Hi, everybody. Like many of you, I’m distancing myself from people these days. I’m sequestered at home. On grocery runs, I’m masked and gloved. I don’t shake hands or greet friends with a hug. There are days when I yearn to go out to a movie or enjoy a good cappuccino– but aside from that, I feel as happy and safe as a coddled child.
Statistically, I may be at a higher risk to get sick. In other ways, I’m safer than most people. Why? Well, I remain skeptical. I see the bigger picture. I’ve learned to say no to fear. I don’t let my thoughts wander off unsupervised. I’ve made peace with tragedy, and I accept life on its terms. I’m wrapped in love and I’m armed with laughter. So, yeah. I’m safe.
I’ve had the opportunity to share this lesson with some of you lately, but it’s worth going over again: you decide how safe you feel. In good times or bad, you determine your response. You set your own level of comfort. You choose to be ruffled by opinions, or you don’t. You put your faith in life…or you don’t.
I know how easy it is to say, “This situation makes me afraid,” or “This person makes me angry.” It’s easy but inaccurate. No one makes you feel a certain way. You react out of choice. You react out of habit or convenience. You decide when anger is necessary. You decide when fear should take over. In the battle of impulses, you decide if madness wins or loses.
You, like most people, can get carried away with the roles you play. You can forget to be rational. You can forget to be wise. It’s impossible to control events, but you have a responsibility to control your reactions to events. You have a responsibility to chose your words well and monitor your thinking. Your growth and evolution are all about taking responsibility for you.
It appears you’ve made an agreement with yourself to be aware. Right? Living up to that agreement is an act of spiritual maturity. Didn’t you promise your body you’d be a good caretaker? Didn’t you swear to support your dream, no matter how bumpy the ride gets? If you didn’t, now is the time to make those agreements. It’s time to check in with yourself– to soothe your nerves and calm your mind. It’s time to open your heart. It’s a great time to learn to take charge of your happiness and share it with others.
Spiritual maturity means being aware and adaptable, whatever the circumstances. It’s easy to feel trapped in a cramped little dream, especially when you have to shelter in place. Realty may feel small right now, but you can imagine it big. You can imagine that your personal boundaries extend beyond the limits of time and space. You can imagine that you are energy itself. You can imagine reaching out in any direction…and touching truth. In the big picture, those experiences are real.
Try to imagine a state of being where your knowledge is irrelevant and where fear has no power. Your mind doesn’t have to understand; it only has to take you there. There, you see the dream of the planet from an infinite point of view. There, you’re safe. No matter what everyone says and does, you’re okay. There, you’re in paradise: in love with yourself and comfortable with the world. And, from there, you can turn your attention to the spectacle of humanity. You can sit back and enjoy the show, or participate in it. You have choices! Imagine that.
So, have fun and stay happy. Wherever you are now, you’re safe.
by Barbara Emrys