Step 2: Found hope in the belief that recovery is possible through faith and an acceptance of the fact that we are never really alone.
Spring, the season celebrated in early religions as a time of renewal and fertility has arrived. More recently, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is viewed as a time of spiritual connection. We have entered what is the holiest of times for the Judeo-Christian religions, a time for reflection on past struggles and for looking ahead to the challenges that await us. On this, the eve of both Passover (when we celebrate the liberation of the Jews from slavery) and Holy Thursday (celebrating the last time Jesus was with his disciples), we commemorate the importance of unity and fellowship in times of hardship.
As we collectively struggle with COVID-19, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Whether you are living by yourself in a studio apartment in Manhattan or feeling isolated and alienated living with your partner and children in Kansas, or living in a sober house in Florida, there is community available to you with others in recovery and with others in your faith practice. There is also connection through you to the divine, however you understand and celebrate this concept, through what we have named in The 12 Steps to Self-Parenting for Adult Children as your higher parent.
The second step in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) makes the importance of a connection to your spiritual side clear: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Here, AA is stating clearly the need for the cultivation of a spiritual belief as key to mental health. During the COVID-19 crisis, reminding ourselves of our human need for a spiritual connection is important not only to survive this stress but also to find a way of thriving in the face of the challenges our fear poses.
Sometimes people are confused by the idea that there is just one face to the divine. As we look around this world, we see that the divine actually has many faces. As we look, we see not just Jesus, Yahweh, and Mohammed, but also the faces of the many Hindu gods, from Kali to Ganesh, the numerous aspects of the Buddha, and in the beliefs of the Navajo people in the Changing Woman, the Holy Being.
Others feel the divine through their connection to nature: feeling surrounded by the air, being immersed in water or snow, witnessing the life force through seeing trees budding and the tender shoots of flowers emerging through the snow, hearing bird songs, seeing evidence of bears leaving their dens. Whatever your belief system is, it is important to cultivate this part of yourself so you feel supported, particularly in this time of struggle. So you know you are not alone.
Exercise for Today:
Make a commitment to participate in at least one spiritual practice a day. This can take just a few moments or can be something more engrossing. What is important is that you not forget to nurture this part of who you are that reinforces your connectedness to something beyond your mortal being.
Whether you choose to
- say a prayer,
- talk to your higher parent,
- read a religious text,
- go for a walk and be in nature, or
know that you are not alone in your struggle to confront and grow through the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Add this practice to your gratitude list.
Make a note in your journal about what works for you, and feel free to share it on my new Facebook Group, Self-Parenting in the Age of COVID, which I invite you to join by clicking on the link. There you can post your struggles and solutions as we create community. I invite you to share the blogs and posts you find on the Facebook Group by tagging those you know and care about, whether they are in recovery or just loved by you.
This is the second of a twelve-part series based on The 12 Steps to Self-Parenting. I invite you to subscribe to receive updates to this blog—look for future series where I apply my existing work to dealing with the specifics of COVID-19 for those involved in or interested in aspects of recovery—a parenting series based on The Lowdown on Families Who Get High, then one for those dealing with trauma based on Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting, followed by (of course) more on resiliency and girly thoughts.
May the force be with you!
More tips are available on my blog, The Powerful Woman.net, and in my books: Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting, The 12 Steps to Self-Parenting for Adult Children, and The Resilient Woman. Learn more Learn more about my work as a consulting psychologist and speaker at www.patriciaogorman.com.