Within our present set of unprecedented circumstances, it can sometimes feel like quite the uphill battle to not completely give in to an overwhelming sense of victimization and passivity. I mean, really, how much more Netflix watching can one be expected to endure? I’ve started to feel (and fear) that the most active part of my day is taking place within my sleeping/subconscious/dreaming hours—which seem to be growing in vibrancy and intensity, the longer this weirdness goes on!
One of the greatest teachings of the Recovery attitude towards reality is the idea that accepting powerlessness is not a defeating failure; paradoxically, there can be the beginning of agency in surrender. I’ve been forced to learn and re-learn during these times how to access a real and living sense of how to feel like a foot soldier rather than a hapless victim.
Perhaps not at all surprisingly, this sense of purpose comes from an expanded understanding of how to practice service. Who can I call and check on today? How can I encourage and support my roommate? In what ways can I take extra care of my dog? How can stay connected to my former routines through electronic means? Who can I reach out to today, who’s even more isolated than I feel myself to be? Yes, there is much that has been suddenly subtracted from existence as we knew it not that long ago, but there is also a great deal that remains within our grateful grasp. Sometimes, the minute by minute decision to continue with the work of connection and community can itself feel overwhelming but, in the end, the choice for coming together and soldiering on will always end up being more life-giving than remaining alone and isolated.
Thank God, this is where having an actual soul is more potent than any virus.