Breathing is Optional

Being still is hard.  Staying calm and attenuating anxiety is hard.  I am reminded today of what my closest (first time around) college friends and I would say when we were going through a particularly stressful time: Breathing is optional.

Of course, it’s not.  We have to keep breathing.

I am struggling with anger throughout this journey.  I started taking this seriously – and rightly so, as my circumstances with Kiran warrant more caution – days before others did.  I have been about 3-4 days ahead of recommendations passed down by the federal and local government.  I have watched so many people in my life go from making jokes and talking about how it was being blown out of proportion or a political agenda…to understanding that this is real and should be taken seriously.

But I still see others who aren’t fully getting it, and I struggle with being angry at them.

I don’t want to be angry.  What I want is to be a light and show love.  I want to be an encourager.  I don’t want to use fear as a tactic to get people to understand, but rather, I want to use love to point them to what we should be doing right now as a community.  What we NEED to be doing right now.

But I struggle with wanting to shake people.  I want to shout at them: DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO SEE YOUR CHILD INTUBATED?!!  I almost shared that several times on facebook this morning.  And it’s okay to share that.  I just want to start being really mindful how I choose to get my message across.

It’s hard.  Fear and anger are very real, very justified feelings right now.  For everyone, globally.  This isn’t about just Kiran or me or you.  This is about all of us.  We are facing something we have never faced before, and we are all scared and frustrated and grieving.

I have hope we will come together and learn from this.  I have hope that others are coming to a greater understanding about the importance of making accommodations for and caring for our vulnerable populations.  That we are realizing the importance of our healthcare workers, cleaning crews, and grocery store clerks.

We are all in this together, and how we approach all of this matters.

I am angry.  A lot.  I am working through it every day.

I am scared.  Every minute.  I have to dampen that so I can get through my day.

I am trying to choose love.  I am trying to learn.  I am trying to show grace, not just to everyone else…but to myself.

It’s a long road ahead – and we don’t know how long or winding this road may be – but we do journey together – creatively, virtually, from-a-distance.  Together.

Keep breathing.

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