As the threats related to a pandemic, as well as other potential crises, begin to appear more immediate and personal to us, we tend to feel more afraid. Those of us accustomed to living a relatively privileged life can tend to feel ashamed that we’re afraid. This unfortunate combination of feelings makes it difficult to develop a good course of action.
We can feel ashamed of our fear because we know that every day, throughout the world, thousands of people are experiencing horrific suffering — suffering that we very much want to avoid. That’s understandable, to be sure. But to go deeper into worry, shame, or guilt makes our inner state worse, not better. So it’s not an effective strategy.
It’s helpful to rouse our awareness of the suffering of others to connect with our gratitude and courage. We often forget, as we engage in the speedy activities of daily life, that we belong to a larger world. Along with everyone else, we are mortal.
We’re deeply invested in our many plans for the future, but actually death can come at any moment. This sobering thought will keep us sane. In this way, we can maintain our courage whether in the face of a pandemic, the threat of terrorism, or challenges presented by climate change. Ironically, when we welcome the awareness of our mortality, it causes us to feel more genuine joy in our lives. Try it.
Rather than feeling guilty or ashamed of feeling fear about contracting a deadly virus, or being victimized by threats of terrorism or natural disasters, when we feel a sense of dread, we can shift our focus. We can take it as an opportunity to feel grateful for whatever good we have in our lives. No matter the circumstances, we have the power to choose to keep our hearts open, with courage and dignity.
We can choose this focus again and again.
Every one of us is going to die one day in any case, so there’s no need to drive ourselves crazy about it in the meantime.
In my experience, the best way to overcome fear is to recognize that fearful thinking is never your friend. Fearful fantasies will never help you make the right choices for your life.
You make the best decisions and have the greatest mental clarity when you’re vividly experiencing a sense of gratitude. Then you’re not ruled by fear. And when you’re not ruled by fear, then even when fear is present in your mind and emotions, your actions are naturally courageous.
Here’s a short video with suggestions about what to remember when you’re suffering (Feeling afraid is one of the main roots of our suffering).
Deep relaxation of your physical, mental, and emotional “bodies” will allow the spontaneous wisdom and healing power of your Being to powerfully move you to ever-increasing levels of wellness and awareness.
I am offering this free 1 hour healing program, Deep Relaxation, Spontaneous Healing, to help everyone establish inner calm and health in the challenging new environment of the coronavirus pandemic. Please listen and share with anyone who may benefit.
Please practice being kind to yourself. Good luck!