“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Mister Rogers
I was cleaning out the office the other day when my hubby poked his head in the door.
“Well, it’s finally happened here,” he said, sounding like a medieval town crier during the plague.
“Did someone we know test positive for COVID-19?” I asked in one long wind-sucking breath.
“No,” he grinned mischievously. “The grocery store is out of toilet paper.”
I threw a scrunched up paper snowball at him but he ducked out just in time.
People do funny things in crisis. They also do not-so-funny things.
Hoarding, during a worldwide pandemic, or when there is no immediate threat, is always a fear response. It’s the fear of lack. One way people with a fear of lack operate is trying to control everything around them. Hoarding gives them a feeling of control.
Let’s be clear this novel coronavirus is contagious and dangerous for certain groups of people. Wisdom is needed at this time. But this virus isn’t the only contagion floating around. Panic, hysteria, and fear are also contagious. In fact, fear is the number one OolaBlocker.
Oola teaches a method to overcome blockers: Ready! Set! Go!
Ready! Call it out. Name that fear. “I’m afraid I’ll get the virus and infect those I love.”
Set! Set this fear in its place by asking two questions.
What will my life look like if I let this fear take over? “I’ll hoard supplies and hole up in my house isolating myself from everyone and everything.”
How could my life change if I set fear in its place and take action?“I would practice good health habits and make sure I have what I need if isolation is required. I would also make sure vulnerable people around me have adequate supplies. I would use wisdom and follow the directions of the medical experts but also, if able, look out for and help others.”
Go! What action can I do right now? I’m not sick, so I can contact the town, or my church, or a service group, and volunteer to help in any way that’s required. I could go shopping for people currently shut in or too vulnerable to be in public. I can daily check in on my loved ones and neighbours.
These action steps are personal to me. I’m not sick or physically vulnerable so I can, with wisdom, offer help. Maybe you are physically vulnerable or sick. Your action steps will be unique to your situation. But we have this in common: we don’t have to let fear rule us.
Where fear wants to take root and stop us we can apply faith, wisdom, compassion, and love in order to look beyond ourselves and serve others. Just like gratitude is the cure for complaining, service to others inoculates us from fear. Our focus shifts from our own need to the needs of others. This new perspective brings life into a more balanced focus.
Eventually this pandemic will run its course. Eventually people will stop hoarding toilet paper. And eventually, as you practice this Oola lifestyle, when fear comes a knocking, your automatic response will be to grin like my cheeky hubby and take action.
Written by Terry Ruth Eissfeldt (Certified Oola Life Coach)