I think everyone has thrown a rock into a quiet pond or lake at some point in their life and seen the ripples that are formed from the violent disruption caused by the rock. At the time no one sees this as violent. It’s just a pebble thrown into a pond and it doesn’t hurt anyone. Hold that thought.
We are part of a lot of ponds or communities. We have our family community, our work community, our social network communities. Every single thing we say or email or post sends out the very same ripples to the people that are part of our communities touching them in ways we probably do not realize.
I think I am a strong person. I know I am a stubborn person. I know I am strong willed. I know I am great to have around in an emergency. But I am porous. I am like a sponge. Everything that washes across my surface moves through me, quite a bit getting stuck inside. How many sponges do you suppose are in your community ponds? I bet there are more than you realize and your words have an effect.
I’ve been feeling fairly positive, hopeful and determined in the face of our current situation. I’ve decided that I will not batten down the hatches and hide in my home. I will continue going out. I will social distance (okay, to be honest, I’ve done it all my life, so basically, I will continue to social distance). I will use antibacterial outside the house. I will wash hands inside the house and launder clothing worn in public places especially jackets and pants as soon as possible. (I do not have information on clothing and the virus, I just think it is something I want to do.)
I’ve made an effort to send out links to helpful sites to my friends on social media. I’ve made a point to find activities that are free, positive and distracting so that they can take their minds off of the news (much of which is worst case scenario) and their subsequent worries. Did you know you can virtually check out nearly 300,000 books from the New York Public Library? Did you know you can virtually tour the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam? I got lost on the second floor. If you see me, just give my cursor a nudge – ha ha. There is a lot available, and being made available daily – watching live streams at zoos, or in parks in other countries. Do a pre-visit virtually to a country you would like to visit next year!
What I am really trying to do is send out positive ripples. I don’t want anyone I know to be afraid. Okay, what I really want is for no one to feel as afraid as I do sometimes here alone, by myself, reading the headlines and things other people share. Their ripples are not positive, hopeful or caring. And as they wash over me, some of that negativity is getting stuck. Oh dear. Why can’t see what they are putting there? They think they are being helpful by informing, but informative sources do not have to be full of doom and gloom. Look a little further before posting.
I want to slap some of them and I apologize for that reaction. They are afraid and they are sharing it. People need to get their feelings out, but in a time as sensitive as this where we are all so affected, I think there should be some responsibility taken to be careful onto whom you are dumping all your emotion. In the grocery store this morning I was surrounded by FEAR! SERIOUS FEAR! People were as afraid of each other as they were determined not to miss out on a newly restocked organic chicken counter.
Me being the sponge that I am froze and took it all in. Then overwhelmed, I hurried away. It’s no fun being the sponge. Anyone you know who is empathic or empathetic (I see these as being two different things), deserves your care at this time. Once I got to my car and sat. I had a talk with myself. Do that, it can be fun, you never know where the conversation will go. I realized very quickly that the fear inside me all week, wasn’t even mine. I am positive about our situation. I am hopeful. I am determined to get through this caring for myself and those around me in the best way I can. I want this to be a blip in our lives.
I know it may not be, but I am going to approach my days, every day, as if it will. I am a sponge but I will recognize that sometimes what I feel is not my own emotion. It is the powerful vibrations of other people’s emotions. I felt as if a weight had been lifted there in the car when I came to that realization.
My grandfather lost his wife and two of his three small children to a flu epidemic in 1919. His third child was given to his sister to raise as hers, since at the time, it was not possible for a single man to raise a child alone. He lost his entire family. He started again, or I would not be here. Tomorrow is up for grabs and we can approach it any way we want, I just want my ripples to go out and make people feel comforted and positive. I want the same type of ripples back, to be honest. That is going to require that I remember not to take on other people’s fears and be compassionate towards those that can’t seem to get a grip at the moment. I’ve been in that moment and it is not a place in which anyone should choose to stay. Unfortunately, some people seem trapped there.
If you have friends or family who are trapped in the ripples of doom and gloom, try to help them find release from that place of fear and panic. They do not have to live in that state. You surely know something that in normal times would cheer them up, distract them. Take them for a walk outside. Do a jigsaw puzzle. Make them a cup of tea and hold their hand. If it is you, and you are stuck – you can get out of it. You can!
We’re in this together even if we are far apart.
On a side note, a friend who teaches meditation, offers a humming chant on his website that you can listen to and share with friends. You can add your own positive intention and do it at the same times 8 pm EST as he does or at a time convenient to you. #Raisethevibration while #flatteningthecurve. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO IT.