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Handling Thoughts Of Fear, Anger, and Confusion During A Pandemic

This post will be different from the ones you're used to seeing about the current outbreak.

You won't find strategies on how to stay virus-free. There will be no mentions of how to keep others safe. And you won't find any guides about how to work from home.

Instead, like every single post in this blog, your attention will be directed within yourself.

If you're having a hard time coping with your own inner experience of fear, anger, guilt, confusion, or hopelessness, perhaps the following words may bring you peace.


First, understand what's happening inside of you

When things happen in the world, they stimulate responses within ourselves. What turns one person on can completely turn another person off.

This is something we take for granted, so much so that that no one even talks about why we get scared, or why we're not able to handle ourselves during these trying times.

You see, the outside world is never the problem, and it's not what we actually care about. Ultimately, all we really care about is our inner experience.

The real problem is not any virus taking over the world, but rather the thunderstorm happening in our minds.

There are millions of viruses around the world at all times. Very few are ever a problem for us. So why this one, now? Why do we suddenly care so much that we literally shut down a large portion of our daily activity?

We care because our individual blueprint of how the world should be - that is, how all of the people, places, and things around us must unfold in order for us to be happy - is at risk of being broken. Our minds freak out about this, and our emotions follow suit.

If we didn't care that people were dying (believe it or not, some people don't), then this wouldn't be viewed as a problem.

But since part of our blueprint is that our loved ones, including ourselves, need to be alive and healthy in order for us to be okay, we experience inner turmoil. Since part of our blueprint is that strangers need to act in accordance to our own individual moral code, we freak out when they don't.

In short, we're not okay with the virus because we're not okay with reality.


Remember the bigger picture

Knowing that what we truly care about is how the outside world affects our inner world, we can look at the virus for what it is.