By: Luscious Mother
Twenty years ago, over a period of mere minutes, a beautiful weekday morning on the east coast became an American nightmare. Terrorists weaponized airplanes filled with civilians and used them to destroy buildings filled with people who were simply going to work. An average day, ordinary people, in locations presumed to be safe.
It was a day when all time and action froze and the whole world watched, stunned, at the unfolding of a horrific chain of events we never could have imagined. It became a timestamp, a marker in world history. News pundits and Americans alike began using before and after phrases like, “in a pre-9/11 world we believed…” or “the post-9/11 reality is…” And something everyone could agree upon was that nothing would ever be the same. We had been irreparably changed.
In a painful mix of emotional reflux and ambiguous grief, we are reliving the loss of our sense of safety and normalcy in the Covid-19 pandemic. There is also a commonality in the raw and confronting nature of these tragic experiences; experiences that contain a rare opportunity if we’re willing to seize it. These large-scale, often global events, serve as wake-up calls for how we are going about our day-to-day existence, and give us reason to pause and evaluate how our lives might go differently.
9/11 shook so many Americans awake from their daily grind. This sudden and shocking event inspired people to look at their lives, their careers, their relationships, through new eyes. If their own lives had been torn away from them on some ordinary sunny American morning, would they be content with the way they had lived? And for those who did not feel fulfilled by their circumstance, it represented a chance to reconnect to their truest desires and purpose and transform their lives–for themselves, but also in memory of those who no longer had the choice.
The pandemic has played out quite differently than 9/11, but in many ways its overall impact has been similar. This giant pause we have been forced to take has given us an opportunity to reevaluate our lives in a way not previously believed possible. It is as if the forces of Mother Nature herself have put us in a giant time out for us to “consider our behavior,” as my own mother used to say.
In response, we can thrash and tantrum, trapped in our fear and anger, as I often did in timeout as a small child, or… We can take the suspended moment to consider:
What really matters? What and who do we really care about? How are we showing up for ourselves? Who are we, really? What does our ideal community look like? How do we want to invest our time, our energy? How can we become closer to the version of ourselves we wish to be; closer to the people and experiences that give us connection, meaning, and purpose? What is the impact we want to have through our one precious life, in this beautiful and conflicted country, on this magical and troubled planet?
If you are willing to look for meaning inside these traumatic events that shake us to our core and leave us broken and stunned, I invite you to love yourself, love your life and all the people in it who give it shape and meaning. Give yourself a time out today (and maybe tomorrow, and the next day!) to consider what is possible for you to create in your life that will bring you more joy, deeper meaning, and a sense of purpose every day. Your life is a living prayer and you have the extraordinary liberty to create it however you like.
As long as you are here on this planet, you are the author and architect of how it goes. Never doubt that freedom. Never abandon that gratitude.
While events like 9/11 and the Covid-19 pandemic seem to threaten to destroy us, we are resilient, we are innovative, we are passionate, and only limited by our ability to rise, reconcile, and recreate.
How about you, mama? As the brilliant poet Mary Oliver once asked:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
Anna & Sarah
and the whole Luscious Mother LUMO team
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