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(171,029 posts)
Thu Mar 19, 2020, 08:05 AM Mar 2020

When This Pandemic Ends, We'll Have Decisions to Make By Connie Schultz [View all]


When This Pandemic Ends, We'll Have Decisions to Make
By Connie Schultz
March 19, 2020


If you are physically vulnerable in any way, because of age or medical conditions, or you love someone who is, it is easy to fall prey to the soul-sucking churning of worry and anxiety. Even the toughest among us have our weaker moments as we watch the news get worse and worse. This will get better, but when?

I confess to moments of feeling hollowed out by the need to isolate from friends, colleagues and family members. I miss my husband, who must be in Washington, in the Senate. I miss grandchildren, their scent and their voices, and their wide-eyed wonder, but their parents have rightfully made clear that we must stay away for our own good.

Seldom has doing the right thing for our physical health felt so wrong for our well-being.

Again, I turn to the poet O'Donohue:

You are in this time of the interim

Where everything seems withheld

The path you took to get here has washed out;

The way forward is still concealed from you.

"The old is not old enough to have died away;

The new is still too young to be born."

But take heart, he writes.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,

And it is difficult and slow to become new.

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become

For your arrival in the new dawn.

When this pandemic comes to an end, we will not be who we were at its beginning. This is extraordinary.

Most of us will survive, and we will have some decisions to make. Will we seek to be more connected? Will we see anew how much we needed one another all along? Will we repair some of the damage we have inflicted on others and on ourselves?

Again, John O'Donohue:

Cradle yourself like a child

Learning to trust what emerges,

So that gradually

You may come to know

That deep in the black hole

You will find the blue flower

That holds the mystical light

Which will illuminate in you

The glimmer of springtime.

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