Free to Be, You and Me! by Wendy Sue Noah


It’s been almost a full year since the pandemic started. No one, especially us parents, could have imagined what life would be like once our kids were sent home, with a “wait and see” message from the schools. All of a sudden, getting toilet paper became a significant challenge, some lost jobs, and all of us lost our routines, and what we had thought was “normal.”

Well, it still is what is. We are still here, though we are starting to get vaccines, and maybe some sort of normalcy, maybe. We’ll see.

What I’ve learned this year, more than anything, is that we have a choice to feel joy or fear. Love or hate. Gratitude or resentfulness. Our personal choices are what makes all the difference NOW.

Maybe one of the biggest learnings for us is to discover our inner peace, which leads to inner freedom. Yes, the troubles are still here, and they will continue post pandemic, but you are still YOU. You are unique, talented, and the only you in the universe. This is a special time for you to really get to know you, without all the distractions of modern life.

We are obviously not in control of our external realities. And yet, we can choose our internal realities. That is where our freedom lies, and it is yours.

Personally, I have my young adults and teenagers’ home with me. My eldest daughter, Ocean, was studying abroad in South Africa for a year. When Covid hit, they revoked her visa and gave her less than two days to pack her stuff and fly back home.

I have two teenagers in high school who are zooming every day with their college sister. My Wi-Fi and small home are at its limits trying to accommodate all of us, and we are all learning about tolerance and respect. Yet, with all of this pandemic stress and close quarters, we love one another, and are all healthy and doing our best to make the best of this new normal.

My other son, who recently turned 18, has been focused on creating and releasing his music (on Spotify as Zakariyah), while working as a host at a local Japanese restaurant. A few days ago, he was on his electric scooter, and was hit by a car in broad daylight. The driver did not stop, a hit and run. Someone called 911, and they took him in an ambulance to the emergency room. I get a call from a fireman to inform me of the accident and what hospital they were delivering my son to, and, oh yeah, how I can’t visit him in the hospital due to Covid.

So I had to wait for the doctor to call me and give me the details of his injury. This was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences! And not just for me, but my family. I had to be calm, cool and collected. Actually, that role worked well for me, as I have learned that worry and fear only takes me out of my center, and that we do not know, until we know. Then we can worry (if necessary, which I find it rarely is!).

Thank God, Zak is OK! What a total relief, as the doctor shared with me that his CAT scan showed no internal injuries to his brain, though he does have a fractured jaw. Waiting for our primary care physician to find a surgeon for him now.

I can easily curse and feel anger toward this hit and run driver, yet I realize that this pandemic has affected everyone differently, that mental health is more of a serious problem than ever, and that maybe, just maybe, this person would have stopped if this accident happened a year ago. Or maybe, just maybe, this person is riddled with guilt, and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Then, of course, there is the possibility that they feel no remorse whatsoever, and that’s just the kind of uncaring person they are, pre-pandemic. If this is so, then I believe in karma, and what goes around comes around.

The only choice that I have here is internal. That’s where my freedom lies, and yours too. We have no control of the circumstances, but we can choose anger, hatred, resentment or we can choose forgiveness, compassion and care.

Personally, I’ve been through a lot worse. Today, we are fairly well off. We have a home, we have food, we have money for a few luxuries here and there. Most importantly, we have our health and our togetherness. It’s not always easy to be in such close quarters every day, with little outer distractions. That’s why I recommend utilizing this down time, to be free to be you. Maybe even discovering gifts you haven’t fully explored yet. Hey, Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear’ during a plague! Is that inspiring, or what?

Let yourself be OK regardless of what’s going on around you. How to do that? Take a walk. Do yoga. Exercise. Meditate. For me, a hike does wonders!

And then COUNT your blessings, instead of your longings. Once there is joy in your heart, the world cannot remove that! And that is true FREEDOM, my friend! It is all inside you, you just need to listen and hear, without fear.

Enjoy my podcast!

The Gifters: Start Up With A Heart

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