Journaling Through the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Stop, Look Around, Pay Attention, and See

This era of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can so easily take a toll in our lives. If we are not suffering hardships, we know other people who are. We are constantly on alert to be careful to be careful about sanitizing everything if we go anywhere (and even if we don’t). We keep hearing the numbers of the yuck that’s transpired because of this unseen enemy. It would be so easy to be stressed or even flat and detached. It would also be easy to focus on all the negative.

So what can we do to minimize the yuck that comes with this social distancing (isolation) and virus?

I tried something today that I wished I would have done every day the last three weeks. I used to do this all the time and have gotten away from it and I see how I have definitely made a grave mistake in stopping. I will make this a daily practice and will actually try to do it a couple to a few times per day. I think this will make a great difference in my life in general, and will transform me, never mind at this yucky time.

I have a recliner in my study, which is one of two main areas in my house, where I journal the most. My cat, a grey tabby named Seda (Say-duh), and I spend three hours there every morning (during the weekdays). We snuggle while I have my quiet time and journal. It’s the highlight of my day and is hers as well.

Today, I stopped, looked around, listened and paid full attention to where I was. I noticed the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the moment. I paid attention to my six senses (smell, sight, taste, touch, hearing, and discernment/gut-instinct). And I journaled about all these things. This utterly and totally blessed my socks off!

I heard my turtle swimming in his tank, along with the hum of his water filter. I heard Seda purring and felt it on my chest and stomach since she was snuggled up there. I heard the birds as they serenaded me. I watched the light cast by the sun as it rose. I saw our orange cat Sinan (See-naw-n) as he slept snuggled up in a cat bed. I was surrounded by all my books. I had a journal, my refuge, to also snuggle up with and capture this moment. I had heat, a roof over my head, a throw blanket on my lap. I had the love and adoration of a cat (who reminds me of how I am to be with the Lord). I had the opportunity and skill of being able to write and read. I had a paper journal and a pen. I had my coffee and a glass of water. I was/am blessed with so many things that are so easily taken for granted.

As I stopped, looked, listened, and paid attention to my 6 senses and answering the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions of everything in my life, around me and int hat moment… it hit me: This moment could not be any better (except if my husband was home with me).

I did not need anything else.

I didn’t even want anything else.

I had it made right then and there.

I realized how I was supremely blessed. Life was/is good.

How easy it is to think that someone or something else would make the grass greener… that life would be better if… if only…

If we do not fully live, with intentionality, where we are, with what and who we have then, and appreciate all these things… then how can we possible appreciate anything else?

I am quite blessed with what I have now. In this moment. I have far more than I deserve.

I want to look for and count the blessing of every moment, so I can live fully and intentionally… and live a life of meaning and purpose. But, if I do not appreciate the now, how can appreciate later?

The life I have now is perfect.

Why can’t I see that in every moment?

Just because life has challenge (and it always has challenges, without fail), it does not mean life is not blessed. It does not mean life is not perfect.

Life is perfect… What does that mean to me? It means living fully where and when I am, with who and what I have, and stopping to pay attention to the blessing in all in this moment. It’s living with intentionality to live this moment well and look for the blessing. It’s the realization that I do not need anything else because what I have, I do not deserve. I do not need anything else because what I have is a major blessing.

I am surrounded by so many wonderful things.

Life is good.

Even in the yuck. In spite of the yuck.

I am supremely blessed right now. I do not need anything else.

I would not have realized this morning how blessed I was, if I had not stopped, looked around and paid attention. I learned through seeing my life from looking at it from so many angles, how blessed I am. I do not want anything else. I do not need anything else. This moment, and the next, are blessings.

Life is good.

Journaling Prompts and Questions:

Journal your thoughts on what you just read.
Stop. Look around. Pay attention to your six senses. Journal what you see, sense, feel, and think about where you are at. What blessings are all around you, ripe for picking and savoring?
What and who have you taken for granted in your life?
What brings you peace and/or joy in this moment? (You cannot say nothing. Find something. You cannot be surrounded by nothing. That’s impossible.)
What blessings do you see around you?
What blessings do you have in this moment?
How can you savor more of what you have and do so in this moment? And then in the next?
Keep looking around as you continue on with life in the next moment and in the moment after that. Keep finding the things to count as blessings. And do so in spite of the yuck.
Life is good. How is it good for you? In this moment? In the next?