The pandemic raised a lot of fear in me. 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, faced some of my biggest 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. Finally, along with the rest of the world, I faced the news of so many human lives lost due to Covid-19 and black lives lost due to police brutality.
Even though these big changes and enormous losses 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. Like things living in nature, we change. We live by a process of blooming, thriving, wilting and dying. And, 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. After facing some of my fears over the last few months, 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. 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 hope and energy growing together in a garden of strength.
May we all stay grounded in the soil of humility 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 will always be our rock of love in the great garden of strength.