Above and Beyond

by Shea Bell
above and beyond Covid

a call to action

Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.    RBG

At this moment in time we are asked to go above and beyond our normal resources in order to manage multiple global challenges that simultaneously threaten our survival; Global warming, devastating political (lack of) leadership in the US, and the Covid-19 pandemic. They are a triple threat above and beyond what we have seen before. What to do?

We are asked to hold faith and hope for our future, while day by day doing our very best.

Of course, I know I’m not alone. We’re all suffering relative to our individual circumstances. I’m grateful my world turns without too much distress, yet some days I`m overwhelmed by sadness, even grief.

My heart goes out to those already suffering anxiety and depression, or who have lost a dear one. You may need to reach out. And my eternal gratitude goes out to everyone who bravely holds us together at great personal risk, from the ER staff to the grocery store clerk.

We are asked to stay present and do what we can. The only way to envision a future is to let go and not lose hope.

If you are American and able to vote, DO IT!  Rise up and vote for change.  Blind fealty to the current Fascist will only bring more of the same mind bending destruction. I’ m not American, but have family and friends in various states trying to navigate life safely under current leadership. It’s frightening on the ground.

As a citizen of the world, I’m stepping up to be even more proactive with my efforts towards the existential crisis of our times: the climate crisis. Can I find more ways to reduce waste and lower consumerism? If I park my car and walk when I can, it will also benefit my health and I vow to pay more attention to what can be recycled and reused. There are exciting advances being made around the globe so I try to keep informed and find consolation knowing gifted and dedicated minds are on the job.

But the most imminent threat is the pandemic. Individually most of us follow accredited health guidelines, because it’s not a question of personal rights to live without restrictions. If we want to survive and see the end of Covid, there are certain things we must do whether we like it or not.

Unfortunately there are young souls amongst us who just don’t get it, and for them I pray for a shift in consciousness. By the way, a young soul can be of any age, 5 or 95.

It’s not brave to behave recklessly. It’s delusional. Maybe these people have not been directly affected, or believe the US president when he says it’s no big deal. There’s such ignorance in acting this unconsciously and displays an entitlement that goes beyond humanity.

After more than six months, we know more about the virus itself and how to treat it. But Covid exhaustion has become real.  Some people are tired down into their bones by trying to manage all aspects of their lives. For young families with children to care for, it’s heartbreaking to realize their children are so vulnerable, all the while trying to keep them happy and their education on track. People are trying to work, or worse, have lost jobs and wonder where the next meal will come from. The constant question “Am I doing everything right?” becomes a haunting companion and can easily lead to burnout.

Most of us are doing our best and it has to be enough. Yet there is a level of risk we must accept to just go about living. We wear the mask, wash our hands, and social distance. Invitations to gather with friends indoors are declined even though it’s so hard to say no. This will be even more important as winter closes in.

For the elderly in care homes, lockdowns turn their small rooms into prison cells. To say they are incarcerated is not an exaggeration.  My 90 year-old mom in assisted living knows just what that means. She has already endured six weeks of solitary with four more weeks added because of another case yesterday. Drastic measures? Not at all, but so disheartening.

The Health Authority responds with eyeball flattening speed to control each event. Confined to quarters, residents take all meals alone in their suites, some go without baths and hair washing, there are no exercise classes, and no chatting with friends in the hallway. They are truly alone. The mail person is even denied entry into the building. Since the beginning of Covid visitors have been limited or denied entry. That’s a long time to go without a hug and kiss.

Worse, try to imagine coping with the daily fear of infection, as well the possibility of dying alone.

Then imagine there is no end in sight.

But some people feel invincible, or believe they’re so special they don’t need to use precautions. It is after all uncomfortable to wear a mask, and annoying to have activities restricted. Maybe they think if they cannot contract Covid they wouldn’t be a threat to anyone else. Or maybe indulging in fun is more important than being a responsible adult.  

It’s this small-minded and selfish behavior that has resulted in the rapid increase of Covid cases all over North America, as well as hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Now that we know what we can do, what will it take to get through to them? I just don’t get it.

The media keeps us up on latest curves and trends. I read recently a shocking statistic that 40% of the population is asymptomatic. If you know this, wearing a mask should be a no-brainer.

I feel compelled to lift this anger and frustration off my heart onto these pages to express how helpless I feel. To those who wholeheartedly accept the necessary sacrifices and who do so without complaint, there is enormous gratitude.  My hope is that by sharing these words, some will be inspired to right action and others feel proud they are part of a great healing.

