What I hope I catch from COVID-19

When I first started thinking about the concept for Love Big. Big Love., over a year ago, I had never heard of a Coronavirus. In January, when I was writing my first few blog posts to be launched later in March, COVID-19 was something that was happening elsewhere in the world. I really didn’t think it would ever impact me, especially in small town Mississippi. When I launched the first blog post for Love Big. Big Love. on March 11, the virus was on my radar, but still not real to me personally.


Obviously - things have changed.


My original goal for this platform was to be a resource for healing ourselves and our communities by sharing about the energy of love versus the energy of fear. And right now, well, fear abounds. We need the energy of love, more than ever.


Fear is a powerful force in our world, a force that we are steeped and cultured in. Among other things, fear can invade our immune system and make us more vulnerable to an illness like COVID-19. The Coronavirus is a wake up call. It is time to surrender to this physical quarantine and engage in a spiritual quarantine. It is time to slow down. A friend of mine related that her dear, wise friend said this time is "a real opportunity to take slowing down to a sacred level.”


I couldn’t agree more.


In slowing down we find the “still small voice,” the spiritual vortex, if you will, of love and peace. I find that love in the context of Christianity. You may find that love in another religious belief or spiritual practice.


Personally, I have learned that “busyness” steals love and peace from me, even when my busyness is intended as an act of love. Finding myself running on empty, because I thought doing MORE was the right thing to do is what prompted the creation of Love Big. Big Love. I hoped in creating social media shares, then the blog and the website, I would force myself to slow down and connect from within and maybe along the way, help others do the same. And I have slowed down a little - but not nearly enough. That is what COVID-19 is teaching me!


I think connection to love and peace within has diminished for many reasons. You may identify with one or more of the following. I know I do:


Busyness

Polarization

Addiction to being “right” (whatever that even means),

Fear of being “wrong”

Low self esteem

Anger

Victimization… the list could go on and on.


So here are a few thoughts on the energy of love I see rising up that I hope to CATCH and KEEP LONG AFTER the Coronavirus has met its match in a vaccine or a cure:


I see families: spending time together, eating meals together, being creative and crafty together, playing games – REAL games like spades and monopoly, not video games, putting together puzzles, reading books for themselves and to each other, and ACTUALLY writing letters to loved ones far away.


I see school district leaders: showing in demonstrative ways the love and compassion that really has been there all along for their teachers, staff and students, finding creative ways to get meals to children who might not eat if they don’t come to school and smiling really big, healing smiles, instead of sweating bullets over testing.


I see school teachers who previously seemed burned out: coming out from underneath the pressure of testing and finding wellsprings of creativity to deliver online options for learning, slowing down long enough to be able to show us all how much they love their students whose silly mugs they miss, asking people to pray for their students, and receiving well deserved validating comments on their FB feeds from parents who are really beginning to see and appreciate the strength, creativity and expertise that is needed to live out the profession of teaching.


I see gratitude ya’ll! And I see prayer, so much prayer and thanksgiving that has been missing in our society for a while. This prayer and appreciation is for all kinds of people: for our healthcare servants, for our small businesses who have had to close temporarily, for our community leaders, for our educators, for our restaurant industry, for our truck drivers, for our custodial workers, for the travel industry, for our grocery store workers, for our pharmacies and the list goes on.


I see folks connecting through music: standing on balconies in Italy singing at dusk, entertainers sending out a video chain of artists singing “He’s Got the Whole Word in His Hands” and high school choirs sharing digital performances on line when their Spring concert was canceled.


I see communities coming together in all kinds of ways to support each other: leaving boxes of supplies on the street for people to take what they need, purchasing gift cards online to support businesses who are shutting down in this crisis, one or two people at a time standing outside of nursing home windows with signs of love for their family members and other residents that they don’t even know, sharing hotspot locations for folks who need an internet connection that they can access from their car without a password and sewing masks for our healthcare workers for much needed protection.


I see evidence of nature healing as the footprint of humanity is lessened while we quarantine: dolphins, swans and fish returning to the canals of Venice, and air pollution rates from cars and factories dropping by 40% in some cities in China.


I see industry and nations working together to step up to help in this crisis: Louis Vuitton is paying for masks for medical workers and liquor companies are shifting to producing hand sanitizers. China sent its medical experts to Italy to help them battle the virus, and India sent a team of doctors to Iran.


I see these examples of love and more. So much more that I hope to continue to see in years to come.


All of this love happens when we are able to slow down enough to connect from within. When we do that, we remember what is truly important. We love big and see more big love all around. It is reinforcing, and I pray even ….. CONTAGIOUS!


May the big love inside of you spread!

Leslie

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