Three Opportunities and Blessings of Coronavirus AdversityMiguel Dean
We live in a world of duality and just as there are two sides to every coin we have the opportunity to view the impact of coronavirus through a positive or negative lens. Both are valid but while it is important not to spiritually bypass and be in denial about the suffering and fear that is now present, I know which lens I choose to look through, with the help of the guidance of my emotional well-being, which gives me feedback in support of my choice.
Perhaps I should mention that my heart goes out to the millions of people who are currently living in extreme fear, those that are suffering physical and emotional pain either directly or indirectly as a result of the pandemic. Particularly to those whose living conditions, means that washing hands, self isolating and social distancing are a luxury that they are not able to practice. A prayer and blessing goes out to the homeless, to those in refugee camps and slums, to those with anxiety and mental health conditions, to those locked down in houses with violent or abusive partners, to the adults and children who are sensitive and absorb the collective fear that is, for many, all pervading right now.
So while I choose not to be in denial of the reality of what is happening, I also know that I have a choice about how I perceive what is happening and that this will determine my experience. My practise is to always find the gift as quickly as possible from any situation and any gift is always more valuable and beautiful when it is shared and so here are just three of the many gifts I am currently aware of.
1 An opportunity to deepen our empathy, compassion and remember our interconnectedness
Our modern western culture promotes separation and disconnection. We are encouraged to be busy, to be wary of strangers, to live in our heads and to not feel too much. We have geographical borders, religions, class, sexual orientations and even a vast gulf of separation has sadly evolved between genders.
As within, then so without and this external separation mirrors the fragmentation and separation within our own psyches and the separation that has arisen between our head based thinking and our body focused feeling. Coronavirus is an opportunity for us to remember how connected we all really are and to deepen our empathy and compassion for humanity and for all the millions of people who are at risk and fearful right now. When we connect with our feelings, with our hearts and practise empathy and compassion we are reconnecting with our oneness, which the virus is reminding us of in so many ways. And a beautiful by-product of this choice to empathise, is that biologically our immune system becomes much more robust as opposed to how impaired it is when we are in fear.
2 An opportunity to surrender to uncertainty and deepen our trust and faith
The world lock down has meant that the massive machinery of the economic system has to a large extent ground to a halt. It feels like we are in limbo. We don’t know what comes next. We are uncertain of the future and how our personal lives and the collective evolutionary trajectory of humanity may be impacted by current events. This is hugely uncomfortable for those who live solely from ego because the ego loves to have everything planned and mapped out. The ego feels super vulnerable when it doesn’t know what is coming next and the truth is we don’t. But for those us of who have been choosing to live from our higher selves and practise surrendering to the natural flow of life and letting go of control, coronavirus has gifted us with an excellent opportunity to take the advanced exam in trust, faith and surrender .
I endeavour not to view life through the lens of duality, through right and wrong, good and bad but instead that everything just is. And so for me coronavirus also just is. It brings challenges and opportunities and both are equally valuable. I believe that either all of life is sacred or none of it is. My grounded spirituality means that I embrace everything that comes my way knowing that the goal of a fully lived life is to experience the full spectrum of what it is to be human rather than to attempt to have a comfortable life and be happy all the time. Paradoxically when we let go of our need to be in control and to be happy all the time, we relax and can flow more gracefully and peacefully down the river of surrender in our little boats made of trust and faith. This opportunity to live from a deepened trust and faith and that all is divinely orchestrated, is another blessing of coronavirus.
- An opportunity to go within, to rest and be still.
Have you seen the meme that is circulating that says ‘It feels like mother nature has sent us all to our rooms to have a good long think about what we have done!’ I really resonate with this. I don’t concern myself with all the conspiracy theories circulating at the moment. It doesn’t matter too much how or where coronavirus originated from but I see that on some level it is because we are not living in alignment with the natural laws of the universe; as a species we have gotten lost, strayed from the path and forgotten that in essence we are the embodiment of love. We have forgotten that we are divine beings, a blend of spirit and flesh who have incarnated here to transcend duality and experience love, joy and oneness on this miraculous garden planet that is our home.
With lock down most of us have a little more time on our hands, so it is an opportunity to get off the perpetual treadmill of busy-ness, that to varying degrees we have all become addicted to. This will bring its challenges, which we can label gifts if we choose. Being busy means that we don’t have to spend too much time with ourselves, we don’t get to feel the discomfort that is part of being human and we don’t get to ponder the important questions like: What is the meaning of my life? How am I spending my precious time? Who am I? How do I feel about death?
Our patriarchal world has been obsessed with the masculine energy of doing, of action of a focus on the external world while we have neglected the feminine energy of being, stillness and our inner landscape. It’s interesting that coronavirus has created the perfect conditions for this balance to be redressed.
As I look up again from my desk I hear the noise of a lawn mower in the distance and the neighbours have decided that now is a good time for tidying up their garden shed as it’s contents lay strewn around their lawn. Many will resist the invitation to rest and go within, since they are so unaccustomed to this modus operandi but those of us who have a deeper understanding of the natural laws of balance will gratefully accept the invitation for stillness, introspection and rest.
There is no doubt that we are experiencing something unique and quite extraordinary which will undoubtedly mean that the world as we know it will never be quite the same again. But the good news is that though we don’t really know what comes after lock down, we can choose how we go through this period. We can drop deeper into surrender, connect with our humanity and develop our relationships with ourselves and in so doing we can heed the clues that life is giving us and make this a time of adversity also a time of blessing, opportunity and growth.