Chaos? You’re Good, but there is this
You might find yourself at this time considering any of the following:
– The “powers that be” have sent us home with a note from the doctor to just stay put. So, we assume to work from there if we can, the authorities may send a little cash while we are all tucked in and we sigh a breath of relief. Nobody’s power or water will be shut off. We’re thinking, “I’m good.”
– For the first time possibly ever, we are at home, for prolonged periods of time. We are spending our time in whatever way we can for sustenance, leisure, or pleasure. Going forward, if there are others with us, we start sinking into “social distancing” with the outside world and diving deeper with those in our proximity. Our public social outings are canceled, Facebook is not; so again, we conclude “Everything is fine. I’m good.”
– “But Steve, it is a cover, it is fake, it is not real!” Stop it. Whatever ‘facts’ or beliefs we might try on about the validity of this outbreak, it does not compensate for the very real changes that are taking place in our immediate reality. We can follow our YouTube and Reddit rabbit holes until the quarantine is over, but that serves no active part in reclaiming our power… yet.
– Perhaps we are at home, done with “work”, and now we’ve picked up some old hobbies. Our favorite guitar, or piano, or that crochet. No complaints here, so we shout gleefully, “I’m good!”
– “But Steve, I have NETFLIX, tons of toilet paper, a cooler full of beer, and I just want to relax and watch season two!” This is living (in moderation, hopefully!) and again we find ourselves quite comfortable. “It’s alllllll good.”
– At some point, we reconnect with our inner child, and we play. Playing is creative, and aside from games, there are no rules! And for the time being, games might be tough with social distancing. So fine, play with yourself. (Okay, I knew you would go there, fine, but, perhaps draw the blinds…) The point is, we can always figure out something to do, just as we could when we were kids. When perhaps, we were a touch more… alive? Ouch, sorry, that might sting, but it won’t leave a mark, so, you’re good!
– “But Steve, playing is for kids when you talk about playing like that it just sounds silly. I am an adult! I have responsibilities.” Nope, on both counts, and we will get back to the silly part shortly. We are always older now, we were always younger before, but we are the same person inside regardless of our age. There is no perfect, but there is also no other you or me. So, in that way, we were born our perfect Self. And those responsibilities we point to have just been drastically trimmed (assuming the quarantine is mandated, that is.) So, “we’re good” on a lot of those responsibilities. The oil change can wait, because we may not be driving much anyway. We may still have a full tank of gas in two or three weeks. Just imagine if everyone who did not have an essential job, and could work from home, was not contributing to air pollution? What other ways are we indirectly serving ourselves as a consequence of social distancing?
– Our responsibilities have now become ourselves; and yes, perhaps there is our partner, spouse, kids, pets, neighbors, and of course our friends, but that is different. They are them, you are you, and just like them, if we all have our basic needs met, we are all the happier. Think of it as the oxygen mask in the jet cabin scenario. This is exactly the underlying message the stewards are telling you about before takeoff. An adult that struggles too long to get the mask on the baby passes out and is unable to save themselves and the child is exactly the consequence we are trying to prevent. I know, extreme, but this illustration is not so far removed from the severity of our current reality.
So, without further ado:
Right now, the world is focused at the same time on the same thing that can touch all of us right now. This has never happened. Ever. Not even Normandy.
We are all people facing the same thing and at the same time. We are One in that way.
We are all wondering: what can “I” do to serve the whole?
We can use the imagination we once had before it was crippled by the structured world of social conditioning. While we are well-rounded, knowledgeable and curious, many of us lost our true Self: our so-called inner child, the one with imagination, the one that can do it, the one that never had a “bad hair day”, the one that did not even consider having to do so much for so little while saving for a mythical future that is attained in some narrated patriotic dream.
Sure, it is a good dream, but it became the only dream as they regulated our rights away and made us conform “or else.” Do or die. Do the thing, get the job, or else starve and die. High school, college, marriage, kids, 401k, retire. Eazy peazy for some, but for others who do not end up in a line of work they love and do that same series of steps often live a very (unnecessarily) stressful life. Now is the time to change. Most people over 40 are not seeing it pan out like they were told it would in high school or college. Not even close. Just ask any of the 40% of the population that makes under $20k a year. Almost half, think of that, and then look at what the system dangles in front of them like your trophy for success. A new car, even an inexpensive one, will set these folks back half their paycheck – they’ll assume debt JUST TO ARRIVE TO their jobs.
