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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Having an Extended Sacred Retreat During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Social Distancing (A Time of Blessing)


A Personal Journaling Thought

I’ve said it a few times before and I shall say it again: We live in some crazy and unusual times.

Just yesterday, the governor of my state said we will be in social distancing conditions until May 08th, 2020.

Gulp.

While this was not a surprise, it just reminded me of how important this time was: this forced slow down and forced time at home; this removal from the world and everything in it.

Yes. My reaction was a different one.

I thought how this additional time was important and was something to value and cherish.
The truth is, if I have not been journaling like I have been, I would not have had the fortitude or skills to know to look at this extension of social distancing as something different. I would not have been able to look beyond all the anxiety and terrible repercussions this brings, all the heartache (pain), financial strain, death, sickness, and every challenge imaginable.

Through journaling, I have learned that there is always sunshine and storm in every moment. Always. There are good parts and challenging parts in every moment. The question is not whether the moment is a good or bad one. As a matter of fact, when we look at it like that, we are being small-minded and foolish in our thinking. Moreover, when we look at things in this manner, we are showing how we are not thinking things through at all, but are being emotional. For if we were thinking, we would see beyond the yuck and see what we can turn the moment into something useful instead.

Life never promised to be easy.

Life never promised to lack challenge.

Every moment has the good and the bad. This is a fact.

The question about every moment is whether we will live it mindfully, purposefully, with great meaning, counting every blessing within it… Or if we will take it for granted, find reasons to agonize and complain, ignore it, deny it, and let it slip by.

Journaling helps bring this other and different perspective. Journaling helps us to see how little of life we can control, but how we can 100% control how we respond to everything and everyone that comes our way.

So, social distancing has been extended to May 8th… That is three weeks and one day from today.

Ugh. Just typing that tugged on me and made me wonder if I was really handling this as well as I thought and journaled here.

But, then, I remembered something. I do not have to respond to anything with negative feeling or thought. It is what it is. Does it help to react in a negative manner? (No.) So, what am I going to do with it? How am I going to turn these next three weeks into a blessing instead of a curse? I will ponder this for a bit.

I cannot help but think this:

How many times in our lives have we had an extended period of time like this to stop, slow down, refresh, re-evaluate, take time for introspection, and enjoy the people and pets we live with? And, if you are a believer, how many times have you had an extended sacred retreat like this?

So, that brought up a question in me. Am I going to grab hold of this with both hands and appreciate every second? Or am I going to curse it, complain, moan, groan, worry, get mad, and fill in the blank? Am I going to make this time one of blessing or a curse?

As I type this, I cannot help but me even more inspired to claim this time as time I would not have had otherwise, and I am going to make every second count. I am going to make this an opportunity to have a special sacred retreat, through my daily life, and go deeper than I have ever gone before, to live with more meaning, and to count even more blessings that I already have.

How can I transform myself internally, emotionally, mentally, socially, financially, and spiritually into a better, more thoughtful, more purposeful, more grateful, and a more faithful person? How can I become a woman that counts blessings every moment? How can I become a woman of prayer through all this and after it? How can I become a woman who meditates on the Word day and night through all of this? How can I grow my faith through this?


Journaling Questions and Prompts:

What are your thoughts about what you just read?

How can you turn this time of social distancing into something positive and life-transforming?

How can you turn this time of social distancing into a time of blessing?

How can this time of social distancing be a time of refreshment and retreat (even through
normal life activities)?

How can this time be the best thing that has ever happened to you, in spite of a very trying time?



This blog post is part of:

Journaling Through the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Journaling thoughts, prompts, questions, and exercises

A Love of Journaling Series

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