[I am reposting this with the addition of the reference to the current COVID-19 crisis. It was first posted one year ago – February 2019 – but the concepts are relevant to every time. I sincerely wish you and your family safety, health, comfort and ease in these uncertain times]
During times of turmoil or upset, when we feel lost, or what the Buddhist monk Pema Chodron calls “feeling the ‘groundlessness’ of life”, it can be helpful to keep a couple of things in mind:
First, remember that this experience is transitory – it will change; everything does. Recognizing that whatever is happening is temporary can help you to hold on, take a step back, and let the moments flow by.
No, this won’t take away the pain of uncertainty and vulnerability that often accompany us in difficult times, but it may allow us to have moments of observing the discomfort, rather than being carried away by it. Just remembering that “this too will pass” can bring relief.
A second way to handle a difficult moment is to allow your essential goodness to accompany you as a guide along the way.
Accepting, as part of our humanness, that we are in constant emotional and mental movement in and out: of tension/contentment, clarity/confusion, fear/trust… Being kind and gentle with your vulnerability… Holding yourself and others in the space of kindness, compassion and mercy…Recognizing that you have inherent goodness can awaken you to the joy of living in this moment.
This perspective, that we are not alone, that whatever is happening is a part of the shared experience of what it means to be human; along with recognizing that our sense of security is a dance in which we are always engaged, can help salve those moments of desperate insecurity.
This knowledge is in itself doubtless. It is one which we can grab a hold on to: You are not alone And, this moment, whether desperate or ecstatic, is passing.
We are all being human – perfectly imperfect in this amazing moment.
Try this exercise next time you are in a difficult moment:
Place your hand on the center of your chest. Just let your hand rest there… Feel the breathing – In/Out… Notice the sensations of your hand on your heart, your breathing… Just let your hand rest there a few moments… Then say to yourself: “Its okay. I’m okay”… “Its okay, I’m okay”… Then when you are ready, take your hand away from your chest… and ‘leap’ into the next present moment.
Take good care
Try this brief mindfulness exercise to help stay centered, and to practice being in the present moment. It will also often reduce stress, anxiety and tension.