The virus inside all of us

“When we cannot keep our minds peaceful, how can the world be peaceful? The world outside is a reflection of the human mind.” Sadhguru

We have been living with Covid-19 for some time now, and many people have asked how to best deal with the anxiety of living in uncertainty and destruction that the virus is causing in our daily lives. We have all seen initiatives from the governments and authorities trying to put a curb on Covid-19, a virus which we still know very little about. But the reality is, Covid-19 is not going away any time soon, or at least, it is not a question anyone has the answer to. Everyone is waiting for life to go back to “normal”, but what we may need to start thinking about is how to learn to live with Covid-19 and protect those who are vulnerable with a sense of conviction and responsibility. Perhaps even question whether what we thought was normal was a healthy way to live.

Covid-19 is bringing out many different layers or facets of humanity and society, as well as the deeply embedded “diseases” already hidden inside each one of us; diseases of power, greed and the need to control. They were part of “the normal” that we thought was just a way of life. The pandemic has left us with no choice but to now face them head on, confront the bubbles we have built which we thought were keeping us safe and in control. Perhaps the bigger question we need to ask is not so much about when the virus is going away, but how the way we deal with the pandemic is a reflection of our inner world.

I am deeply saddened by all the lives lost, not just in this pandemic, but through the damages that we, through our own diseases, are inflicting on the world, the people around us, as well as to ourselves. If the human race is indeed the most intelligent species on this planet earth, shouldn’t our job be to help ease suffering of the world and to make conscious choices of the way we respond to situations that are happening to us? When I saw images of how air pollution was at it’s all time low and how the life of wild animals was flourishing, I did not know if I should cry or smile at the impact of Covid-19.

Covid-19 is teaching us many lessons, lessons which we probably would not have contemplated on should this pandemic not have happened to us. We have all been forced to spend time in isolation, our economy is collapsing, yet the way we are dealing with it all is to rebel, complain and blame. We are creating so much chaos and noise around a situation that is already challenging. How is this a reflection of our own psyche? Can we simply take a step back and ask: “Am I helping/taking care of myself and others by thinking/acting this way?”, “What is this triggering in me which led to the way I think and behave?”

What Covid-19 has done is triggering the pain, fear or insecurity that already exists inside of us. It magnifies them and brings them all to the here and now. Our fear of isolation is bigger, our anxiety over the unknown intensified. There is no hiding away from it. What do you do when you experience physical pain? You tend to it with care and patience. Would you ignore the pain whilst looking for someone to blame? Maybe you would, but at least wait until you are all better before looking for a constructive plan of resolution or prevention. Viruses do not discriminate, but we have the ability to make choices that do not cause harm.

What better time than now to tend to our pain when it is right with us? What better time than now to spend time on our own to mend the relationship we have with ourselves? What better time than now to question, who am I without everything that I thought was important to me? What better time than now to change the way we respond to situations so that we give ourselves the love and care that we need?

As we sail through the storm, it is important to keep reminding ourselves that it is not the situation that makes us unhappy, it is the thought that makes us unhappy. Our thoughts cannot physically harm us, but acting on them can. Once we are able to tolerate the intolerable, we give space for transformation to take place.

When will this end? Defeating Covid-19 cannot guarantee there won’t be another global pandemic or disaster but by becoming aware of our own “diseases” will teach us how to keep them in check and shorten the suffering that we experience.

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