3 Life Lessons from the Pandemic
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
There was a time when one could travel to different places, meet people from various walks of life, explore the world, and experience the dynamic aspects of life.
This external exploration was at the cost of taking things for granted, getting lost in the rat race, not living in harmony with nature, and a lack of exploration of the inner world.
With the growth of civilisation, humans began to develop a sense of importance — the inflated kind. This arrogance led to false notions and lack of awareness. We were misled by our way of thinking and belief in technology that we are powerful and in control.
But, we needed a reality check and a wakeup call. Through the history of time, the world has witnessed events which were perceived to be a turning point in our lives — especially when the crisis was global.
The laws of nature work on the simple element of balance and harmony. We had to be reminded and woken up by nature in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While there has been a lot of suffering and pain, there is a collective awakening happening with a lot of people shedding the old skin of ignorance, arrogance, and greed to realise their higher essence. This is evident with the shift in ideas, beliefs, habits, relationships, and aspirations.
So, let us be grateful and take a moment to digest what has been happening over the past few months and appreciate 3 life lessons we can learn from the pandemic.
1. Illusion of Control
We think that we are in control of our destiny. We are told by various coaches and guides that we can manifest whatever we want. But, this ‘manifestation’ has an external aspect which depends on a lot of factors — most of them beyond our control.
We have been humbled to realise that there is a higher power who is responsible for governing the laws of nature. Life is a play of cause and effect, and every global suffering is due to our past actions as a collective.
Our animosity towards other humans, animals, plants; our ego-centric desires, self-centred life; disrespecting the power and beauty of nature… are some of the reasons we are now realising the impact of our actions at the gross and subtle levels.
I strongly believe that accessing the subconscious mind holds the key to unlocking our dormant potential, but we must accept that we don’t control the external factors entirely. The pandemic has been a concrete instance of this truth.
2. Idea of Happiness
Now that we have acknowledged our presence as a tiny speck (but an important one) in the grandiosity of the cosmos, let us understand one of our most important needs — to be happy.
The ancient scriptures and masters say that happiness is our true essence and we are this untainted, pure consciousness when born. Children are happy sans reason and it is a joy to be around them.
As we grow into adults, the feeling of happiness becomes an idea based on parenting, education, and social factors. This conditioning encourages us to climb mountains, travel the world, be a leader, find an ideal partner, become the best version of ourself — which is wonderful.
But, this is again an external projection of our innate nature. It is depending on something transient and fleeting to feel happy. We must remind ourselves of the core philosophy of various spiritual traditions — ‘defining our happiness by something temporary is the cause of misery’.
After all, the wanderlust is not eternal, the corporate growth is circumstantial, the dynamics of relationships are volatile, and our perception is ever-changing.
So, how can we fixate our happiness on people, places, and things which are an amalgamation of joy-sorrow, pleasure-pain, success-failure?
The pandemic is teaching us to be self-reliant and independent so that we access our inner strength and faith — which are aspects of happiness within.
The intention here is not to portray an idealistic view of happiness, especially when the entire world is suffering.
But, wisdom lies in recognising that we don’t have control over the external situation. However, we are responsible for our physical health, state of mind, and emotional wellbeing — all of which are integral to happiness.
3. Survival of the Fittest
If it is our true nature to be happy, why do we suffer? If we are responsible for our wellbeing, why are we in pain?
The root cause is due to ignorance of current reality and attachment to our identity based on past conditioning.
The other aspect is deep-seated aversion to pain and suffering, as we have become very used to comfort and convenience. This comfort zone has diminished our resilience for accepting and tolerating suffering (which is a natural part of existence).
The reality at the moment is that we are limited to our individual spaces and have to work with what is offered on our plate. We must identify less with the suffering and choose to be grateful instead.
At the environmental level - this translates to having a clean living space, decluttering, saving water, eating sustainably.
At the physical level - taking care of the body with daily exercise, nutritious food, ample rest, sound sleep.
At the psychological level - consuming sensory impressions (news, videos, books, articles, music) and having creative outlets which uplift the mind and open the heart.
At the spiritual level - shedding the old skin (fears, beliefs, habits), connecting to a higher power, strengthening faith and hope.
The pandemic is an existential suffering and nature’s way of reminding us to evolve. Despite being awake, we have been sleeping for ages.
If we look at everything as energy, we will recognise that nature is healing and increasing its vibration. The freedom of birds flying across the skies, the freshness in the air, the rise in spiritual teachings, the awareness of individual choices — we are waking up from ignorance and inertia slowly but surely.
So, we have to remain persistent and vigilant as this twilight phase of transition will determine the survival of the fittest.
The Only Way Forward is Up
The ascension of the earth naturally requires us to ascend too. This will peel away the masks we wear, bring our fears and insecurities to the surface, challenge our existing beliefs, and bring us face to face with inner demons. This much-needed purification is the law of nature and moving from darkness to light within.
But, we have to find resilience to embrace the purification process rather than a constant need for sensory distractions and intellectual stimulation from media, interactions, and activities.
We have to learn to be at peace with ourselves without the escapism.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal
As we raise our individual vibration from fear to gratitude and love, the collective consciousness will shift too.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is shining on a beautiful world of awareness, service, and wisdom.
My prayer is for us to find inner strength, clarity, and faith to swim through these currents of transformation.
May we realise our inherent potential and wake up to these shifting energies within and around us.
Hari Om Tat Sat