Is there a silver lining to the whole pandemic thing? That question is moderately disturbing to me. Too much death. Too much fear. Too much isolation. Too much controversy. Too much politics. Too much grotesque selfishness.
Silver lining? Right.
But I have noticed some things that I find quite remarkable in the middle of the terror and tragedy. Two things that are directly related to the idea of destiny.
The first observation is not unique to me. Everybody rightfully has been pointing out those people among us who are right now living out their destinies. Our heroes in PPE. The healthcare workers of America. We now know their why to live for, don’t we? They get up every day to save lives and heal the broken place of pain. And they do this with a determination that takes our breath away. They literally throw themselves into the breach on behalf of others. And they do so gladly at unbelievable personal cost. Most every time I see an interview of a doc or nurse or aide in which they are in tears or visibly exhausted or furious with indignation I too tear up. Not because it is sad but because they are dangerously courageous. Certainly brave, not safe. I am always moved by a person living with intentionality, with a calling, with their eyes set to a future destiny.
This viral crisis has raised up in full view, through their examples, what it means to live with an unshakable summons on your life. I want some of that.
Second observation. This comes from the other side of the equation. I’ve noticed how many people are trying to figure themselves out. Wondering just who they are and why they are here. Maybe this is because our necessary reaction to the pandemic has taken away so many of our props. It has turned life upside down. Forced us inside our homes and deep into our minds. Crisis always elicits questions about calling and purpose.
Today I read an article online from The Guardian. The author Bidisha said,. “These strange months have made everyone realize that this isn’t a rehearsal. Now we face difficult decisions about what to do next. Coronavirus hasn’t brought out anything that wasn’t already there. Instead it has accelerated and clarified what was going to come up anyway, and the usual white noise of daily life isn’t there to blot it out. All but the very young are looking back on hopes foregone and choices made as lockdown keeps us in place and imposes a deep perspective on things. You ask yourself if you really want to stay here, just like this, for the rest of your life. You realize this isn’t a rehearsal and you’re living with the sum total of your choices to date. The big life change you were fantasizing about becomes a possible reality, just because you had time to stop and think.”
That question is provocative. “ Do I really want to stay here, just like this, for the rest of my life?” This is the question nearly all of us ask ourselves at numerous points along our journeys. Throw in a global pandemic and you are forced into a straight up mid-life crisis.
I hope that isn’t true for you, but I suspect that some version of this angst may well be dogging you right now. The author Donna Markova understands your concerns. I’d recommend her book to you because it contains gems like this poem.
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
Dawna Markova, from I will not die an unlived life.
Perhaps from this terrible time in history can come more accessible hearts lived with courage and direction and meaning. Do not hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you take wing!