It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
I was catching up with a friend by phone the other day when she said to me: “I need you more than ever right now.”
“Same here!” I replied, without skipping a beat.
The truth is, we all need each other more than ever right now. We need each other in so many ways, both big and small. We need to rely on one another. Lean on one another. Trust one another. Be compassionate, understanding, and patient with one another. We need to basically focus on being there for one another the best we can.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about just how tied we are to one another. This historic moment is showing us how interconnected we are. It is showing us how we all have similar needs. And yet, as we live through this big, collective moment together, we are also going through it in very individual ways.
We each have our own fears and anxieties right now. We each have our own unknowns and uncertainties. I, myself, am trying to find a balance between staying informed with the news, while also turning away from it so I don’t turn into an anxious mess. I’ve tried to stay upbeat and calm for my kids and colleagues during the day, and then literally work out my anxieties as I walk the streets of my neighborhood in the afternoon.
I’ve also tried to focus my heart on all the incredible acts of kindness and people moving humanity forward. Witnessing these acts of people helping one another has helped me put the pieces of my heart back together amid all the pain and heartbreak. I’ve found myself humbled and blown away by all the individuals who are stepping up, stepping forward, getting creative, being kind, being generous, and reaching out to others. It reaffirms what I’ve always said and believed: there are so many more good people in this world than bad. There are so many more people trying to make the world better than there are trying to tear it down.
It’s downright breathtaking and inspiring to witness so much goodness in the world, after what feels like years of negativity, divisiveness, and misunderstanding. There are doctors, nurses, and health care workers leaving their families around the clock to protect the families of strangers. There are pharmacists, grocery store workers, delivery drivers, journalists, caregivers, and all sorts of other everyday people risking their lives for people they don’t know. Each of them is moving humanity forward by showing up for their fellow human beings. Even those who stay at home are helping their fellow human beings in a big way. That’s the truth.
And so here we are, all looking ahead to another week of uncertainty. Millions have already applied for unemployment. Millions of our fellow citizens face food insecurity, housing insecurity, and economic insecurity. We are in this together, and we will get through it together. But we also must pause to recognize that each of our experiences and ways through this will be different.
Your experience is very different from your neighbors and my own, but I think we’re all waking up each morning and simply trying to do the best we can.
Every day, I try to check in on a friend, a neighbor, or a family member. I try to listen. I try to be thoughtful with my responses and honest with my needs, which fluctuate day to day. And while I’m classified at my age as one of the “vulnerable ones,” I like to remind my kids that I’m also one of the experienced ones. One of the wise ones. I tell my kids that most people my age have been through some stuff and seen some stuff. We have lived through enough hard times to be able to reassure them that there will be light at the end of this tunnel.
Yes, things will be different and, yes, you will probably be different yourself. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing to realize that perhaps you’ve been living an over-scheduled life. It’s not a bad thing to realize that you were way more resourceful than you realized. It’s not a bad thing to realize that you could actually benefit from hanging out with your kids more often, and vice versa. It’s not a bad thing for young people to realize that older people have vulnerabilities and weaknesses, as well as gifts and strengths. It’s not a bad thing to realize how deeply we all need one another.
I need you now more than ever. It’s true for me, and I bet it’s the same for you. That’s a good thing for us all to realize. So this week when your mind tries to take you down a dark path, remind yourself that you have work to do. Life-saving work. I need you and you need me.
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Dear God, thank you for staying by my side during this time of uncertainty. May I count my blessings and give my love to others who need it right now. May we all remember that we’re in this together. Amen.
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