I hope Måns Zelmerlöw don’t mind me borrowing a line from the lyrics of his song “Heroes” and changed it a little bit. Maybe you remember this song that won the Eurovision contest 2015. If you haven’t listened to it for a while, make a quick stop at Spotify and let it become the overture of this blogpost – I am going to write about something I think is of great importance today.
About a week ago, I got a text message from my closest friend, where she told me that she will probably be sent to work at the new field hospital, that is under construction right outside Stockholm. It is a facility that will be up and running in a few days, with a capacity to care for 600 corona-patients.
Her words made me stop breathing, and I could feel my entire body contract from the sudden worry. My dearest friend, my soul-sister – one of these people I love as much as life itself… How on earth had I not thought about that before? Of course, she would be asked to work with for the corona-patients; she is a skilled nurse; has multiple specialist competences and she is a super-human when it comes to organisation. On top of that, she is exactly that loving, caring and stable person you wish to have at your side in times of distress. I had probably “known” on an intellectual level, but when the knowing travelled down to my heart the reaction was immediate. Rather than ‘thinking’ it, I felt it and it made my heart ache.
She will be part of the army of superheroes, fighting for us all in hospitals, laboratories, research facilities, retirement homes and many, many other places all over the world. They risk their own health or even their lives for us. They work long hours and they do their outmost to help those in need and to save as many lives as they can. They share the burden of fear and despair felt by the patients that they care for, they talk to worried and desperate relatives and loved ones. If there is a chance, they also hold the hand of those who passes away. And they do so many more things on our behalf. They are exhausted, they are afraid, but they carry on anyway (as all real heroes do).
To stand on the side, without the necessary skills to be of use, is frustrating. That is at least what I am feeling. I am sure many of you, who also stand beside or close to someone in this group of people, feel the same kind of frustration or even powerlessness.
Who came to mind when you read this – was it a family member, a friend, a neighbour, a relative, your spouse, the local doctor in your village?
But are we that powerless, when we think about it? We might not have what it takes or what is needed, to be on the frontline, but there are many things we that can do. We can be the pit crew in this race against time. We can assist our heroes, support them or just love them (which I believe is more important than most of us might think).
This is a time when you can let your empathic skills come to good use. Put your feet in their shoes for a moment: who are they as a person? What do they appreciate in life? What makes them smile? What would help them keep their spirit and strength up? At other occasions, what have you heard them long for, when they have been tired and exhausted?
It is time for self-less love, which asks nothing in return…
Would they appreciate a bag of groceries on their front porch? A home-cooked meal? Would they like beautiful pictures on their social media feeds? Can you take over the walking of their dog or let their pet hamster move to your house for a while? Would they smile if they received a chocolate bar in the mail? (Choose something flat that can be delivered in the mailbox – don’t force them to go to the post office). Would they appreciate if you offered to babysit their children, to give them time for a nap or to have a grown-up conversation with their spouse where they do not have to be strong and capable? Would a postcard telling them how much you love them help? A customized playlist with all their favourite cheesy love songs? Home-delivery of a bouquet of flowers? (That way there will still be florists left when all of this is over…) Or is it a shoulder to cry on they need the most? (That can be done virtually too).
For whose sake are you doing it?
Please do not take this the wrong way, but it is important for us use our better judgment in our choice between what would assist these worn out, over-worked people, and our own mental image of what a kind and generous person would do. What would serve them, for real We need to, to the best of our abilities, put ourselves aside and truly see these people we want to assist.
Also, let us also liberate them from the duty of saying thank you to us (communicate that to them in some way). Let them off the hook of responding or reaching out to us to answer questions for us to satisfy our own curiosity, if they do not actively want to share what they are going through. Expect nothing in return, don’t crave for gratitude and gratification. Let us see this as a game where we are paying forward.
My friend whom I told you about in the beginning of this post, she asked me to “check” what was going on. So, I did. I would like to share a small passage of the channelled text that came through to her. You will find a translation to English just beneath the Swedish version).
(Rädslan) skapar vågor som går genom dig och alla de som du har nära och som känner stor kärlek för dig. I detta nu så finns deras kärlek, och kärleken du hyser för dig själv, som ett skydd och en klädnad i ditt energifält.
(The fear) creates waves that flow through you and all those close to you, who holds a great love for you. In this moment their love, and the love you have for yourself, serves as a protection and a robe in your energy field.
There are so many studies made about how health, well-being and a strong immune system go hand in hand with the feeling of being seen, heard, loved, appreciated and having a sense of belonging. Instead of reading these lines as poetry or symbolism, I think it is a resolute piece of advice, how to replenish and strengthen the medical personnel and all others who give so much of themselves in this moment, on our behalf.
See them, hear them, appreciate them and show them your gratitude. If there is any truth in the few sentences I shared with your, by reminding them that they are loved and sending loving thoughts their way will boost their entire being and with that, also their immune system.
We don’t know that we know
Even if it can be interesting to scientifically “prove” the effects of positive emotional states, I believe that this is something we know intuitively and also do intuitively. Otherwise there would be no spontaneous balcony-arias in Italy, or cascades of applauds 8 pm every night in cities all over the world, or any other of the heartfelt acts of kindness people do, to show their support and their gratitude. We sense a nudge inside to do all these random things, which in themselves has absolutely no effect on treating virus infections. I think we do it because a part of us knows that it really works.
What we are creating, is in fact a giant redistribution of energy and life force. With our minds and focus we direct a bit of our vital energy towards those who need it the most.
So, in a subtle and selfless way, let us love-bomb those who need it that extra boost of fuel now. Our doctors, nurses, hospital staff of all kinds, those who work in the laboratories or in the many, many other groups doing everything they can to support and care for those in need. (If I do not mention your particular field, please do not feel excluded). And of course, the patients too, those who are struggling with the virus within their very own bodies.
Hold all of them in your loving heart, and if possible, reach out in a gentle way to let them know you are thinking about them. Ask if there is something you can do to help, and assist them in ways you think would be appreciated.
For most of us, life feels weird and unreal like a science fiction novel right now. The changes are scary and unbelievably sad in so many ways – but there are also beauty and kindness to discover – to rest in. There is a lot to learn from what we are experiencing now and to learn about ourselves. Don’t forget to search for that as well.
Usually I don’t ask you to share my posts, I know that you do that anyway, if you know someone who would benefit from reading it. Now, though, I would like to ask you to share this blog post (if you feel comfortable doing that, of course). To stay put in a mental state of powerlessness serves no one. Share it with those you think would take its message to heart. We all need to do our part, some at the frontline, others in the pit crew and let us “Love on them”, as a dear friend of mine calls it.
I will end this post on the same not as I started, with a couple of lines from Heroes:
Now got sing it like a hummingbird
The greatest anthem ever heard
Now sing together…
Stay safe and care for one another.
I love you,
PS: While I was working with this post, my friend sent another text message, letting me know that she will be sent to work at the intensive care unit at one of Stockholm’s big hospitals. I know she will be of great service to everyone she will have in her care. So please, help me to hold her and all the other heroes in our hearts, for their safety. Thank you.