By Rev. Kurt Condra
As shelter-in-place plods on, emotional reactions, especially negative ones, seem to be intensifying: A loss that might have been tinged with sadness now feels devastating. A disagreement that might have evoked irritation now feels infuriating. A slightly disappointing outcome feels like a catastrophic failure. It may feel as if spiritual principles aren't working, or that our practice of them is somehow flawed.
Not true! In these unprecedented scary times, the fight-or-flight neuropathways of our brains are as overloaded as our wi-fi networks. Intense reactions are a completely normal human response. Now, more than ever, it's important to cut ourselves some slack. The most effective way to deal with caveman reactions is to embrace this aspect of self with compassion and acceptance. That may mean broadening what we regard as "spiritual" practice.
Any activity that activates a higher creative brain function rewires Troglodyte circuitry. The engagement a trashy novel offers may be more beneficial than the profound insights of a 'conscious' documentary. The indulgence of the snooze button may be of more benefit than a tricky yoga pose. The joy of a Zoom happy hour may be more palpable than composing an extensive gratitude list. Give yourself permission to give your soul what it needs most.
As we honor and accept ourselves as we are, the frequency of our energetic field rises. Not only do we begin to experience "peace that passes understanding," we exude it to those around us, and also magnify its effect in the world.