We have been thrown in the river

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I don’t know about you but after 2 ½ weeks of self-quarantine, Larry and I looked at one another and said, “What day is it?” We are grateful to get out and exercise daily and that we live in a beautiful place to appreciate the beauty and nature around us.  Staying grateful in the midst of challenges keeps our vibration high.

It is like we have all been thrown in the river and we are swimming together, but there is a lot of uncertainty because we don’t know where we are going or how long we will be swimming in the river.

There are some things I KNOW in my heart and one of them is that everybody is doing the best they can during this unprecedented time of worldwide health crisis. We are all in different places and stages (denial, numb, terror, fear, excitement, peaceful, anxiety, sadness, grief, anger, acceptance) and we are invited to be loving, kind and compassionate with one another. Before I can be loving and compassionate with another, I must start with myself and not beat up on myself or judge myself for whatever stage I’m in or whatever feelings are coming up.

Like most of you, I have experienced the “gamut” of feelings sometimes all in one day. It is like a roller coaster of feelings when I hear of something new happening in the world or someone dying from the virus. I am ALLOWING myself to feel it all, to let the feelings go through me so that I can release them and RECALIBRATE to gratitude, love and joy. I give myself as long as it takes to feel my feelings and not medicate or do a spiritual bypass. There is something powerful about naming our feelings. When you name them, you feel it and it moves through you. Emotions need motion.

When my feelings are very strong (especially anger) I know it is not just about my present situation, but feelings I have suppressed for years that are coming to the surface to be healed and transformed. My experience has been that under the anger is fear and often under the fear is anger. I am learning to self-regulate, which means to soothe and comfort myself when I become aware of what I’m feeling by slowing down and breathing and going within.

I’m also learning to co-regulate, which means to share my feelings and what I’m going through honestly with a trusted friend. It has to be someone who is non-judgmental and will be PRESENT to me and not try to fix me or give me advice. Do you have anyone in your life who you can co-regulate with?

Larry and I are taking the virus very seriously perhaps because of his lung condition and us both being in the high- risk category.  My challenge and opportunity are to be patient with people who are not taking the virus seriously, not following protocol and staying home, but instead going on with life as usual.

I allowed myself to feel my anger fully when I saw loved ones not following protocol. I wrote about it in my journal and cried about it. After I had processed my anger, (self-regulated) I called a friend whom I trusted and knew would be PRESENT with me and we co-regulated together. Nothing had changed on the outside world, but I felt so much better on the inside because I was heard and validated. I cannot control what anyone else does or doesn’t do. It is their journey and they are doing what they need to do for themselves. All I can do is control myself and my reaction. It is truly a time for self-love and self-care.

My friend, who is a therapist and life coach, said “It is like watching a rotor rooter with my clients who are anxious about their health and finances and their stuff is coming up all over the place.”  My shadow and unhealed parts of myself are also “showing up” as I get triggered emotionally. I’m learning to recognize that it is a cry to love myself unconditionally. It’s an opportunity for transformation and healing.

Because of this virus and all that has been stirred up within and without, I have a choice to become BITTER or BETTER. By the grace of God, I choose to become BETTER to the best of my ability. Some days I do better than others, but I keep “showing up”. I can ACCEPT what’s happening and have peace or I can RESIST and suffer. Acceptance is where the POWER lies. What are you choosing today?

I KNOW that the world will be a better place because of this PAUSE that was needed and necessary to bring the world back into balance and LOVE. I trust I will be stronger and more loving and will value what is truly important to me, which is family and friends.  The virus that seems to separate us in the physical realm is bringing us together in the heart realm.  Hearts are opening up as we are all ONE and not separate. My prayers and love are with you. Together we will get through this and shine even brighter.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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