I had a birthday recently and celebrated with friends and family; I enjoyed every minute of the face-to-face conversation. It was only afterward that I realized how stressed I was coming up to the day. I thought it was the hot weather that was making me feel unusually irritable and stressed. However, the relief I was so surprised to feel after our celebratory dinner made me realize that more was going on inside than I consciously knew.
The extent of my angst and irritation was not really due to the birthday or having guests at all. That minor amount of stress was layered on top of the backdrop of Co-vid, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and even more so the division and suffering that seems to be on going.
An article by the American Psychological Association says that people in general are feeling a great deal of stress. It isn’t just the concerns that we have, it is the uncertainty and unrelenting nature of them while more pile on. (I note that the article was posted almost a year ago.!)
My heart goes out to children and their parents. When I was a child it was the cold war. I would cry myself to sleep every night for fear that the Russians were coming. I had a special hiding place to go if they came. In schools, we’d watch film reels about it. My mother and sister went to a class and built a fall-out shelter in our old cistern for the eventuality of a nuclear war. Children and their parents today face different but none-the-less powerful specters.
I have been challenged by the greater effort that it now takes to come from a place of love rather than fear. There was a slippage into fearful thinking while centering my attention much more in my head than my heart.
It surprised me that it happened in the past few months so subtly because in a way, “I know better”. To back off entertaining so much circular thought that gets me nowhere is no easy task on my own will power. What helps me most is to ask Spirit for help and basically turn it over to the Divine while agreeing to do my part. The result is close to miraculous for me.
I believe that we are here for a very real purpose: Whatever your mission, my mission, our mission is, it involves love. It involves giving, receiving and broadcasting love especially in these times of great upheaval and change. That has required of me more awareness than ever because I can get lost in my angst.
I heard my soul say in meditation, “To love is the greatest service”. It has become my motto and my goal. I encourage you to keep going, to do your best to come from a place of love because what we do in fear stays in fear.
My prayer is that we are freed from the fears that plague us, not just those of the past 2 years, also the ones that go back into childhood, and further into our ancestral past. I don’t know how to do that except to do my best to act out of love, ask the Divine for help, and keep facing the light.