By Bridget Laflin
Director of Religious Education
Will you breathe with me? Take a deep breath in slowly. Exhale slowly. Repeat as many times as necessary to feel a bit of calm.
Let’s just take a minute and remember that we love each other. At the very least, remember that I love all of you.
This pandemic is causing a lot of fear. And when we are afraid, we hold onto whatever we think will keep us safe. We have difficulty thinking clearly. It is so easy to create an us vs. them and forget that we are all interconnected and dependent on one another.
The truth is that there simply isn’t enough information about this virus. Statistics are unclear due to inconsistent testing, reporting, etc. Long-term effects are unknown. There is no vaccine yet, and speculations abound as to when or if it can be developed; much less the effectiveness of this potential vaccine when/if it is developed. It may be years before we have those kinds of answers.
What we do have right now is each other.
Isolation, financial difficulties, and lack of physical contact can all cause or contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
And depression and hopelessness can be as deadly as any virus.
Let’s think about how we can support each other rather than focus on the illusion of separateness. Remember we are ALL interconnected.
That might mean working on our humility; admitting that we might be wrong and that we don’t have all of the information. It might mean digging deep to find grace and compassion. It might mean putting in time and effort to search for the deeper fears and motivations for our own actions. It might mean looking for what is underneath other people’s anger and addressing that rather than reacting to the anger itself.
This is an incredibly trying and difficult time, my friends. And I believe that loving-kindness and compassion can get us through this together.
It is not in any way simple or easy, but I believe in us.
I love you. You are not alone.
Justice and Peace,