So, yesterday I had an interesting experience. I went to the grocery store for a few items. I consciously chose not to go to any of the busier stores. This was not necessarily because I was afraid of catching the virus, but because I didn’t want to be in that chaotic fearful grabby energy. Because our energies can be just as contagious as any virus.
I chose to go to a local whole foods type store called Sprouts. I had been there before in the past month and noticed the calm energy and the full shelves. When I arrived, I was glad to see they were wiping down the handles of the carts and people were maintaining social distance to the best of their ability. But I was surprised to notice something else. No one was smiling! And hardly anyone was talking. And this is not typical for that store.
I finished my shopping and went on to a gas station. And I encountered a completely different situation. I went inside because I needed to buy motor oil. There were two clerks and they were both smiling and happy. I was greeted warmly. I felt my mood and my energy elevate immediately.
When I walked back outside I noticed one of the customers at a pump, whistling. This also brought a smile to my face. And then I noticed another customer, a woman, going into the store with a huge smile on her face, as if she had just had a really wonderful interaction.
What a remarkable difference!
We have the power to impact so many people simply by being in a place of positivity and joy. Of course we also impact many people when we are sad and angry and scared.
Am I saying that we should never allow ourselves to feel sad or scared or angry? Of course not. These are very normal feelings and absolutely appropriate. We have never been in a situation like this in our lifetime. It can be quite scary. There is going to be a learning curve.
Am I saying we should not feel great compassion for all that is going on in the world? Of course not. We need love and compassion more than ever before. We need to beam out those energies to everyone we encounter and let them emanate to the whole world. We need to do whatever we safely, reasonably, and consciously can do to help humanity at this time, including staying home and praying.
And, I do think we have a choice about whether to sink into the soup of sadness and the maelstrom of fear, or to let these emotions pass through us. We always have a choice about what we feed. Do we feed the sadness and the fear? Or do we nourish the beauty and our gratitude?
Feeling sad and anxious because others are suffering does absolutely nothing to alleviate the suffering. It does not lift them up, it does not lift us up, and it does not lift up the world.
I remember in high school when a friend, Frank, confessed to me that he was actually often depressed. “But,” he told me, “When I see you walking down the hall with a big smile on your face, I feel so much better!”
Frank may have been the first to tell me this, but he certainly wasn’t the last.
Two worlds co-exist right now. We are in the midst of a world of fear and sorrow, and we are in the midst of a world of powerful transformation.
Which world do we feed?