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On the Contrary…

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This is a friendship lamp. My daughter recently gave one to her best friend for her 16th birthday. Whenever one of the girls wants to let the other know she is thinking about her, she reaches over and touches her lamp, which in turn lights up the other. 

How timely that these girls got the lamps - a clever and colorful means of connection - only days before the covid-19 crisis catapulted us into the throngs of social distancing. And how ironic that these lamps bring joy and comfort by means of touch, while touch - and any close contact - has become life-threatening outside of our homes.

It seems to me this global pandemic is a lesson in paradox. A new, microscopic germ has nearly shut down this big old world. To collectively save the masses, we must each, individually, do our part to contain its spread. For some, that means staying at home and doing next to nothing. For others, it means long hours risking their own lives to tend to the sick or to stock and deliver essentials like food and medicine. Either way, in order to gather again, we must first isolate. As we do this, we are connecting through technology like never before - with e-learning, remote work, online music and fitness classes, live stream worship services and more. A population long divided by politics, race, religion, borders and seas, we are joining together - to support each other and to fight against a common enemy.

Undoubtedly like yours, my emotions during this unprecedented time are just as conflicting. What’s more, they often change from day to day, hour to hour and minute to minute. Friends and family also have voiced disparate feelings about this new normal in which we are living: 

“It’s so hard.”

“I’m bored.”

“I’m anxious.”

“I’m not worried at all.”

“I’m struggling.”

“I’m embracing the moment.”

Certainly it is difficult to know how to feel when we are in unchartered waters and so many restrictions suddenly have been placed upon us. As Americans living in a country built on the concepts of freedom and free will, we are now being told what we can and can’t do and where we can and can’t go - all for the noble and necessary intention of saving lives. It’s enough to challenge the heartiest of humans. And then there’s the guilt: For complaining about our current circumstances, because “it could be worse.” For feeling like we aren’t doing enough, or wishing we had the opportunity to take a break and do less. For living while others are fighting for their life…or dying. For longing for arguably more dispensable things - morning coffee with friends, dinner out, a hair cut, a shopping trip, an afternoon at the ballpark, a vacation…

Let me emphasize something, because it is so very important: We are allowed to grieve our own personal losses in this pandemic, even if they may seem less significant than others’. We are not only dealing with a loss of lives but a loss of employment, a loss of freedom, a loss of safety and security, and a loss of innocence. In my humble opinion, these are all legitimate reasons to mourn. There is no right or wrong way to feel in a crisis. So in this time of restrictions, let me also humbly suggest some things that we ARE free to do:

We are allowed to hope - and to despair.

We are allowed to feel strong. We are allowed to feel weak.

We are allowed to feel capable. We are allowed to feel inept.

We are allowed to question as well as accept.  

We are allowed to be creative. We are allowed to stick to routine.

We are allowed to discuss our dreams and make known our nightmares.

We are allowed to feel angry. We are allowed to feel calm.

We are allowed to work and to rest.

We are allowed to focus. We are allowed to drown in distraction.

We are allowed to be curious. We are allowed to be uninterested.  

We are allowed to laugh and to cry.  

We are allowed to ask for help and to offer it.

We are allowed to be courageous. We are allowed to be afraid.

We are allowed to cherish our family time together. We are allowed to resent the disruptions and stress that sheltering together can create. 

We are allowed to miss people. We are allowed to not miss them and feel relief about putting some distance between us.

We are allowed to take care of ourselves as much as we take care of others. 

We are allowed to grieve. We are allowed to celebrate.

We are allowed to say, “No, that makes me uncomfortable.” We are allowed to say, “Yes, that makes me more comfortable.”

We are allowed to reminisce. We are allowed to look toward the future.

We are allowed to remember and to forget. 

We are allowed to raise our voices - or choose to be silent.

We are allowed to forgive ourselves for not knowing better. We are allowed to learn new information and behaviors so that we know better.

We are allowed to be productive or idle. 

We are allowed to have faith yet still worry.

We are allowed to crumble. We are allowed to rise again.

We are allowed to feel too much, too little, or nothing at all. 

We are allowed to feel and be all of this and more, because in this deeply troubling time, we are still, always and forever, deeply human.

