Right now everyone is affected by the pandemic. It is a confusing time where anxiety, uncertainty and fear are becoming the norm. What is a person to do?
Here is some spiritual guidance gathered with the help of my fellow rabbis to bring some to bring some degree of calm and comfort during this trying time.
1 – Stop for a moment, just sit and take an accounting of where you are – not your physical space, but where you are between your ears and tell yourself the truth about what most concerns you. Accept where you are emotionally right now. Sit, breathe, accept your own feelings and know, you are not alone.
2 – Work with the fear you have and listen to the wonderful teaching of an ancient rabbi who said: “The whole wold is a very narrow bridge, the important thing is not to make yourself afraid.”
We are on a narrow bridge right now. Not sure what tomorrow may bring. The rabbi acknowledges that fear exists. He teaches that we should not make it worse by allowing the stories in our mind to take us into the land of “what if’s.” It is imperative to begin to notice when we are telling ourselves a story about the future that we do not yet know, thereby increasing our anxiety and fear.
Be prepared to guard against Covid-19, but learn how not to make yourself more afraid. We are greatly blessed to have our loved ones and friends right now, in this uncertain time.
We may struggle, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We shall endure and emerge stronger for it in the long run.
Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe, a cancer survivor, is a motivational/inspirational speaker on the theme NEVER GIVE UP! He authored “Why Me? Why Anyone?” which chronicles his rescue from leukemia and his spiritual triumph over despair. Known as “The Running Rabbi” for competing in the NY Marathon, he received the “Award of Courage” from President Ronald Reagan in a White House ceremony. Rabbi Jaffe was one of the clergy who visited the American hostages in Iran to offer them comfort and hope and was asked by the President to greet them at the White House upon their return. He received an honorary Doctorate from his seminary for “his work with the sick, and his noble influence upon all people. You can find more information on his website.
Image courtesy of Glen Jackson.