Over two weeks ago, Bay Area residents were asked to please stay in their homes as much as possible in an effort to curve the global pandemic that is wreaking havoc with people’s health, bank accounts, and moods worldwide. I am in the super privileged position of being only minorly inconvenienced by this situation. Yes, I miss my friends, and human interaction, and stuff to do outside the house, but I love my living arrangement, I work from home, luckily I do have work, and I’m healthy. Which is, actually, what all this disruption is about: trying to stay healthy, or at least not all of us getting sick at the same time. So I’m feeling pretty grateful. I’m “objectively” OK.
Being the witch that I am I do play a special role in my community, and Priestessing in the shape of emotional support or spiritual guidance is something that I’ve been doing a whole lot of in the last few weeks. The pandemic is a huge piece of it, and the fear that it brings up, but “regular” life still goes on. A friend who left her partner because she found out he had several other lovers (not part of their agreement), another one who discovered her husband is a drug addict and asked him to leave the house (“I don’t give a fuck about coronavirus – OUT!”), friends actually sick with covid19, clients who have lost staff…the list goes on. And yet, we keep hearing, and saying, those of us who are optimistic: “It’s gonna be OK”, or “We’re gonna be OK”.
Really, now?!?! Cause this shit ain’t OK. It’s just not OK that extraordinary women are put through the wringer by mediocre men, it’s not OK that people are gonna go megabroke and we really have no freakin idea how we’ll all transition from this shitshow into a workable system for all, it’s not OK to be in so much pain.
And then, when you really think about it, you realize that being OK is a choice. Being OK is never about external circumstances, it’s about remembering that the experience of life is full and often unpleasant, even unbearable, but that being OK is not about that. This is the bottom line – we’re all gonna be dead before we know it. I just turned 45 last week so I’m definitely, officially, at least half way done. Fortyfive years fly the fuck by, especially the second fortyfive. So how I know I’m OK is because I’m still here. I may not be having fun, I may not be having an easy time, but the breath that is breathing me is still inhaling and exhaling, and that is quite OK. (As a side note, I don’t believe that dying is no longer being OK, but that is another topic).
Being OK is never circumstantial, it’s always intrinsic. Being OK is not about what I call “the promised land of tomorrow”, whether that is the end of the plague, or economic growth, or getting the raise, or buying the house, or paying off the debt, or getting married – or divorced for that matter. Being OK with all that is, with the full insanity and intensity and intimacy of Life, including her super generous servings of pain without turning it into an extra side of suffering is a choice.
In the grander scheme of things, everything is OK. Yes, some times are rougher, but when you really get metaphysical about it and you dig into what it actually means to be OK, you realize that it is a choice you get to make. It’s a choice about the attitude you have towards the reality of what is, of what is really going on. Choosing to believe that it’s gonna be OK is super simple and might stand against all evidence, but it is the most transformative decision you’re gonna make in your life. Just choosing to believe you’re gonna be fine is gonna change how you perceive your reality and may even have an impact on your circumstances and your attitude and your perception. It’s the most revolutionary choice.
What will it really take for you to be OK? What if the answer was NOTHING, cause you’re OK just now, simply because you are? The simplest thing is the hardest thing to do. When we don’t believe we are inherently OK, we keep chasing it out there and there is no arrival place for something that is within us at all times anyway.
I am not saying that my friends’ pain and my client’s death and the world’s impending economic collapse is OK. What I am saying is that we can be OK despite all of it, and that is a sacred practice. We won’t get it perfectly at all every time, in fact, probably ever, but in that practice there is freedom. Even liberation. And that’s OK.