged and reckless.
- I fear my kids losing touch with their friends.
- I fear the heaviness of death.
- I fear the death of people.
- I fear the death of my dog.
- I fear the death of parts of me that I am not ready to let go.
In two short months I, like so many others, have faced some big fears.
I faced the death of my dog which changed our family unit forever. I also faced the loss of normal routines which caused stress and, in some cases, sadness. My kids lost touch with some of their friends which raised some fears in them and brought some tears. And throughout the pandemic, along with the rest of the world, I continue to face the news of so many human lives lost due to illness and black lives lost due to police brutality.
Even though these enormous losses and big changes create intense fear-based emotions, I feel an overriding sense of gratitude for the opportunity to learn first-hand how the life/death/life cycle works. I am humbled by the way nature teaches us (especially during a pandemic) about life, loss and the impermanence of things. Now more than ever, I recognize that human beings, relationships and behaviour are all parts of nature and the cycle of growth. Just like things living in nature, we change over time. We live by a process of blooming, thriving, wilting and dying. And, just as we see in nature, this process of life/death/life creates openings for new beginnings and areas for new growth.
Fear is a part of nature as well. It shows up to activate our survival instincts, not to trigger our insecurities. We survive by finding ways to honour the process of life and death; and by keeping the spirit of love alive and well in our homes and neighbourhoods.
Recently, after facing some of my fears, I was inspired to write the following excerpt in my journal:
Sometimes when we enter the darkest places in our minds – the places where our fears reside – we find a seedling of hope waiting to be held and brought into the light. A hope for more strength. When we nurture that hope with tenderness and care, it grows into a powerful force of nature. It blossoms into a beautiful root of resilience. It expands into an energy – a life force – much bigger than fear. This life force connects with other forces of nature and, eventually, it becomes part of a community of powerful energy growing together in a garden of strength.
May we all stay grounded in the soil of humility, care for our hearts, and grow together in a garden of strength.
Thank you to my dear friend, Gina, for honouring our beloved Marlon with this rock of love. He is always in our hearts.