You may not have heard of everyday sacredness but now’s the time we must learn to embrace the present
Everyday sacredness is exactly as it sounds–finding the beauty in the present moment. It involves mindfulness and learning how to embrace the present moment.
As Covid-19 strips the modern structures from our lives, our moral compasses will be on full display as we choose with whom and how we spend our days, how we care for our families and children, how we treat others, and if we think only of our own well being.
Our hyper-individualism will be severely challenged by this pandemic and many of us will realize that we really don’t really need anything except food and shelter and the safety of our friends and families, community and country. But our anxiety is rampant and our fear of this unknown virus is almost insurmountable.
Faced with these existential questions of what truly matters in our lives and what does not, many people will panic at being alone with their thoughts, faced with years of neglecting their emotional (and spiritual) selves.
Because the coronavirus lockdown is not a weekend retreat or spa that allows us to escape modern life for an hour. It is a realistic threat changing life as we have known it for years.
In the recovery community as well as those of us with chronic illness, we are all too aware of sudden monumental change. We have dealt with our health stripped from us or the consequences of addictions. We have lost friends and family who fear the “new” us as we walked through these trials and created new ‘families’ from 12 step programs, health support groups, or friends who have struggled with the same issues. We have learned to understand what matters and what does not, what is harmful and who is toxic.
Slowly we have healed our trauma and pain and learned to capture the sacredness of the ordinary, its simplicity and beauty.
We have learned that searching for the next fix doesn’t heal us or our families, that “things” don’t save children, that some folks do destroy everything around them, and that most people shrink under the constant evaluation that we take of ourselves in 12 step programs or disease. It takes immense courage to be truthful with ourselves, to hold our fear and to look for hope in this moment. We have been forced to learn how to embrace the present moment.
So I have found myself, pondering my grandmother’s words, “Honey, we can’t change bad news but we can enjoy what we have right now.”
And in her Southern wisdom, she expressed the important concept of being in the present, to find the sacredness of the ordinary – a child’s laughter, a shared meal, a pup’s silliness, the warmth of the sun or trees whispering in the forest.
Although she had no great reserves of money, she had a wealth of experience and love for her children and grandchildren, her ability whip up food for an army and laugh at the antics of the wild birds that followed her. Her dying words were of love to my brother.
She taught me that we only have this moment. That this very moment, right now, counts enormously. That each and every choice matters and their consequences are vast.
Because of her and my mom and all the strong women in my life, I have learned that I can choose to sink in despair or to be grateful for my life and celebrate each day’s sacredness. I choose to celebrate.