Finding the Silver Lining in COVID


Every so often a black swan event like the coronavirus appears out of nowhere that tests our faith in humanity. There is no doubt that the pandemic has shaken this country to its very core. People are losing their jobs, getting sick and dying. And as things get worse, there is also the fear of the unknown.  As painful as these rare events are, they provide us with unique opportunities for personal growth.

“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems,
holds within it a blessing of some kind.”

– Buddha

Remember, pandemics are naturally occurring events that have happened in the past and they will occur again in the future. And as far as pandemics are concerned, this is a mild one with a low mortality rate. A much more catastrophic event would be a nuclear war, a major volcanic eruption or even a large meteor strike.

Perhaps the virus is trying to tell us to slow down and appreciate the small things. Perhaps it is an opportunity to give our tired world a rest.

We always have something to be thankful for. As Buddha said:

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little,
at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick,
at least we didn’t die;
so, let us all be thankful.”

We have nothing to fear but fear itself

The virus is an opportunity for our country to come together to unite in a common cause, similar to what this country did during the great depression.

The following quote from FDR’s first inauguration speech, in 1932 is applicable today as it was back then:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”

Why choose fear when you can have love. Focus on the real and let go of the unreal.  When a belief comes up, ask yourself, “does this lift me up or pull me down?” Let go of those thoughts that tell you that things are not good enough and life should be better than what it is.

Worries. Worries. Worries. There is always something to worry about. But remember there is always love, love, love.

Deep down we know what we have to do. We have to love more, fear less, and trust in God.

The world if full of suffering, but it is also filled with love

The world is full of suffering, but it is good to remember that it is also filled with light and love. Every problem is an opportunity to re-awaken to love.

The negativity in your life doesn’t need to be analyzed or dwelled upon. It simply needs to be loved. If you are not loving, you are suffering.

We can shine as bright as the sun right now! Our only limitations are our self-limiting beliefs.

Ignorance of love is the root of all suffering. Hell is ignorance of one’s love. Stay awake to your inner goodness. We need to awaken from our dream of ignorance into the loving presence of God.

Enlightenment is our moment to moment choice to reconnect with the light instead of allowing ourselves to be pulled back into the darkness. Wake up from the dream of separation into the Kingdom of Love.

The advantage of your disadvantages lies in their transcendence. In acceptance there is transcendence.

Don’t let anything get between you and God.

When adversity strikes, we must learn to well-up the love within our hearts. This love has the power to transform suffering into joy.

God has empowered you with the following privileges

  • To feel God’s loving presence for comfort and joy
  • To call on God to discuss any concerns that you might have
  • To call on God to surround you with light for protection and strength
  • To surround unloving thoughts with light until there is nothing left but light

Focus on those things that are within your control

  • Keep coming back to the warm, loving presence that dwells in your heart.
  • Meditate to clear you mind and maintain your connection with God.
  • Thank God for everything that you’ve been blessed with: your health, food, even your breath.
  • Keep a positive attitude by thinking warm uplifting thoughts and reading inspiring books.
  • Maintain a healthy diet – Now is not the time to eat unhealthy comfort foods.
  • Exercise daily – Go on a walk every day – The healthiest people I know are walkers. I try to get in 10,000 steps a day (almost 5 miles).
  • Reduce your risk of infection by practicing social distancing – Have your groceries to be delivered to your house or order them for curbside pickup.

Take time to enjoy the simple things

Take a deep breath and look around you. In this very moment everything is heavenly, just as it is. Start thinking about the past or future and you remove yourself from paradise.

Take time to celebrate things the way they are.
Slow down and appreciate the little things;
The smell of the flowers;
The warm, gentle breeze;
The rustling of the leaves in the trees;
Or even something as simple as your breath.
These are the things that most people overlook.
This simple practice will fill your heart with goodness and pull you away from the dark thoughts that tend to pull you down.

Below are additional inspirations to lift you up during these uncertain times.

Whatever is
was meant to be.

Don’t fight fear.
Increase love.

While life rages around you,
find the point of stillness within.

“If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life become more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.”
– Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

“He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because of fear.”
– Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

“Perhaps everything terrible in its deepest being
is something that needs our love.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke (c. 1904)

“The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.”
– Epicurus

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.
Keep in the sunlight.”

– Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“Make good medicine from suffering and sickness.”
– Paraphrasing Kyong Ho (1849-1912)

“Attain deliverance in disturbances.”
– Paraphrasing Kyong Ho (1849-1912)

Is some sickness coming tonight?
is death waiting for us tomorrow?
The future is always uncertain.
Wake up! Live now!

– Adapted from The Venerable Ching

Man’s thirst for survival in the future
makes him incapable of living in the present.

– Adapted from Chuang Tzu (369 BC – 286 BC)

Copyright @ 2020. Mark Ellison. All Rights Reserved

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