Sweat it out

I’m not sure how we suddenly got here—how the beginning of the New Year suddenly catapulted into May. How the pandemic has left us sheltering-in-place for weeks. How so many people are alone. Or unemployed. Or sick or dying and can’t have loved ones with them.

When I feel overwhelmed, or when I need clarity, I run. I count my blessings with each mile; I work through the emotions of the being stuck at home; I pray for others. I sweat it out. 

I like my normal routine. I like my morning runs, I like the quiet in my office, I like the shared times with my loves. That routine has been interrupted. Unexpected interruption makes us feel off-balance, lonely and helpless. So, I run. 

And while I run, I think: How can I use this time in quarantine and my talents to make a difference in the world? How can I show up in a new way, to help people? How can I do small things that change hearts in big ways?  I’m not sure what the answers are, but I think the prize will be in the process.

The gift will happen during all the miles leading me there.

I don’t know where we’re headed, or exactly what to do, but I do have some good conversations with my soul. I sit quietly, or I listen to the birds as I run through the trails, contemplating the sparks God shines inside me. The root to finding any answer is in the quiet, the “be still” moments of our lives – or at least it is for me.

Sue Monk Kidd said it best, “I realize that the heart of religion was setting up an honest dialogue with uniqueness of one’s soul and finding a deeply personal relationship with God, the inner Voice, the inner Music that plays in you as it does in no one else.” It’s in the journey, your journey alone. Your interruption of the process—the prize.

It plays differently in each of us. Even children. I listen to my grandchildren talk about “the virus” and how they’re not able to go to school, or see their friends or grandparents, or have traditional birthday parties. But they’re still happy. They still laugh and laughter is proof of hope. They’re creative. They find the joy in life—no matter what. They know they are loved. They trust it’ll be okay. We tell them it will. Children can remind us of who we are, or who we want to be.

We can find new creative ways to show up at church, to “zoom” our friends and teachers, we can help teach the value of connection but in different ways. Love and connection matter. Creating a connective life begins with us deciding to make changes day by day. Let’s walk through this pandemic together in new and creative ways. Let’s flex some new muscles. Let’s make time for the people that may need just a phone call or drop off a gift at their front door or a drive by parade with signs, balloons and music. Show up as your true self. Even in the hard. Because we can do hard things.  

We will get through this pandemic. But, it is a reminder of our inextricable connection. It’s all we have. Through our relationships we can channel love. Our true nature is love. And there is nothing more powerful than love. Everything that matters will last. Our love for each other, our connection to each other. The way we love and serve each other – none of this is in jeopardy, even in this weird quarantine world. This is giving me hope. How about you?

So, even though things are moody and messy these days; get outside, enjoy the fresh air. Go for a run, a walk or a hike through the woods. Sweat out your fear. Sweat out your worry. Ponder the simplicity of love and connection, even on the strangest of journeys.

I can’t wait to spend time with you! I love you!

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