Let the sun shine in.
For the first time in a while, the sun came out and the temperatures rose up to a level where walking outside seemed like a viable option. Early in the day, I made a plan to take a walk after lunch. The morning was fairly productive with my job. I actually did have a few tasks that needed to be accomplished, and since Wednesdays are our normal staff meeting day, I decided to hold a virtual staff meeting so that we all stay connected.
Overall, the technology finally smoothed out so that the staff meeting was good. We mostly caught up on personal things, which is the most important thing right now in my mind, but we did cover a few important subjects related to our office. I think we all felt good to just see each other in real time for a few minutes.
The walk outside was tremendously healing for me. The sun was out and the temperatures hovered in the low 60s, so I put on a jacket but was never uncomfortably cold. The feeling of sunlight on my face and the act of walking was such a relief after feeling cooped up in my apartment for so many days. There weren’t many people out, but I did see several people out walking dogs. Normally, my neighbors are not the friendliest of people, but on this walk everyone smiled and waved and said ‘hello’ (from a distance). I think we were all just happy to see an unfamiliar human face smiling in our direction.
I was surprised at the volume of traffic on Harlem Avenue (the busiest of the roads near my house). It was almost like a usual weekday and I found that odd, considering we are all supposed to be staying home as much as possible. Despite that, most of my walk was quiet and peaceful. I noticed in many yards the early spring flowers are finally popping up and I realized that in all of this madness, I missed celebrating the spring equinox. We are officially out of winter and into spring!
The most significant thing about the walk in the sun, however, was where my wandering mind finally went. I had a kind of gentle epiphany as I was slowly strolling in the sunlight and noticing the early spring flowers.
Most people who have known me for any length of time will know that I am deeply spiritual. I have no interest in organized religion in any fashion, but I have a powerful and personal connection to whatever higher powers are guiding the universe. I will often call it Universe or Higher Power. As I have said to friends, call is whatever you want – God, Goddess, Allah, Buddha, Christ, Great Spirit, Great Pumpkin. It doesn’t really matter to me. I believe it’s all the same energy and I also believe that we can and do have direct access to communicate with that higher power. For me it is an intensely personal connection.
I have some core fundamental truths that guide my spiritual expression. First, I believe that the Universe is kind. Second, I believe that everything happens for a purpose and part of our journey is to recognize that purpose.
For so many years, I have sublimated my spirituality – largely due to the horrible betrayals surrounding my divorce in 2003 and all of the supposedly “spiritually enlightened” people who turned their backs on me and decided that they would take sides in the divorce and chose to side with my ex. I won’t go into all of that, but it left me with deep spiritual wounds that have been slow to heal even 17 years later. So I have shoved my spirituality into the back closet of my life, so to speak, and let it just be there without taking it out, brushing it off, and actually working with it actively.
I think that’s finally changing now.
In no way do I want to minimize anyone’s experience of this current crisis – we all have our own particular journey. For me, however, my gentle epiphany of yesterday was all about what this crisis is here to teach me. I believe that the Universe is kind, so even in pain there will ultimately be healing and positive change. I believe this situation is here to teach everyone something, but each person has to find their own way. I can only speak to my own journey. So I am now digging deeper into myself and asking some difficult questions.
- What is this supposed to be teaching me?
- How will I be different when we are on the other side of this?
- How can I use this energy to become a better person?
- Where should I be focusing my energies now?
And then I am also diving deeper into some of the more existential questions.
- Who am I?
- What is my true calling in the world?
- How can I make the world a better place?
I don’t have answers to any of these things yet – that is an evolutionary journey of discovery. What I do know is that I had some kind of gentle, deep, primal awakening yesterday and I don’t think I will be able to shut the door on my spirituality again – nor do I want to now. It is vital for me that I speak from my heart and express my truth more clearly now – no matter how others might perceive it.
So the sun coming out yesterday was both literal and metaphorical for me. I am not sure where this will lead me, but it’s taking a fascinating and unexpected turn for me now.