DIANE GOTTLIEB

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Trust-Even in the Face of Uncertainty

“What a difference a day makes.” This statement is never more true than it is during times of great uncertainty and change.

 

Uncertainty and change—two phenomena most of us find exceptionally difficult to manage. As humans, we much prefer business as usual. We like to know that what and whom we count on will be there—today, tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future.

 

No one likes the thought that we may not have our health tomorrow, our jobs, our 401k’s … or our toilet paper.

 

Nobody like crises. And in times that call for extra measures, we want direction. We want to know what we can do to fix the damn thing! But we are now faced with a situation that doesn’t seem to have a “fix.” And while we can take preventative measures, they are not foolproof, and many of us have arrived a little late to the prevention party.

 

Wherever There is Hardship, There is Also Tremendous Opportunity for Growth

 

But here’s the thing. We are always in change and, truly, always just a step away from possible crisis. As a person who’s experienced the sudden death of a loved one, I know in my cells that life can unalterably change in an instant. There are no guarantees. “Shit happens,” sometimes terrible, previously unthinkable shit.

 

I also know in my cells, however, that whenever there is life, there is hope. Wherever there is hardship, there is also tremendous opportunity for growth.

 

This is the very time we have to take our fear, hold it close, and set a limit, like a loving parent would for a scared, unruly child.

 

We Are Being Called, Now, to Go Inside—Both Literally and Figuratively

 

In times of uncertainty, we can become childlike, look outside ourselves for a “mommy” to take “it all away.” But it is exactly at these times where we can discover our own strength—the strength we all have inside.

 

Some of us need to develop those muscles a bit more, others have to dig deeper, plow through the piles of negative messaging collected over the years. But all of us have strength to call on. We can all access it—if we “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

 

We are being called, now, to go inside—both literally and figuratively. Still, we don’t have to travel this path alone.

 

There are many wonderful places to connect online. (As a fierce proponent of unplugging, I never thought I’d hear myself say that!)

 

Feminine Energy Is Rising Out of This Chaos

 

Healers who have traditionally conducted their work in person are now taking to the Internet, reaching out, and creating communities far and wide. I’ve attended Michael Frontier’s meditation on Facebook the past two Sundays (I highly recommend and he’s doing another one this Wednesday evening at 7:00 P.M. EST), and just last Thursday, I joined a wonderful circle on Zoom, led by master healer Laura Malfa of One Heart Healing. Laura sees long-silenced feminine energy rising out of this chaos. Feminine energy is “empathetic, introspective, intuitive, humble, and nurturing,” she says. It calls us to “go inward for our wisdom,” and … to trust.

 

During “normal” times, we often walk through the world believing that bad things happen only to others. We are safe. It’s times like the current time that we learn that’s not true. No one is immune to hardship.

 

No one is immune. Because when we strip away what in calmer times we see as our differences, we realize we are all deeply connected. Terry Opaleck wrote in his column What’s Next, “Things like the color of our skin, the culture we embrace, our religion or spiritual beliefs—or no belief, our abilities and disabilities, the many socio-economic places we are all in, the cars we drive and homes we live in, or the homelessness of others and much more that fools us into believing that we aren’t the same. Strip away all of these illusions, which is happening right now, we come to understand the truth—we are all the same.” Amen, Terry!

 

One. Day. At. A. Time.

 

When we’re challenged, we have a choice: rise up or sink. Mostly, we alternate between the two. In this crazy time, things are changing by the second, Yet, paradoxically, our world is slowing down. We have more time to go inward, to feel our connectedness to the larger whole. For some of us that’s God; for others it’s spirit, or simply the universality we all share.

 

Staying present is helpful. One. Day. At. A. Time. If that feels like too much, take one hour at a time, or even one minute. We can all manage that.

 

More now than ever, we need to take care of ourselves. Stay inside; follow the hand-washing guidelines. And … look for ways to help others. Some of the hardest hit in this crisis already had the least. Remember them and make a donation if you can.

 

Nobody knows what the future will bring. Nobody ever knows. But that’s O.K. Breathe. Deeply.

 

I’ll leave you this week with some words of wisdom from the ever-wise Laura Malfa: “I trust that when I am challenged, I will be shown what I need to do.”

 

Trust. Even in the face of uncertainty.

 

We are all in this together. We will get through.

 

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Where is fear getting in your way right now? What specific challenges are you facing? And what steps, actions, stillness are you taking/embracing?

Leave a comment or send me an email.

 

See you all April 6.

Until then, be safe, and remember we are all here for each other.

Much love,

Diane

 

8 Comments

  1. Laura on March 29, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Diane
    Such a beautiful post!! You expressed what is happening now so perfectly!!
    Lots of love
    Laura

    • Diane Gottlieb on March 29, 2020 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Laura, and thank you for all you do. XO

  2. Joann Weiss on March 23, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Thank you Diane for all your love and knowledge to stay positive. I love you and hope your family is well❤️

    • Diane Gottlieb on March 23, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Love you too, Joann! Hope all is well with you and the family, and let’s not wait for another pandemic to connect again. XO

  3. Greta Holt on March 23, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you, Diane. Well said. Your unthinkable experience of losing your husband, early on, informs you in ways we can learn from.

    Today, I had to inform my Community Meal church people that I couldn’t help because my husband is too at-risk after his heart attack. Searing, when they are so dedicated to finding a way to hand out food at the door, rather than have groups inside to meet for fellowship. We can give money to help out, though, and that’s something at least. Tough decisions.

    Tim’s cardiac docs want to stay in touch, so they will be calling us on Thursday. No office visits. Tim had to go to his general doc last week, and I wasn’t allowed to wait in the outer area. I had to go to the car, where the doc called me with information.

    A younger church friend offered TP and I bartered with canned goods and milk. I picked up her goods and left my goods on her porch. We waved through the window. Such it goes in the days of COVID-19.

    Be safe and well.

    • Diane Gottlieb on March 23, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you, Greta, for sharing how COVID-19 is affecting your life. Love to you and Tim and prayers for his continued recovery. Glad the docs are checking in and good that you had to stay in the car!
      Waving through windows means a lot these days. Here’s a virtual wave and a hug.
      XO

  4. Denise Polis on March 23, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you Diane. It’s so important to stay in the present. The now. How am I at this moment? I am breathing, my heart is beating, I have a home, I have food, I have loved ones. That’s the focus during this time. Stay well.

    • Diane Gottlieb on March 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you, Denise, and so glad to hear all is good your way. This focus on all that we have–all that really matters–often takes a backseat in the normal day-to-day. There is something to be said for our slowing down, moving inward, and noticing how fortunate we are. Yay for breathe and beating hearts, homes, food, and loved ones!

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