The good part of getting older is being able to reflect on different events and stages of your life and knowing that “this too shall pass”.
I took a walk on the green-way of our apartment complex, the area full of grass and trees designated for walking and exercising dogs. It’s where I go when I want to be with nature, to ground myself and sit under a large Ficus tree. It’s a place where I can be still in nature. During this time of isolation due to the coronavirus outbreak it was even quieter, without the sounds of the maintenance crew cutting grass and blowing leaves. As I approached my favorite tree, I heard a dialogue begin in my head by saying, “Your life will never be the same.” I had heard the same words last month but that’s another story.
I realized that we were all collectively going through a major change and I remembered at the last time I went through a massive change.
It was 11 years ago when my son was arrested for something he didn’t do. The world had gone mad. The police had targeted him and accused him of killing cats in our neighborhood, the media labeling him as the “South Florida Cat Killer”. It was a witch hunt and for the first time I realized that humanity had really not changed in hundreds of years. The masses believed the fabricated story and turned against him and our family. I didn’t feel safe in my own house and had to abandon it, fleeing to a family member's newly renovated apartment that was empty and seemed to be waiting for me. I was a mental wreck and had to take a few months off from work, living on very little money and in constant fear for my son’s life. The paranoia was strong, the PTSD was real, the stress landed me in the hospital twice and I felt as if I had died. Our whole family had been destroyed by this assault on our lives. Slowly, a new me emerged as we lived through experiences that made absolutely no sense. The court hearings were so absurd that they should have had a laugh track. Even our attorneys were baffled by the insanity of it all. One day, after 17 ½ months, it was over. Just like that. The forensics expert determined that the cats had been killed by predators (dogs) and my son was released from house arrest and exonerated - free. No newspaper headlines, no breaking news on TV – anti-climactic. It was over and the press conference that we had waited for so long so that my son could finally speak his truth was edited down to a few sound bites for the late-night news. Life was not the same after that. We re-created ourselves from the ashes of our old lives.
So, now we are all in this pandemic together. The media is on an endless loop about sickness, death, panic, doom and gloom. The governments have the world on lock-down. Borders are closed, planes are grounded, businesses are shut down. Fear is used to keep people paralyzed from thinking; fear of each other, of getting sick and dying, fear of being a carrier and spreading this deadly disease, fear of losing our jobs, our income, our homes, our loved ones, our way of life that gave us an identity. We have been stopped from living our normal lives. Everyone is in this together – spiraling down the dark rabbit hole of uncertainty.
But beyond the shadow is the light. There will be an end to this soon and there’s always something good about every situation if you look for it. The best thing for me is the quiet time. There’s no traffic, the sky is clear, and you can hear nature. The wildlife can live for the first time (in their lifetime) without the threat of humans. We can no longer shop or eat out or spend time socializing but there’s time to spend with your family and with ourselves….reflecting on our life.
This is a metamorphosis and we are all re-birthing. What are the things that you are now willing to leave behind from your old life? What have you been addicted to that no longer serves you? (electronics, material things, bad habits, bad relationships, ideas) Who do you choose to be now? How do you choose to live moving forward? What are your new priorities? Have you picked up a book, a new hobby, the phone to speak with those people that are dear to you? Texting is not enough. Use your voice because it carries a vibration that is felt by the others.
We will all look back at this and see how our lives have changed. Perhaps that should be the new norm. Change for the better.