I just read an article written by Dina Marais where she addresses how to heal “the F-Virus of Fear.” Besides appreciating this term she uses to describe our reaction to COVID-19, the author confirmed what I’ve recently been feeling… that so many of us have been falling down the rabbit hole of fear that we are becoming paralyzed, afraid of things that do not need to be feared, unsure of ourselves, and untrusting of others.
I spend a lot of time in our park system. Whether walking the dogs or running, I find it super interesting to watch people I encounter along the way. While some are vibrant, friendly, and make sure to say hello or wave, many now shuffle straight ahead, eyes cast down, a serious look on their face. If this behavior was just exhibited by a few of the individuals I come across, no big deal. I mean, sometimes when I run, I zone out and am lost in my thoughts. So, I get it that people are going outside to have a break from home, escaping little kids, bored teens, or even irritable spouses. But now something's different. I sense fear in so many, and this causes great concern.
While this virus has no doubt rocked our world though illness, death, and financial hardship, in the long run, perhaps one of the biggest “costs” will be the damage it does to the emotional health of our society.
For the first time in many years, people are living day to day, unsure of what the future holds. When will we go back to work? When can we see our loved ones or visit those in nursing homes? When can we eat at restaurants? When will we be able to safely travel again? The list of uncertainties goes on and on. We think that local restrictions will begin to relax fourteen days after the spike is deemed to be over. However, there’s no guarantee that will be the case.
I believe we can all agree that this uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring, or the F-Virus, is impacting all of humanity. The isolation, inability to plan for the future, and fear of not having what we may need can be consuming, especially when there is no reassurance of an end date. So, what are we going to do about it?
Honestly, I think it lies with us and the choices we make. Do we want to merely exist through this experience, or do we want to live, perhaps even thrive, choosing love over fear? Are we going to trudge through our modified, “new normal” daily routine, or will we decide that while we cannot change our environment, we can opt how we are going to interact with it?
I spent the first three weeks of the pandemic in either pajamas or sweats, occasionally changing into jeans for dinner. I rarely wore make-up and never blew my hair dry (which is actually a great break for your skin and hair). But it was so much more than that… I merely existed. I cooked, cleaned, did laundry, went to the grocery store – grudgingly – and then repeated it. It was like Groundhog Day. And to be honest, I didn’t like who I was becoming. Let’s just say that I found myself regressing to some of my former patterns, when I allowed fear to rule.
But then I woke up one morning and realized that things were not going to magically change. The governor was not going to lift all restrictions, permitting life to return to what I knew as normal. So, I had two choices… I could continue my low energetic “existence,” or I could shift my vibration and make a conscious effort to start living my life again, choosing love over fear.
I guess you know what I chose. While I may still skip the make-up and blowing my hair dry part, I’ve started to wake up earlier, return to my meditation and yoga practices, and discover other clothes in my closet to wear. But it’s so much more than changing my physical actions… it’s the mental and emotional shifts that have helped the most. Instead of denying the fear I was feeling, I allowed myself to acknowledge it. Now I'm conscious of the negative impact it had, once it crept back into my life. And, I realized how it also impacted my relationship with those I care about – who no doubt, were also dealing with their own struggles of isolation and other effects of this virus.
Now that the end of severe restrictions is in sight (I am well aware that it will certainly not be “back to normal”), I am focusing on how I want to be moving forward. While we cannot control what happens over the next weeks, we do have the ability to choose how we respond to what will be. To help with this transition, here are some of the questions I’m beginning to ask:
How do I want to spend my time when restrictions are lifted?
Who do I want to be with when I am able to free to interact with others once again?
What pace do I want to function at? What schedule works best for me?
Is doing more better, or am I better doing less?
What have I learned about myself and those that I’ve spent the past weeks living with?
How can I continue to grow and raise my vibration?
What are the next steps to help realize my life purpose?
How can I better serve others?
How can I choose love over fear?
I’m guessing that I’m not the only one pondering these or similar issues. But this is a good thing, as it shows that we are realizing that we have the power to choose, adapt, and thrive, regardless of what lies ahead.
Don’t allow the F-virus to stunt your growth, pushing you backwards, questioning yourself and others. That is allowing uncertainty and fear to rule. Instead, embrace love as you become aware of what is and is not working in your life. Then decide how you want to live your life... and live it!