Over the period that I wrote blog posts on a regular basis (in 2019 - which seems like decades ago!), I had written several related to anxiety and fear (with my apologies for some overlap in those search results!). Those seem apt in the current climate of caution that is being exercised with the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting school closures, business shut downs, and travel restrictions.
As I have sat with my feelings on the current state of affairs, I was left with a need to put fingers to keyboard once again to consider my perspective - perhaps to ease my own mind and heart as I write.
March has been a challenging month for many years, for oh so many reasons, in my family. Many losses in March with the occasional sprinkling of joy. But this year, it was hard for me to discern whether my building sense of dis-ease was related to "March as usual" or something more.
Having taken the time to reflect, I can say that this is "something more" that sits heavily on my heart. I cannot shake the feeling that we are living through an historic global challenge with far reaching ramifications - the health and wellbeing of everyone and everything on the planet seems to be on the line. Climate change with its fires and floods; tyranny on our doorstep; a financial crisis that could mean the most vulnerable of us will experience the kinds of struggles we'd only read about in history books; and Covid-19 to challenge our capacity to care for the collective...and because we needed one more thing to manage. The Gods MUST be crazy!
And while humanity has faced other excruciatingly trying times in the past, we have never had the ease and speed of knowing (or seeming to know) what is happening everywhere in the world in such intimate detail in real time. Typically, we've had to wait for the history books to write of the trials and tribulations of people outside of our traveling range and only imagine (or wait for the Hollywood blockbuster to portray) what their experiences must have been like. But in the Information Age, we have the awesome privilege of knowing so much about so many in real time. It feels overwhelming.
And if I feel overwhelmed with this state of knowing, I can only imagine what our children must experience in the space of NOT-knowing, but still sensing what the adults in this world are holding. The sensitivity of children to the emotional realities around them cannot be underestimated and needs to be seen, heard, understood and cared for. It is my hope that those of you with children in your lives are able to hold space to listen to, validate, and empathize with their concerns whether as anxieties or fears and respond to their underlying needs for comfort and reassurance in a way that is courageous, wise and compassionate. They need to know that we, the grown ups, have "got this!"
With best wishes for health, hope and safer days ahead.