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Curious about how MyEcon is benefitting its associates?

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We are in the Garden now

So the deal was Stay at Home until Easter for Twelve Hundred Bucks. That was the deal. Now it’s sounding like Stay at Home until May 1st. We looking at $2400 each now?


What was Twelve Hundred Bucks anyway? Beside being a small bag of already cracked and half chewed (not eaten) peanuts?


It was illuminating, is what it was.


Let’s take a minute to think about what ways of life we’ve observed being so quickly changed. And what ways of life maybe should not so quickly or even ever change back.


How bout gas prices get locked at a buck fifty forever. What the hell were they doing at 3 dollars anyway?


How bout there will ALWAYS be senior only shopping hours.


The idea of social distancing is not such a bad thing either as a Per Usual. Why should we rush back into a hapless reckless lifestyle that promotes the spread of disease, when we all know now how fragile our inter-personal eco-system is. Maybe it was on our minds before, but its right in our face now. We can’t unsee it.


Why should people be packing into subway cars like a sausage to make their morning commute?


Why should the highways be bumper to bumper for 2.5 hours every morning and evening?


Are these examples of human commuting behaviors not unlike those crazy feedlot farming practices that yield diseased and unhealthy meat?


And what for, all that ridiculous traffic and haggard commuting—because your boss NEEDS you there?


A ton of businesses found out awfully quickly how to keep their companies open and efficient with their employees working from home. Didn’t they? Like in record time. Are we supposed to unsee that too?


What’s so much more important about ending this effective and efficient Mass-Work from Home Program and rushing back to the normal ho-hum everyday degrading grind?


For who’s benefit? Really, honest question: For Who?


All quarantine joking aside—who hasn’t truly loved every minute of having no stupid reason to cleave from away from their family? To be with your kids and spouse. To have time to check in with all of your extended family. To have time to check in with your neighbors. To have time to think about your whole community and how every one around you is doing.


And to have time to realize who the really important members of our society are.


Why should we go back to not realizing how valuable our store clerks and stockroom people are, or our Nurses and medical support staff?


Well, I don’t have to go into every single point of this game changing eye opening event. I think I already made my point clear.


It WAS eye opening. So it is probably a hell of a lot more beneficial if we stop talking about “After this is over” within the context of suddenly dropping some of these good things we’ve collectively found…


…and start talking in a way that illustrates just how widely our eyes have been opened.


Just think about it. If you haven’t already. Let it well up in you. Then speak your mind about it.


Because this has happened before.


“If they eat of the fruit, they will become as we are”


Said one Angel to the the other Other, about the people in the Garden.


And said not out of love or compassion, but out of fear. That there was in fact potential for those people to ascend to a more sublime state of being, and thereby become less dependent on those so called angels.


Perhaps we’re in the Garden now.


And perhaps, also, we should be resistant of leaving it this time.

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“You’re captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live. … You are captives—and you have made a captive of the world itself. That’s what’s at stake, isn’t it?—your captivity and the captivity of the world.”

-Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit.-

Painting by: Lauritis Andersen Ring

BREAK FREE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS

lioninsunheart
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jbls
Only when I was laying on the ground in the depths of my own living hell was I able to finally see the truth, I never needed you. I picked myself up and I'm rebuilding the woman you see today. I have absolutely nothing to lose anymore, I have never been so free. This shift in confidence is transcending, it feels like a Devine intervention. A spiritual awakening unlike anything I have ever felt. This is where I was always meant to be. Climbing from the depths, to god only knows how high. I have no limits anymore, I was never supposed to. I am limitless because I chose to free myself of you finally.
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😍😍😍😍 Reposted from @barnsanctuary Watch the Saved by the Barn Trailer! Airing on @animalplanet April 11th at 10pm!
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#savedbythebarn #lovethis #howitshouldbe #newlife #freedom #rescued #happy #safe #respected #protected #loved #peaceful #adorable #sanctuary #animals #babies #empathy #compassion #conscience #farmanimals #someonenotsomething #animallovers 🌿💖🐓🐖🐄💖🌿
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Xd3S7pRsj/?igshid=6jjec4wfskx0

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