Two commonly heard phrases (or some variation) I have noticed on social media:
“Are you OK?”
“2020 can’t come to a close fast enough.”
So, I thought I’d ask: are you OK in this long presidential election pandemic year?
Can you say with Julian of Norwich “all will be well” and mean it?
I’m mostly OK, thank God, but I have moments of cloudy thinking, blue moods and yes, sometimes, a small crisis of faith. I’m grateful that no one in my circle of family and close friends has contracted Covid and glad we’re all working pretty much full time. But the collective grief over the number of people who have died from this virus not to mention those who had it and survived with long-term health issues — oh my. Some days it lays heavy on my heart.
I beg God for a way out of this pandemic and God keeps reminding me that we human beings do have a modicum of control and responsibility in all of this. So then I beg God to soften the hearts of those who refuse to wear masks or social distance. I want so badly for us to care for our neighbors by being cautious. Some days I see glimpses of light on that and other days I don’t.
And such is the life of many of our spiritual direction clients. Some are boldly embracing Julian’s “all will be well” mantra and others just can’t go there. It’s too fresh, too present and too soon for them.
Are you OK? Are you taking deep breathing breaks? Drinking adequate water? Getting some exercise, especially outdoors? Cooking amazing food instead of heading out to eat? And does your state of mind change from day to day?
I would say the big question for the last few months in spiritual direction is ” How are you, really? What is heavy on your heart? Where are you finding joy? Where do you find hope? How are you experiencing the holy in this time of “hermiting?” Are you noticing an invitation in the ups and the downs of the pandemic?
I hope you are OK and that you have a spiritual director you can “let it all out” to. While I’ve experienced the same ups and downs as many of my clients, when I am with them for that 50 minutes to an hour, I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to be of service as a spiritual companion. It is, in fact, where I do feel “all will be well.”
As for wanting 2020 to be over, I don’t ever want wish my life away. But I do pray that the barrage of bad news will ease. The year will be over soon enough, and we can only hope 2021 is a time of progressing toward greater peace.
Want to learn more about spiritual direction? I have a book Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance by Apocryphile Press that addresses many aspects of this practice. It’s available on Amazon.