I have a confession to make. I’ve started to enjoy my new Coronavirus lockdown circumstances. I’ve yearned for a simpler way of life for a while and now I’ve got it. There is nowhere to go and nobody to see. It doesn’t matter if I look like a crock of shit all day and don’t put make-up on. There is no scrabble for lost school books or PE kit in the morning and my husband looks healthier and happier on account of the fact that he is no longer commuting for three hours a day.
I’m loving life right now…
Then I think of all the people for whom this is nothing short of horrific – those who can’t be with their dying loved ones, single mums struggling to make ends meet while they remain cooped up with frustrated young kids, those who have lost their jobs and worry about paying the bills, NHS workers who are cracking under the strain….there are so many variations of suffering right now, it would take a year to list them all.
I feel guilty and told my spiritual mentor this during a call last night. She rightly pointed out that ‘You can’t feed another by starving yourself.’ My guilt doesn’t serve anyone. The best thing I can do is continue to radiate positive vibes and help others where possible.
I am so touched by the army of people who have volunteered to serve their communities in this crisis, but I am not one of them. My fear of passing the virus onto the three family members I share our house with is too strong and I also see that it would be another way to recreate the busyness that I’ve had to let go.
I worry that I am not doing enough to help, but as our vicar pointed out in one of his marvellous motivational e-mails, you don’t have to be a super hero to make a difference. Last night a neighbour thanked me for posting about a local restaurant that is delivering boxes of fruit, veg and essentials as apparently, these are now proving a lifeline for a few elderly residents. How lovely that I did something that helped others with so little effort. It really is about the small things right now, isn’t it?
My mentor Marion believes that life happens for us and not to us. She asked me to think about why this is happening to me right now. Why did I choose to reincarnate at this time? What are the gifts that this virus has for me?
Firstly, I am brimful with gratitude. Here I am in a comfortable home with my family. We have a garden filled with blossom and robins. I have enough work to keep the wolf from the door and occupy me, plus there is food in the kitchen and Netflix on my iPad.
I am also having to face my raging control freakery head on. Coronavirus is in the driving seat and I have no choice but to surrender and go with the flow. This has been long overdue.
The virus has also shown me that things I valued are worthless. I like the finer things in life, but right now, if I had a choice between a diamond ring and a bunch of bananas, I’d go for the latter. I’ve also realised that human contact is THE most important thing in life. All I want to do right now is have coffee with old friends, give my mum a kiss, see my sisters and go to a ballet class. May I never take any of those things for granted again.
The only place to go now is within and that is where the real treasure lies. It’s as if I have been forced to live on a permanent retreat with spare hours to meditate, ruminate and gaze out of the window. I paid £800 to live like this in the wilds of Wales last year and now I am getting to do it for free.
My life has always been frenetic. I have so many really important things to do doncha know, only it turns out that they weren’t important at all. Here I am doing not very much and the sky hasn’t fallen in. I created a pointlessly busy life and when this is over, I don’t want to go back to it. There are so many things about this new landscape that I want to take with me going forwards. The appreciation for small things, time spent round the table with my family eating good food, slowing down, surrendering, living in the moment, the joy of a friendly robin, the blitz spirit…
You see, the list of positives is as long as the list of suffering.
Thank-you Coronavirus. You’ve turned out to be my greatest teacher yet.