Day 42 of Covid-19 Lockdown – Attempting to stay centered

I won’t lie, the last week or so have been tough. Watching the U.S. explode with confirmed cases, listening to the US “President” spew incorrect information, and having to endure naysayers that insist on “enlightening” me with their “research” on the pandemic has been exhausting to the point that I feel like I have been punched in the gut. Staying centered has been difficult at the best of times and lost the rest of the time.

For the most part, I have tried to keep a schedule – I wake up, have coffee, meditate, read, try to do yoga, try to study, try to not let worry and fear consume me. The last 10 days or so, it’s been near impossible. To clarify, I personally feel safe and I do not fear the situation here. But I feel the fear for my family and friends, and for the world in general. I worry that nothing will be learned and what we had come to know as “normal” will return. I am not going to elaborate because I don’t want this post to sound like preaching (if it doesn’t already sound that way).

Some days during meditation I burst out into tears. The weight of the uncertainty is heavy. For my own situation, sure. But more so for the uncertainty for my family and friends. It seems like for every 5 examples of kindness in the world, one act of greed undoes the efforts of the selfless. I am really trying to focus on what I can control, and that is how I choose to react to all of this.

I have to say, being in Italy has actually been a blessing. Specifically, being in this wee village. Everyone is kind, smiling, offers each other help where they can help. My neighbour and I haven’t met yet, but we have been passing notes and now sending each other text messages. I sent her a website to make Easter chicks from egg cartons (and I left her some egg cartons), and she left me an Easter traditional sweet bread and one of the egg carton chickies her daughter made, with a “Happy Easter” sign in English. 

Italy in general is a bit behind technologically, and the people are really family-oriented. So, in one way they have hardly been affected, in another way they have been crushed. My Italian mom is 76 years old and typically sees her grandchildren daily. She has been home alone now for 42 days without holding her grandchildren, without seeing her son, without visiting her sisters. I hear the distress in her messages and it pains me. But she isn’t resentful; she knows this lockdown if the best for all of us. Still, when it comes to personal relationships, it has been very hard.

Despite the feelings of hopelessness, I find solace in being present. There is only the now and whatever will come, will come whether I worry about it or not. Planning is equally useless. There is a power of letting go and centering in the now. When I consider what has me spinning, it is exactly the opposite of “now.” So why do I waste my energy considering outcomes of anything over which I have no control? 

However, I also realise that I have time to not consider tomorrow because I have just enough money to last until the end of July. Many don’t have money to pay the bills today. Still, you can do what you need to do and then let it go. Worrying about if something is going to happen doesn’t serve you. You need that energy.

For anyone reading this, I send you love and healing energy. I know what you might be feeling – all of our grief looks different. So stay strong, lean on your virtual community, learn the lesson (whatever that lesson is – I think it will vary for each of us), breathe, and don’t miss the opportunity to see the beauty that is around you. 

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