I ask myself what more I can do to go above and beyond, to help ease some suffering, to fully cooperate and be part of the solution. Seemingly small efforts like a phone call, count big time.

This is my call to action.

What we do, or do not do, matters now more than ever. Past all of this, we’ll once again be able to raise our hands to embrace this magnificent world for which we are the hapless custodians; to once again breathe freely on our streets.

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Be well friends and thank you for stopping by. If you would like to leave a comment, click on the thought bubble at the end of the post, then scroll down past comments already submitted.

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Brian Bell September 21, 2020 - 5:16 pm

I very much appreciate you giving a face to the angst we surely all feel in reaction to the myriad, brutish forces seeking to crush us in 2020. It’s hard to dispel the disturbing suspicion that our lady RBG just couldn’t hold the line any longer — that it was too much for even her, the tiny giant of American jurisprudence.

Sharing such as this can never resolve all issues for everyone: None of us has the same tribe of monkeys on our back at any given point. But knowing that there are proven techniques for skirting well-known rocks can, in itself, make it easier to navigate our personal rapids.

Thanks for caring enough to share your life lessons.

Shea Bell September 21, 2020 - 6:11 pm

Hi Brian, thoughts appreciated. I hope people can keep their heads above water as weekly cases still increase. I wonder how many states do not have resources, money or staff, to manage contact tracing. The eastern seaboard seems to be handling it all best. Vigilance and proactivity are my main goals right now. Happy to contribute my experience.

Sheila Woollard September 21, 2020 - 7:06 pm

Hey Shea – definitely scary times in many ways. Hope your Mom stays safe along with yourself and the rest of your family.Not being able to see your family must be so hard. Thinking of you ? Sheila

Shea September 21, 2020 - 8:21 pm

Hi Sheila, I do miss my grandkids, and mom , boy does she need a hug. I hope you two and your mom are doing well. I am praying for relief soon. Big love.

Darlene September 22, 2020 - 2:10 am

Very well put, Shea. It´s a tough time but we will get through this. I too miss my mom and worry that she is not able to get visitors. I know she is safe where she is and I´m thankful for that. Sty safe my friend and here is a virtual hug from me. xo

Shea Bell September 22, 2020 - 9:20 am

Hi Darlene, A good reminder that we will indeed get thru this. That you feel your mom is safe is wonderful. It has been cathartic to write out my feelings, and to feel how really lucky I am that all my family and friends are safe too. And your virtual hug was received! Thank you.

Karen September 22, 2020 - 8:29 am

Hi Shea
Thanks for your wise words. We will all look back on this time and talk about the impacts on our lives for many years. So many people are doing the right things and helping each other. All the acts of kindness and caring keep my spirits up and help me know that we will get through this challenging time. There are little pockets of joy and fun to be found; I am always watching for them?. Take care??

Shea Bell September 22, 2020 - 9:17 am

Hi Karen, Wise words my friend. I shall take care to see it more and it surely will help me thru. Blessings to you and Gary.

Stephanie Moul September 22, 2020 - 9:47 am

Thank you for this wisdom and these deeply compassionate words.

Shea Bell September 22, 2020 - 9:56 am

Hi Stephanie, I so appreciate you checking in. There seemed to be a force making me write it, and I am so glad you appreciated my words. Now on to the next inspiration.

Louie September 22, 2020 - 10:05 am

Poignant read, Amiga. Missing all my Vancouver peeps.

Shea Bell September 22, 2020 - 10:16 am

Hola Amiga, I don’t imagine how it is going in Mexico, but hope you are surrounded by friends and spending lots of time in the water. As you know, that is my go to relaxer! Miss you too.

Donna Dobo September 22, 2020 - 11:00 am

I am focusing on certainty. Finding space for things I know for sure, as much as anything is, because we are drowning in uncertainty if we allow it. The changing seasons, currently, are happening and there is so much joy in observing the transition we are so familiar with. I am comfortable with the restrictions on my personal freedoms now. I am certain that by following the advice of public health I am helping beat this thing. I am certain I can’t control the actions of others. But, I am certain I can prevent people who won’t comply from invading my space, including my business. If not certain, I am hopeful the American people will rise up and make enormous change happen politically. I certainly can speak up against injustice and boost awareness, if not personally create the enormous change our world needs sooner rather than later, which will be to late. I am certainly a more patient person than pre-covid, I have expanded my knowledge of skills and issues that are more important to me now, like home cooking. Ultimately, I am certain that love is the answer to all of the above.

