• theartofjoypodcast

Covid diaries stories from our listeners.

In today's episode, we share your stories. As a global pandemic has changed our realities, we lean into the truth-telling situations that all of you are facing. We all have one thing in common—this vast landscape of the unknown.



adj.1. not known; not within the range of knowledge, experience, or understanding; strange; unfamiliar.

2. not discovered, explored, identified, or ascertained.

3. A code meaning "information not available."

When presented with the unknown, studies show that as humans we tend to form groups "Us vs. Them" It's born from xenophobia, a fear, and biased that helps us feel like we have a little bit more control over the worries that lurk around the corners making us jumpy. We are starting to see this happen across the country, as new groups are forming. "The stay at home" vs. "Open the country." As we start picking sides and making each other wrong, we move further away from unconditional love and support that was the traction we all launched from in the beginning. Judgments creep in, and before we know it, we are against each other. This is a proven history. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we put Japanese Americans in internment camps; we feared they were our enemy. Both sides of the coronavirus have arguments worth supporting. The truth is we have never been here before. It seems like the divide is the "stay at home camp," or "Get back to work camp?

What are we to do when our livelihoods and freedoms feel threatened? I (Tresa) was raised during the cold war. My Dad belonged to a survival group that strategized protection from nuclear fallout. My Dad said, "These small invisible particulates from the bombs would have burned us alive." It's a huge fear when you have a family to protect, and the world isn't safe. President Kennedy sent out a letter to American citizens warning them about the threat of nuclear war. His solution was to build fall out shelters. Congress allocated 169 million dollars to find locations in public and private buildings to protect communities from nuclear attack. My Dad has a genius-level mind. There isn't anything he can't build, fix, or create. His solution was to have his own fall out shelter. It was small but had a well inside so we could access water. It was attached to his food storage and illuminated with a pull string light bulb that flickered inside the cement box. I feared that the world wasn't safe. That any day a siren would scream for us to run into our cement shelters. Intrinsically rooted in my psyche was the idea that we should always store food and supplies enough for two years. I've witnessed over the decades, thousands of dollars of rotted food storage has been hauled away to the landfills—some of it from my own collection. I felt this old fear sweep over me the day after the NBA was canceled. I found myself panic shopping to protect my family from this invisible threat. The concern has evolved, instead of small particulate fallout from bombs that will burn our bodies, its an invisible virus that attacks our lungs shuts down the world, and threatens our economy, food supply, sense of security and well being. It has brought us together and tears us apart.

We all have stories that are unfolding as we navigate. Some are harder than others to hear. But one common thread we recognized, was a flicker of hope sitting underneath every single one. It seems like the challenge is to lean into this unknown and ask it questions. I traced my fears back to my childhood. I realize that the very foundation I stand on could be pulled out from underneath me at any time. But I also know that our ancestors survived much worse. The cold war was just one of many terrifying unknowns that swept across the planet. We are hardwired for survival. When we sit in the unknown, we feel like we have lost control. We can capture that by going inward and listening to our intuition. Everyone will respond to trauma in their own way. If we judge that too harshly, we create the "Us against Them." mentality. We have found that when we listen to the stories of others, we create a landscape of compassion. We may disagree, but when we are let inside of another's suffering, its easier to understand. Our hope is that we can foster a perspective of collective storytelling that infuses us with a little bit of compassion.

Our hope is that we will continue to find ways to serve, find gratitude, and sit in tiny moments of peace when the fallout is raining from the sky. As humans, we all need to feel love, sheltered, fed, and connected. The challenge we give to ourselves at this time is to look for ways to offer our abundance. For some, it will be money, for others, services, and resources. And the one thing we can all give is a perspective of understanding and human connection, despite our differences. The undeniable truth is that we are all in this together despite what side of the line we tow. We are writing history. What will be the story we tell? It will be a collective history and personal stories that will leave their mark forever. It is our hope that we can find connection and empathy through our experiences, that we evolve beyond our fear and this wicked unknown that haunts us all.

Beautiful image by @laviateiler

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