Speaking of the job we don’t love, the one we do because we need to earn a living, I wonder: can you still remember that what you wish you could do or has all the magic left you?
Perhaps consider that too as you pick up that book you were thinking of reading, or, what the hell, go outside, plant the garden if you can, clean out the car, and when you run out of those things get that imagination going instead of wondering how long this will last. About that book, perhaps try something that is some you want to read, and not something “work” related.
I say this because that is pretty much the case. In America anyway, word of martial law and sending money to every adult to get by, freezing certain payments like mortgages, it is incredible. It is as if the mandate is to go home, it’s cool, we got you, we got this, don’t worry, we will pick up right where we left off, just stop. Again, “we’re good.”
If you are someone, like myself, who is already at home (I work from home, cyberspace since 1998), then when the work you do from home is done, do the obvious things I mentioned before, perhaps give the dog a bath too, whatever, and then stop and think.
What do I want to do? Got nothing for that? Keep asking. You know you have interests, and even if you cannot go do that right now, you can start. This is not a motivational speech, but rather one that I hope is rising from within you as you consider what you might be able to do.
Whatever you come up with, do it, do it as much as you want. Make a picnic in the yard if you have one, and then do another thing you want to revive or get back into too. No matter what it is, find something that you love, that you have not had the time to do or always wanted to and do it. If you can’t look it up on the web, learn more about it, just allow yourself to be free like the kid you once were.
The setup is the same. In those days, you did not have (primary) responsibility for cash, everything was taken care of. The P’s were cool that you were home all day because the doctor said so. End of story.
Get used to it too, and when you do your job, if it is one that you might be able to continue doing from home so that you can play more, plan for that too. All of you counselors whose offices are closed and are scrambling to figure out how to do an online session by the book (I see you, I know, it is hard), remember what you learn now.
And if you are someone who is using online platforms, encourage your favorite counselor or instructor to do more online. Not to get away from people, and online is not for everybody, but if you get used to this, and perhaps do some of the things I proposed, you have the makings of a major shift in your life. Especially if you play hard and work effectively.
So, there you are now. You made it to this point. What do you think? Do you have an imagination? Have any creativity that is not “working for the man” related? Have a happy life? Are you free always like perhaps you maybe now?
Sure, the cash part is going to be tough, and I do not expect the world to change overnight, but if we plant these little seeds now we may emerge from this revitalized. There will be hardships, and some will die, we all will die one day, and even if we do get sick, odds are heavily in our favor to get basically a pretty miserable flu experience. Of course, those who do not have it even that easy relatively speaking, we need to think of them and know that it is not “why me” but rather “why not me?”
We do not get to choose these events regardless of if we are attached to media narrative or one of some conspiracy. Unless you first hand had something to do to cause this (note to generational/past Karma folks, there is that of course), then you are just a bystander sitting at home.
Know yourself. Find your fun, get creative. Reassess your life, your beliefs, your FACTS. Remember, the toughest addiction to break is being right, so consider that too. Don’t second guess yourself, observe yourself. Google discernment and get the bigger picture. Ask questions like: “was one month ago today just like every day I want to come hereafter?”
Then perhaps, make change your priority.
Remember that laughter is the best medicine.
Stay in the moment.
The moment is now. This is the shift. It is here. Stand in this moment as you and use this time to reevaluate your life and then start doing the things you want to do now. Even with your job.
An awakened person does not deny the reality unfolding before us. An awakened person does not get caught up in the drama. The awakened person sees possibilities and can easily view this as an opportunity for all of us. Awakened to what?
Wake up if you are not already, it is time to live. Be you in everything you do, and it for yourself.
If you don’t love it, leave it. Embrace this opportunity to rise and change. You can, because you’re good.
Note: Due to interest in online counseling, business is good, but I too made a change. I streamlined what I do to move quicker and cut the session cost by 40% because I know so much is up in the air right now. Let’s get that grounded. If you are seeing an addiction counselor and for whatever reason, that is not able to be right now, I can only do that work online in the State of Georgia. The system of each state has their own rules so they can collect that revenue of the application and testing process they create. Be that as it may, I worked in years in recovery prior to becoming a counselor, and recovery is what I am all about and state or national lines do not apply here. Nor do they with the other work. So, the work is diverse, but it is all about effecting real change. So, if your non-12 step meeting is called off and you want to talk about the path you are on in recovery or check in with someone because you feel you need to. Do it. I work from home already, and I work globally. So, whatever time as well.