As always, I really enjoyed the responses to yesterday's blog riffing on Michael Neill's concept of "expertise": his suggestion that we focus our time and attention to those things we want to be expert at, and so it makes good sense to focus our time and attention on what we want to be expert at, now. And ask ourselves if our focus on all the personal and psychological problems and grievances of the past is simply a habit that we'd really prefer to let go of.
But, as BROOKLYN_BORN comments, there are real problems in the present and we do want somebody to be an expert in resolving those problems. Does a focus on problems really mean that we're living in negativity? Are we just excusing ourselves from taking responsibility, complacently assuring ourselves that "God will provide" and forgetting, as BB reminds us, that "God has provided us"?
And then there was PHEBESS's blog yesterday, her current instalment of the Pandemic Diaries, running almost a year now: in which she writes so movingly of her own anxiety and stress as a kind of backdrop to her idyllic life on Augustine Island where she's been living for four months. Enjoying the birds and the seascape (and her photographs are marvellous), but always aware of the potential to get sick with COVID. And wondering about her usually placid, cheerful optimistic personality, her own default state of mind (so similar to my own . . . ) during this prolonged period of real and present danger.
I am so grateful for the scientists who have worked so hard to come up with effective vaccinations so quickly. For all those working to roll 'em out and get shots into arms. For all those still working in the front lines, making sure that the rest of us get groceries and other necessities of life. And in health care, tending to those who have got sick despite best efforts at masking and social distancing and sanitizing. And of course our hearts go out in profound sorrow to all those -- so many -- who have lost loved ones under such horrifying circumstances: so many who have died alone without a family member beside them to comfort them.
These are unprecedented times of stress and anxiety. REAL and collective and near-universal stress and anxiety. In the present moment stress and anxiety. Not stories we are telling ourselves about what happened in our personal past. Not stories we are telling ourselves about what might happen in our personal futures.
Whether or not one customarily uses the "God" word to describe the Source: from somewhere -- from actual people working very hard indeed -- has come the miraculous development of the vaccines. God/Source HAS provided. Many many people are fulfilling their roles, which are in many instances new and unprecedented roles: what supermarket worker ever expected to be in the front lines, monitoring and even taking on responsibility for enforcing COVID protocols, calling out those who aren't masked or socially distancing? So many acting in superhuman ways seemingly beyond human capacity. Acting out of incredible kindness, really: caritas, caring for the whole human race. One moment at a time.
And if God/Source has provided me too . . . what is my role in all of this? What is my part?
Well, still to hunker down. To sanitize, mask, social distance when I need to go out. To wait my turn, patiently. To practice the kindness which is DOVESEYES's most-desired area of expertise. Nothing heroic and noble. Nothing dramatic. Just: to stay out of the way.
And yes: if this life of ours is so precious that it's worth sustaining, worth celebrating? Well then, to see the joy. The joy which surprises and persists, despite all that. To celebrate that joy. In each present moment given to me. With calm contentment when I can. With kindness to others, when I can.
And with full recognition that any expertise I may have in frightening myself, stressing myself, pressuring myself, discouraging myself -- oh yes, plenty of that habitual old expertise also always instantly available to me -- will contribute absolutely nothing to resolve these present real problems whatsoever.
For me or for anyone else.