I recently saw a meme streaming through my facebook newsfeed that drew my attention. It said. . . “It kinda feels like the earth just sent us all to our rooms to think about what we’ve done.”
Oh how true this feels. Some may consider this demand of “self isolating” as over-reactive craziness or a type of punishment. But I see this as a gift.
Indeed it is a gift that requires unwrapping. The first thing we see is a bright bow on top. There will be no more sitting in boring classrooms or confining offices. Many of our required events are being canceled, freeing us to enjoy some personal time. Something many have not experienced in a very long time.
Of course, there are those who do not have the choice to self isolate, those who are on the front lines. The healthcare teams of doctors, nurses, first responders, aides, and caretakers. Those who are making sure we all have enough to eat and survive, farmers, grocers, truck drivers, mail carriers and, delivery personnel. As well as many others who are quietly working behind the scenes without any acknowledgement. These are the heroes who deserve our support and compassion.
The next phase settles in when we open the box and reality hits. Many are in fear of survival because they have been laid off, without any financial income or medical benefits. How will their families survive? Will their job still exist once this period of isolation draws to a close? How will they pay for the extra expense of child care for those who still need to work? So many questions, so many fears.
Fear too is a gift. It will be experienced much like unpeeling the layers of an onion. We will need to keep going deeper within until we finally “get it”. Until we finally realize our survival is not dependent upon outside forces. Our true survival lies in the realization of our GodSelf, which is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. I’m not referring to a god outside of ourselves, someone out in the heavens who will swoop down and save us. I am referring to our own self-realized GodSelf.
There was another meme that caught my attention. It said . . “Self Isolation, I have been training for this all of my life”.
For most of my life as a triple Aries extrovert, sitting quietly in my own company felt gruesome. There was so much mind chatter it only took a few moments before I became overwhelmed with it all. It was much easier to stay busy. But eventually, all that busyness took a toll on my body, mind and spirit. It was time to make some life changes.
That’s when I awoke to a new way of life. I began spending more time in nature, meditating, and doing the things that make my heart sing. I tossed out the tv, quit reading the newspapers, and focused on my own personal life. New circles of friends began to appear, others who were also interested in living a joyful life. Old friends disappeared once I no longer participated their in empty endeavors.
When I retired from my job as a physical therapist, I began to enjoy my own company to the degree that I spent less and less time out in the world of commerce. I moved to an island living in the forest. I began writing, composing music on my harp and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. After several years of “forest gazing” as a chosen profession, I now enjoy and savor my own company.
But it was not an easy journey. During that quietude, all my inner demons came to visit. Each one demanded my time until I made peace with it. Eventually, compassion and inner peace became my way of live. After self-isolating for this period of time, at first it was difficult to be around others, especially friends and family members who still expected me to be the way I was growing up. But eventually I became so comfortable with my self, I realized all those quirks that bothered me about other people were aspects of my own self judgement. Once I fell in love with ME, judgement of self and others melted away. I now have the ability to be outgoing when I am out and about, but those times have become less frequent.
I return to the meme. . . “Self Isolation, I have been training for this all of my life”.
I have deep compassion for those who are now being forced to experience self isolation amidst the present drama. Indeed, I have trained for this, and it was training! I chose this as my preferred lifestyle. Yes, it has been challenging, but my life is now one of joy, playfulness, wellbeing, and thriving rather than one of demand and empty busyness.
As a proficient and joyful “self isolator” I say to you. Hang in there. Take advantage of this time. Now that you have been relieved of the duties of life, find the things that make your heart sing and make that your new training ground.
Once everyone is set free once again, allow this Gift of Self Isolation and sovereignty to be integrated into a new way of being in the world. In the end, humanity and the world will be a much better place because of it.
~Sharon Lyn Shepard~
Gratitude for the artwork by Annelie Solis
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