How Close Does Pain Need to Be to Impact Your Spirituality?

Last week I had a couple conversations with friends who were contemplating the impact that the pandemic was having on their spirituality.

Photo from Flickr

That’s not surprising. Whether someone is enduring a personal or global crisis, it’s not unheard of to have spiritual questions in the process. I should know. I’ve been through a wide array of thoughts, emotions, and questions since I started Saying Goodbye to My Body (As I Know It) with my breast cancer diagnosis. Over the past few months, I’ve replayed the chain of events that led to my diagnosis. Upon receiving antiquated and unhealthy advice that society gives breast cancer patients and survivors, I’ve managed hurt and anger while seeking both community care and self-care. As I’ve confronted the largest medical bills of my life, I’ve rethought the way gift giving and generosity are perceived in society. All of this mental processing is just what I call January.

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When Looking Out for Ourselves Isn’t Enough

The other day, I tried to find an old post of mine on Facebook in which I mentioned MLK. I didn’t find what I was seeking, but I found another instead. Strangely enough, this post does not mention Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK, or any variation of his name, but the powers of Facebook pulled it up for me anyway. This is a post from November 10, 2016.

Move On Up #2

Move On Up #2: Photo from Flickr

The post received 24 likes and five loves, 11 comments, and one share.

In one of the comments, my friend wrote, “This is worthy of a Medium post.”

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Tell Me About Yourself: Mourning the Loss of a Parent in the Pandemic

In my recent posts, I have covered a variety of pandemic experiences. It all started when my friend in California posted about his ER visit on Facebook. With his permission, I shared his story in The Stories That Don’t Make Headlines.

His story inspired me to start the Tell Me About Yourself series by asking my other friends about their experiences in the time of Coronavirus. I learned things about them that I would not have known otherwise—or at least known as quickly and as deeply.

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Photo from Flickr

My friend who lives in the New Jersey area outside of New York City had to put her IVF plans on hold. My other friend who lives in Iowa found that the pandemic made her stay-at-home life as a mom easier. Another friend in the Boston area realized that he wanted a more interesting life after the pandemic. My de facto cousin in Manila figured out what parts of her pre-pandemic lifestyle were extra. My cousin in the Chicago area has enjoyed the solitude of quarantine life, but her independent self still really misses people.

Today we will follow my friend who already has had a few major life changes since the pandemic started. He left his job, lost his father, and moved across the country.

What losses have you experienced since the pandemic started? How have you responded to them? How do you hope to move forward?

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Tell Me About Yourself: When Your Independent Self Still Misses People

In the Tell Me About Yourself series, we last heard from my de facto cousin in Manila. Now we will return to the US and learn about the COVID-19 pandemic experience of my cousin in the Chicago area.

This cousin is making the most out of her time while social distancing and living in quarantine. She is proudly independent and enjoying solitary time, but she still finds herself missing people. (Who knew that could happen?)

There is an innate need for human connection even when you are independent.

What are you feeling a strong need to have during this pandemic?

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Photo from Flickr

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Tell Me About Yourself: Figuring Out What is Extra in Your Life

The past few weeks, we have followed the pandemic stories of my friends on the West Coast, East Coast, and Midwest. Now we will travel around the globe to the Philippines—virtually of course—and hear from one of my relatives in Manila.

Since COVID-19 has grown across the world, there has been much discussion on defining who and what is essential: essential workers, essential businesses, and essential services.

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Photo from Flickr

In clarifying what is essential, we have to define what is extra too.

In today’s profile, my cousin (or de facto cousin) shares what is extra for her.

What is extra in your life?

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Tell Me About Yourself: When You Don’t Want to Return to a Bland Life

In my last post, I shared how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted—even improved—my friend’s life in Iowa.

Today we are following the experience of my other friend who lives in the Boston area. In his story, there is no ER visit like what we saw in The Stories That Don’t Make Headlines. There is no delayed medical treatment like what happened in Tell Me About Yourself: When Family Planning Is Put on Hold. At the same time, there is not a long list of ways that his life is more convenient like what we read in Tell Me About Yourself: Admitting that the Pandemic Makes Your Life Easier.

As he would tell you, not a lot has changed in his life since the pandemic hit.

Interestingly enough, even when a global pubic health crisis does not dramatically change your life, it still might transform how you perceive it.

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Photo from Flickr

How has the pandemic changed how you perceive your life?

Here we will find out how it has changed his perception of his life.

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Tell Me About Yourself: Admitting That the Pandemic Makes Your Life Easier

Three weeks ago, in The Stories That Don’t Make Headlines, I shared an old college friend’s visit to a California ER during the time of COVID-19.

Then in Tell Me About Yourself: When Family Planning Is Put on Hold, I told you the story of another friend’s delayed fertility treatment due to the growth of the pandemic in the New York City area where she lives.

Since then, I reached out to my friend who lives in Iowa. I was curious to learn how much her life has changed as someone who resides in a small Midwestern town, which is nowhere near any current epicenter of the Coronavirus.

Unlike the first two people I mentioned, she has noticed more benefits in her life since this pandemic started. She is well aware of how this is different from many other people’s stories and is upfront about that fact.

Since she told me how her life has become more convenient, I have heard from other friends who have made similar comments. Of course, nobody wants this virus to continue; however, several have confided in me that their forced lifestyle changes due to the pandemic have compelled them to reevaluate how they approached their life prior to COVID-19 and how they want to seize each day moving forward.

How has the Coronavirus made you reevaluate your life?

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Photo from Flickr

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