Shea Bell September 22, 2020 - 1:10 pm

Donna, I appreciate your thoughtful response and sharing the strategies you are using to navigate these crazy times. It is also my hope that the energy of love will rise up further, and if we all do our best, perhaps the shift will come sooner.

Verna Bell September 22, 2020 - 3:45 pm

My Cha, thank you for putting into words how we are feeling during this trying time. It’s more important than ever to think of other people as well as ourselves in order to stop the virus. I am confident we will all be stronger when it’s all over.

Shea Bell September 22, 2020 - 7:53 pm

Ma, Yes, being thoughtful is the way out. I think communicating our thoughts effectively is really important. Thank you for your comment, and for always considering the needs of others in your decisions. xo

Karen September 22, 2020 - 8:16 pm

Well said Shae.
Too bad the people reading your blog are probably not the problem. Those who watch FOX news in the US do not hear the SCIENCE of Covid from other News sources. They just don’t get it. They think they are invinceable and make a game of who gets Covid first.
Stay well and healthy all.

Shea Bell September 22, 2020 - 9:49 pm

Yes, I’m sure you are right, and part of the reason I needed to express my frustration. We all need to stay calm and hope the vote clears away the imminent danger. So far I’m not that sure. Share my post if you like. Maybe it will help some on the fence.

Gayle Lindsay September 23, 2020 - 9:44 am

I cannot let myself think of what will happen to our world with four more years of Agent Orange at the helm in the USA. 2020 has been like the Perfect Storm with the worse possible person in charge. He has destroyed and set back any progress that was inched forward over the last decades with regards to climate change, environmental issues, racial issues, sexual harassment issues are concerned …the list goes on and on. He certainly is not part of the solution.
Thank you for saying so eloquently what most of us are feeling. Please give Verna a big hug from me and a bunch for you too

Shea Bell September 23, 2020 - 9:58 am

Hi Gayle, Apocalyptic is what a friend of mine said. Yes, I agree with you. It’s so frustrating to only be able to sit back and try to wait for the election without getting crazy. If everything happens for a reason, it will be interesting to see the outcome of the huge challenges before us right now. It’s my hope that we will look back and see that these times shoveled out broken systems and wrong thinking, and leave us in a better place. I sure will pass on hugs to mom, and always hugs for you and Steve.

tgwarner April 29, 2022 - 8:14 am

Young souls? What face melting narcissism that is. It is you that has not understood.

Shea Bell April 29, 2022 - 10:37 am

Hi Tom, Only one possible explanation for the destructive behaviour of those challenging global safety and causing misery. There certainly are narcissists amongst them. The evolution of mankind is a deep enquiry, well beyond my abilities. What do you think?

ps..do you know this is Lauren’s Mom? Hope you are well.

Tom Warner April 29, 2022 - 1:20 pm

I think there’s a reason lucifer translates to “light bringing.” No, I’m not saying lucifer literally exists, but that is a very symbolically meaningful definition. There is only one emergency on this planet, and it isn’t the climate, and it isn’t Trump, nor is it COVID. It is an emergency of consciousness, and one of its dimensions is an egoic preoccupation with love and light. That is precisely where darkness is normally found hiding. Therefore those most challenging global safety and causing misery are often the people convinced of their lightness. It is a strange paradox, but it has high predictive value.

I think it was Gurdjieff who said the strength of a soul can be judged by the amount of truth it must be sheltered from. On the subject of soul, I think there are a lot of “old souls” which are facing a challenging reality and whose sober recommendations may not live up to the love and light people normally wish to hear.

We find ourselves in a race between understanding and catastrophe. Until people are willing to face things as they are in their full complexity, things are going to continue to get much, much worse. I think those capable of bringing light are paradoxically those who continue to face and embrace their own darkness and subsequently that of the culture as they are the ones who become genuinely capable of shining a light on what is unpleasant and difficult.

By the way, I don’t think many people understood Trump. Fascism is coming, but it’s hiding in the light right now.

Shea Bell April 30, 2022 - 3:03 pm

Lots to think about there Tom. Yes, climate, Trump, covid, wars, lying, cheating… are the darkness evading light right now. But light does exist and is perhaps preventing the end of things at a deep level. I don’t suggest spiritual bypassing and denial are going to solve the BIG problem, or that they are strategies for anything but survival. Collective unconsciousness is a symptom and the only way most can bear to get up in the morning. The fear is just too large as is an understanding of how to walk thru it individually and as a collective. Facing it holds the prospect of death and requires divine courage.


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