You woke up again this morning ready to wage war against this invisible enemy. Feel like you’re fighting a spiritual battle at this time? One thing’s for sure: You certainly can’t climb uphill by thinking downhill thoughts. You may have been assigned this mountain just to show others that it can be moved.
What’s that? You say you are dealing with unending boredom, or perhaps even facing sickness, death, piercing loneliness, or loss? Your uneasiness only escalates as you frantically search for daily updates? You’ve tried quieting your inner turmoil and tumult to no avail? You end up feeling like a shell of yourself, and quite sorrowful often? Sweet friends, we may be suffering from what I call: C.V. fatigue syndrome. With coronavirus front and center daily, how do we hold onto our hope for the future? I mean gas is finally affordable, and you can’t even go anywhere. Sheesh.
How to tell when this quarantine is really throwing you off? Your two-year-old just asked, “Can I have lunch?” And it’s 8:30 p.m. I mean, whoever started the Jumanji game in the beginning of 2020, can you please finish it already?
The stock market is still sinking, but the good news is that it’s closed and can’t hurt us till tomorrow, that is. Come to think of it, if those stock market experts were so expert, shouldn’t they be buying stock instead of selling advice? Hmmm.
But tragically, the number of those out of work, ill, or even dead keeps steadily rising. Of course we feel vulnerable and at the mercy of the world. Well, you know what they say: In a power outage, the first step is admitting you are powerless. Before “C.V. fatigue” set in, you felt healthy and reasonably sane. Now, you’re troubled and tormented with a never-ending case of the “What ifs.” What if I lose my job? What if they keep us on lockdown till there is a vaccine? What if that’s until the 12th of Never? How about this one: What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked G-d for yesterday?
We are obsessed with mental scorekeeping all day long. Tick-tock. The time is dragging ever so s-l-o-w-l-y. Truthfully, not every story has a “happily ever after ending.” Staying far away from family, not being able to hug or even sit next to your best friends can’t help but lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and even anxiety. And the maraschino cherry on top of it all: not being able to physically “go” to work has taken away our best coping mechanism: distracting ourselves by keeping busy.
Your kids are now attending Zoom University, too? Did you know that last month over 600,000 people downloaded Zoom in a single day? The company is now valued at nearly $30 billion. Yup, you heard me. That is more than most airlines. And by the way, not muting your mic is the new “Reply all.” And isn’t distance really depressing? My room is so far away from the fridge.
But seriously, do you feel like you’re in a spiritual slump? Please take time to calm your spirit. Contemplate and consider where you have been. Where are you right now, and where would you like to be someday? What are you must hungry for? If we’re being honest, most of us fear, fret, and fuss over the wrong things, and are simply not grateful enough for the right things. Yes, we’re so done with social distancing, but sometimes we need to lose small battles in order to win the war.
What is your spiritual focus on at this time? Perhaps you are strong enough to be a vessel for others’ fear or grief. After all, so many are grieving the very same thing now. You may not be able to grasp her hand, but you can still comfort her. Be creative, please. You can read poetry to him, if he is lying in a hospital bed. You have no idea how much compassion you spread by your mere presence. There is no playbook for this, sweet friends, other than you asking, “How can I help?” Ask yourself: “What is the next right thing to do?”
Redirect your fear. Be brave and choose an act of service that you can offer. You can still “love thy neighbor” without being near him. Yes, the future is profoundly uncertain. But we will muddle through together. And just remember: Laughter is a blessing. It was once noted: You can’t laugh and be afraid at the same time. So feel free to find your healthy escapism. But, by the way, how do you end phone calls nowadays? “Okay, gotta run.” “Oh, yeah? Where to?”
Know this: The quarantine will not last forever. The word itself comes from the 17th century Italian “quarantina” – meaning 40 days of isolation. Yes, we are all still marking the time. While we do, may I gently remind you: Always choose faith over fear. And by all means, live from a place of peace. I pray for a better tomorrow for all of us, sweet friends.
Please feel free to reach out – anytime at all. As always, I am right here.