Last year, my church lost a beloved member, Rachel Elmore, to suicide. I am writing this for her and for those who are lost at sea right now and need a lighthouse to bring them home.

Small things can bring great comfort during tough times. Dmytro Gilitukha/Shutterstock.com

Don’t miss the moments. They are right here in front of you. Some of these precious moments will never happen again.

I am worried about how everyone is weathering the pandemic, and I have a request for those of us who are afloat (even barely). Let’s stop ourselves the next time we hear ourselves complaining. Let’s see the love that is right in front of us.

The metaphor I’ve come up with for the mental health challenges we face during the pandemic is a leaky boat. All of us (in the world) have water in our boat, likely a lot more water than when we started the pandemic.

When we spread negativity, we may not realize that we are adding water to boats that are on the tipping point, that are already flooded, that are already sinking. This doesn’t mean that we cannot feel all of our emotions, but we do need to be mindful about what energy we send out to the world.

Be the lighthouse. Realize that you will never get these moments back. Cherish what you can. The world is still a beautiful and magical place. See the wonder in who you are and how you are in the world. This shift in perspective can help us fight despair so that all boats stay afloat.

We can contemplate impermanence and how it can bring us great joy just to realize that what is right now is very precious. It will not be the same in the future. We won’t have eyes to see any longer. Our loved ones will not be at our side. We are here only a short while. Yes, this time is extremely troubled right now during the pandemic, but it is the time that we have. What will we do with it?

Believe it or not, you may look back at this time spent at home, spent with family, and notice that there was gold in the dust that wasn’t readily apparent.  Look for the gold now. Start talking about the gold. Look for the quiet moments – perhaps there is beauty in that?

We need a message of hope in this world, now more than ever. We can weather this storm, and the first act is to stop putting more water in our boat and others’ boats with our negativity, complaining and venting. Of course, get support where you need it and talk about your challenges. But I urge you to spend time looking for the blessings, the good, the joy. It may help you weather the challenges and allow you to be available for others who need you. We can use that renewed energy to reach out to those who have lost homes and jobs and loved ones.

Don’t lose the gift that is in the present moment. See what is in front of you right now and cherish the blessings. Watch for the small moments, the breath, the smile of your child, hot oatmeal in a bowl, a Zoom call with a loved one, the sunrise on the snow. Our very own breath, here and now. Don’t miss the moments. It’s all that we have.


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