I have so many thoughts whirling in my mind this week. But what I am most struck by is the opportunity we have as a country to come out of COVID19 better than we were, as individuals, businesses and as a government. I was reminded years ago by my astute sister-in-law, while I was going through a particularly hard time, that I needed to do some self-reflection about what I was going to learn from the incident which had sucker-punched my life. I was angry at first by her challenge, after all, I felt like the victim. What could I personally do? I then began a rich spiritual journey which allowed me to look inside and see what could use some improvement. I began asking myself things like how I was handling the trial, what might I do to better myself after this experience, and what good could I do for others. We face the same questions today.
We are at a crossroads today – an intersection of sorts – that is enabling us to decide some important things in our lives. Each of us has issues we are dealing with – overworking, overspending, overeating, overdrinking, and maybe even some deficits, like a lack of compassion for others and a lack of patience with ourselves and our friends and family. I have been listening to several YouTube and Facebook Live music events this week (the time is finally there to do such things) and a common thread runs through them all – when we are facing uncertainty, everything else becomes clear.
James Taylor, my favorite singer-songwriter on his webcast posed the question today that we need to look at what the economy is consuming. It could be it’s our time with loved ones, our environment, or our compassion for one another. Maybe we are just too busy making money and keeping all the balls up in the machine of life that we have forgotten what is being consumed. His question has challenged me.
When we are squeezed by trials like COVID-19, maybe we need to focus on what is coming out of us. My spiritual walk has shown me that what should come out of me is the face of God. I hope I can continue to be polished every day by Him as I walk through these difficult days so that others see his face and not the face of fear, anger, frustration or distrust. We have the opportunity to “reset” our lives. May the coming days provide the wisdom and introspection to make that happen so when we gather on the other side of this, we will rejoice in what we have learned and who we have become.
I leave you with this viral poem that a friend shared on Facebook which was written by Kitty O’Meara of Madison, Wisconsin, who people are calling the poet laureate of this pandemic (not from the Spanish pandemic as is sometimes quoted on social media):
And The People Stayed Home
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
Amelia Blades Steward is founder of Steward Writing and Communications, a public relations firm in Easton, MD. Her company focuses on copy writing, editing services, and communications plans for non-profit and for profit companies, small businesses, and local governments. She has written non-fiction articles for national, regional, and local publications for over 33 years. A lifelong storyteller, Steward published her first book in the spring of 2014, a memoir which she co-authored with Charles H. Thornton, entitled “Charles H. Thornton: A Life of Elegant Solutions.”