The corona virus has quickly turned out to be so much more than “just” a health challenge. As if this wasn’t already enough, the measures and the consequences have led to so many different opinions and viewpoints, highlighting the complexity of modern life, the interdependence between people and even nations. We’ve been bombarded with numbers and “facts” which interestingly enough seemed to contradict each other, making it so difficult to know whom to trust and what to believe. This has led to confusion and fear in many people, everyone being triggered by something else, depending on whether they focused on the physical, the social, the political, the economical or the emotional consequences of this global crisis.
People seem to split in different groups, all with different lines of thought, all with some valid point, but mostly not compatible with each other. I felt torn between the different stances, finding truth and value in respecting and maintaining our own health and the health of others (whether the health is endangered by a virus or lack of economic means), but also in respecting and maintaining our freedom and level of autonomy and also keeping our social-emotional health intact and flourishing.
At some point, the heaviness of the entire situation, the measures and the societal atmosphere started to weigh on me. As my confusion grew, my fear increased and I started to feel more and more lonely, afraid to share my thoughts with anyone and to accidentally rub someone in the wrong way. The fact that the borders were closing again and I wasn’t able to see my loved ones anymore (and I have a great deal of friends and family abroad), made me feel even more isolated and frustrated.
After I cried for almost a week every day, feeling lonely, confused and desperate, I realized that these feelings were pointing me in an important direction: I was trying to approach this obviously emotional (and far too complex) issue with my rational mind. I was actively searching for “solutions”, which of course leads to frustration and desperation, as this is not a matter that is to be solved with our minds. Obviously, there are aspects of it that can be solved with our rational minds, but only if it rests on a solid foundation of our healthy intuition.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten about the gift.”
- Albert Einstein
The complexity of the current situation has demonstrated how little our rational mind is of use in these kinds of situations. The more I rationalized, the more frustrated I started to become. But as always, all our emotions want to convey an important message and in this case, my confusion and fear showed me to just stop for a while. Counterintuitive as it seems, but in the midst of confusion it is best to stop looking for a solution, stop rationalizing, stop judging and simply start listening. When I allowed myself a break and started sending more of my energy to my inside world and less to my outside world, I realized that what I was lacking was not a solution, I was lacking the solid foundation from which to come to a solution that felt good to me.
I was out of touch with my own intuition which is why I started to listen to the opinions and fears of other people, not knowing what I was really thinking of feeling. As soon as I realised what was going on, I reconnected with my intuition and found out that somewhere I had lost trust in myself, in other people and most of all, in the universe. This has helped me to take away my focus from the issue my fear is evolving around and instead to see what’s hidden underneath the fear and confusion. I realized that the real cause is not related to what’s happening in the outside world, but is a projection of my inside world. I saw that there’s a lot of internal confusion about who I am; where I start and where I end and what my goals and priorities are in this world. The more I reconnected with my intuition, the more I started to trust again. I noticed that this trust completely changed my world within a week or two. In the outside world nothing had changed, but my inside world was so much more calm and peaceful.
With my trust came the (corny, but oh so true) realization that everything happens for a reason. Suddenly, I was able to look at the world from a different perspective. My doomsday mood in which I feared for the social-emotional development of our world (social division, social isolation, the raising of children in such a “cold” society, etc.), changed into one of hope. I understood, once again, that it’s the order of life that the creation of something new is always preceded by some form of destruction. Every end is a new beginning. And chaos is a pretty reliable sign that the end is near…Maybe the chaos we are experiencing now is just what we need in order to build a better society which consists of healthier individuals. People oftentimes have to hit bottom before they can wake up and start the path to enlightenment. So, who am I to be worried about the changes and happenings in the society? Who am I to know what’s best for this society? Our society wasn’t particularly healthy before the crisis, so maintaining the status quo was probably also not the best option. The Hindus would look at it from this perspective: Vishnu’s work is done, Shiva is ruling right now and soon Brahma will present us with something even better.
This insight has helped me tremendously to relax more. Suddenly I could see how people might wake up to the fact that the majority of people are living a really unhealthy lifestyle and it’s about time to care for ourselves and our health. Furthermore, this could also mean that we start to value our social contacts more and we start to acknowledge our interdependence, not only on an interpersonal level, but even on a global level. Seeing how many people fell into poverty due to the lockdowns should make us realize that we’re not just citizens of a specific nation, we are all world citizens and we are all connected.
But in order to be able to really connect to each other, we all need to be strongly connected to ourselves. It is not our duty as humans to follow some strict moral principles, but to find the connection within ourselves and to learn how to act from there. We are all divine beings with only the best in mind for ourselves and for others, but we need to remove the blockages around our intuition in order to be able to recognize our own goodness. From this internal clarity will we find the power to make choices which are nourishing to ourselves and to others.
People oftentimes doubt that there’s a win-win solution in a situation with so many stakeholders, but in my opinion this is a result of thinking too much with our rational minds which is essentially very limited. As Carl Jung puts it, the conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg and we don’t even have an idea how much is hidden in the vast realm of our subconsciousness. Exploring this dark and unknown area within ourselves is what brings peace and clarity in our inner world. And since we are all interconnected this will automatically bring peace in the outer world as well on the long run. We are all energetic beings and people will really have to do their very best not to get affected by your positive vibes ;)
Once we’ve established a healthy connection to ourselves, the trust we have in our fellow humans will follow automatically. It’s impossible to really see and understand ourselves and still be deceived by the shadow of the people around us. Instead, we can use other people’s shadow in order to understand our own shadow even better. No matter how painful our projections can be, they are always an invitation to get more internal clarity and to deepen the bond within ourselves.
“Nothing external to you has any power over you.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is essentially where our true power lies: In the depth of our souls. There’s no need to fear that others will rule your life, as your essential power always lies in your thoughts and actions. Illness isn’t necessarily the end of our lives (and can even mark the beginning of a new life), as many cancer survivors have courageously shown the world. Not even the loss of our freedom will mean that our lives are worthless, as the famous psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl has documented in his book “Man’s search for meaning” and which is so beautifully reflected in this quote:
“The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you become the plaything to circumstances, renouncing freedom and dignity…”
- Viktor Frankl
So, what is your choice? Will you choose to trust and to learn from your fear, confusion and desperation? Or do you choose to get stuck in helplessness or resistance, to neglect the message of your subconsciousness and to continue blaming others for your lack of peace and clarity? My wish for the world is to take this extraordinary situation as a valuable lesson. The reason this situation elicits so many different emotions in people, is because everyone has a different lesson to learn and this all-encompassing global crisis is the perfect teacher for the entire humanity. We only need to open ourselves and allow the lesson to come through…