What Kind Of Person Do I Want To Be?

First came news from a neighbor that the school was closing for five weeks.  Then I got the text message from my friend Mandy saying she was regretfully closing her Message Therapy Studio.  This morning I got an email from the Co-Op saying they were no longer asking members to work their monthly shifts and their hours would be cut.  And later the text from Emily saying all restaurants were closing so we wouldn’t be able to have tea on Tuesday.

The changes which came so quickly were also so much more personal than they had been up to that point.  And I thought I was handling them well until I felt the fear and panic unmooring me. I tried to focus on my work, but I knew I needed to take some time to absorb what was happening around me.

So I headed out into the woods.

And as I walked and walked my focus started to return.  I realized I was in a panic.  It’s the first time I felt fortunate to have had enough panic attacks to know what panic feels like.

I was familiar with the kind of fear I was feeling.  Not a focused fear, like when faced with a direct threat, but a roaming, global fear that moves through my body and makes everything seem dangerous.

So I asked myself what I was afraid of.

Then I listed the things that I was afraid could possibly happen as a result of the Coronavirus, beginning with Jon dying.  And as awful as they were, they did not evoke the feeling that was coursing through me.

That’s when I asked myself… What kind of person did I want to be?

When this is all over and I  looked back at how I behaved and reacted to it all, would I feel good about who I am?

I decided I don’t want to live for months, or however long this goes on, in fear. That’s not to say I will never be afraid.  But I don’t want to act out of irrational fear, out of the kind of panic I was feeling today.

I want to know that the decisions I made were the best I could have, even if they turn out to be wrong. And I want my strength to come from being grounded and being able to adjust to the changing circumstances. I want to help the people around me when I can and know when I can’t.

On the way back home, I stopped at the Mother Tree.  I laid my forehead against her. My mind quieted and I felt a throbbing in my pelvis.  And with it, a feeling of strength and stability. As if I was okay.

I knew this was my first or root chakra.  But I only read later that it is the place of grounding and survival in us.

So now I have a place inside of me to go when I feel the kind of panic I did today.  And because these are such uncertain times and I know I’ll get scared again, I’ll try to remember to ask myself what kind of person do I want to be?

Then I’ll do my best to be her.



24 thoughts on “What Kind Of Person Do I Want To Be?

  1. This is such a beautiful picture. It brings me some peace and calm at the end of such a shattering day. Thank you and I’m glad you’re finding a “grounding” as well. Please keep writing, sharing, and giving us these lovely poses of Fate.

    1. I will do just that Barbara, the woods continue to be healing in their way. And Fate is so good at posing, makes me think she knows just what she’s doing.

  2. Profoundly meaningful, Maria…..as I find myself doing a little home schooling with my 11 yr old grandson, I will strive to use these calming thoughts I am touched by how humbling this experience has made him, and using the time to teach him meditation, and talk about how we can choose how we react. Your words have given me new energy to keep us all calm here. One day at a time. I had this virus in early Feb while spending the winter in FL with my daughter. Didn’t know what it was and there was no test. Being 77, I feel fortunate to have come through.
    A strong positive focus sustained me, it will for you and Jon, as well. ❤️❤️

    1. It sounds like a sweet time with your grandson Marcia. One of the gifts of all of this. It’s encouraging to hear you had the virus. Maybe many of us have already. Thanks for your good words.

  3. Beautifully said , Maria. Wise words that I needed to hear today.I could feel the panic rising in me.
    Thank you,

  4. All you can do is your best Maria. I am glad you find some comfort in the woods.
    Our local restaurant ends the closed sign notice on their door with:
    “And this, too, shall pass.”
    I very much hope it ends with the least amount of pain and tragedy to all of us.

  5. Dear Maria, I deal with panic attacks the same way, get outside where I can see trees and the sky, breathe deeply, and ask myself EXACTLY what is making me so afraid. Thank you for this beautiful piece of writing!! Thank you so much for all the beautiful photos of Jon, your dogs, the woods, your farm. I feel like I can touch the life in your photos. Annie

  6. My nephew who is the father of two is full of anxieties and has panic attacks. He worries about his family and actually feels ill.
    He called and I tried to calm him. I told him that as a child I and the rest of my family survived WWll even with my dad overseas for three years. We survived a period of time where people were afraid and built bomb shelters. We survived the polio epidemic.We survived the assassination of a young president and civil rights leaders We survived 911 . Somehow we all managed to survive what we thought were insurmountable events. We were afraid, some of us even felt panic, but we survived.
    We hung in there and were stronger for it. This time the enemy is an intangible, unseen enemy which makes it even harder to deal with, but we will come through stronger than before. It is a war with something we can’t see, but we won’t be defeated, we will win.

  7. Great question to ask oneself. Thanks for that and the photos, animals and showing your growth and strength even in times of anxiety. You make me proud of becoming a better woman and how during adversity I can do that. The healing of nature, walking the dogs and talking to the universe being grateful for all I have works for me. Thanks again Maria & the finding of blogs that heal. Bev

  8. Maria, this was a wonderful, inspiring post. I just read about “amor fati,” the love of fate. It’s about acceptance of what is going on in this moment, and knowing that we have control of our feelings, thoughts, and actions, no matter what is happening around us. Thank you for sharing with us, how you get back to your center.

    1. I’ve never heard the term “amor fati” Karla, but I like having the idea put into those words. Easy to remember and they sound beautiful too. THanks.

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