I know a little about toilet paper. This time last year I was so sick that sitting upon the porcelain throne was literally a 5-8 hour a day thing. I understand having to ask myself some hard questions like “Am I going to get through this?” and not liking the easy answer. When we are confronted by scary, hard things, it is easy to go with the feeling that comes to us. After my husband had a heart attack and just 11 months prior to that was hit by a bus… the unlikely had happened to us. After all he was only 35 when the heart attack happened.. there is a whole story of course, but I want to focus on the feelings I had around this. I wanted to crumble into a ball, I wanted to rant that it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t. I was right, it was unfair. It didn’t make sense and we didn’t deserve any of these happenings.
Yet, people would ask us what we did wrong for this to happen? Our morality, spirituality, and actions were questioned. Then there were the others who chose not judge us and instead serve us. Brought us meals. I can’t even say how many meals. Later, just months after the heart attack, I was on bedrest with my Katelynn. One day I heard my back door open, (we just kinda left everything unlocked as I was in a wheelchair) I called out asking who it was. I could hear them in my laundry room. It was my friend folding my laundry. I didn’t ask her to, she just did it. I was embarrassed at first to have someone folding my family’s and my underwear, but as I put that feeling aside I was so thankful, still am, that my friend thought of a need she could fill and didn’t ask, just did it.
Then our daughter died. I am working on the book about this now.. but I mention this because I learned something very valuable in all these shocking, unlikely, not fair, the set backs in dreams, health, life and death…all really hard stuff. In leaning into the lesson, I learned.
We can’t serve others if we are judging them.
We can’t be a part of the solution if we are only thinking of ourselves.
Life will never be perfect but we can have perfect moments of connection, service, love, communication, and commitment.
With a quirky colon, I don’t want to be out of toilet paper. You see, as long as I think about what will be hard for me, I am not able to think about others. As I went to the store to get the things on the list; bananas, milk, almond milk, apples, asparagus, etc.. toilet paper wasn’t on the list. I stopped suddenly, I feel like I should get toilet paper…was I missing out? Was I somehow not getting this? Checking myself seeing that I was thinking about me, thinking from a place of fear, recognizing that just last month I bought one of those cases from Costco like I do every 2-3 months.. I am ok. I have enough TP for my needs.
Every human brain has the need to feel safe, we buy things like TP, extra food, to feel EXTRA safe in a time of insecurity.
Our whole world just got postponed, cancelled, closed, shifted.. this is when we get to ask ourselves individually what can we do to get through this? What can we do to help others? What resources of time, money, love, service do I have to help others? It may mean that we need to do things like folding laundry, even, and especially when, we are not asked too.
Perhaps the best thing we can do is to follow along with the shut down. Stop the virus from spreading so fast to overwhelm the hospitals and staff. I am a social person, I love people. It will be hard for me to not be out and about. Yet, we can be social by checking in on the elderly, we can move things online, we can pray, serve, seek for things that we can do, and above all, flip the switch from being reactive to proactive.
This article, though long, I feel is worth reading to understand what we may be facing and how we can help those around us at mitigate the deaths from the Corona Virus.