I’m tired of dealing with the coronavirus and I want to get on with my life. I believe in science and listen to the experts, but I am not going to put my life on hold to protect myself from a small organism that I cannot even see. I don’t want to live in fear. One day I’ll die, but as long as I live I’ll live fully. Here is my plan and I invite anyone who wants to join me to come.
There is only one rule. Starting today, I will make my decisions based on love, not fear. Many years ago, my wife, Carlin, volunteered with the Center for Attitudinal Healing and brought a copy of the book Love is Letting Go of Fear from the center’s director Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD. My first act of love today was to take out my copy of the book and share Jerry’s words:
“Fear always distorts our perception and confuses us about what is going on. Love is the complete absence of fear. “
Dr. Jampolsky had to overcome his own lifelong fear to even try to write the book.
“Dyslexic since childhood, I went to the University of California at Berkeley and knew that a dumbbell English course was in my future. I fought my way through and got a D, and on the last day of class my professor said to me, “Jampolsky, I don’t know what you’re going to do in life, but for God’s sake never try to write a book. ‘”
Love is Letting Go of Fear has sold more than 5 million copies and touched the lives of people around the world, including musician Carlos Santana who wrote a foreword to the 2011 edition. “Love releases fear is the sweetest, gentlest healing melody for my heart,” said Santana. “Its principles have influenced me profoundly. It has influenced how I see and hold myself, how I relate to others and how I look at the world. “
Following this simple rule of making my decisions based on love, not fear, my plan for this winter, which begins today, includes:
- Calm my busy mind.
When I look at nature, the birds and bees, plants and trees, everything slows down and it becomes quiet. Every year starting with Halloween I start spinning. Candy or no candy for the kids … and so it starts. Then decisions about Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, then New Years resolutions and promises I rarely keep. Starting today, I will spend quieter time, not in fear or denial, but in love and gratitude for the gift of being alive.
- Improve my physical and emotional health.
I often get sick in winter. At the beginning of this year, in January and again in March, I got pneumonia. This winter I plan to love myself for health. I will eat well and exercise even if I don’t feel like it. I will take a warm bath with scented bath oils and I will feel very manly. I will increase my lung capacity by going up the hill behind our house.
I’ll smile more and sing the little song I heard written by a teacher in Australia, Allison Davies, to help herself and her children get through the pandemic. It is said, “Every little cell in my body is happy.” I love it. Instead of focusing on all of the things that I can be scared of this winter, I’ll focus on all of the things that I can do to stay healthy.
- Get to know and understand the virus.
My undergraduate degree was in biology, I attended medical school before later getting my Ph.D. in International Health, and I know viruses are part of life. However, I have learned to fear the coronavirus because I view it as a malevolent force that wants to kill the people I love. I’ve already started reading some books that give me a different understanding of the coronavirus.
Ed Yong is an award-winning science writer who has written some of the most important and helpful articles on the coronavirus. In his book, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Inside Us, and a Greater View of Life, he says we all have microbes inside us, including bacteria and viruses. When Orson Welles said, “We are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone,” he was wrong. Ed Yong says, “We are actually a legion, each and every one of us. Always a we and never an me. Forget Orson Welles and notice Walt Whitman: “I am tall, I have variety.”
If you want to get a feel for Ed Yong’s wisdom, listen to his 13-minute TED talk, which nearly 2 million of our fellow human beings have seen, and learn some secrets that will challenge and excite you.
I wrote an article, “If the coronavirus could speak, what would it say and we would listen.” Viruses have been on the planet for 3.5 billion years. Humans have only been here for 200,000 years. I think I could learn a lot from them.
- Stop listening to those who encourage fear.
We can’t watch TV, read the newspaper, or go on social media without being inundated with people who share their fears. There is a saying in the news world: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Fearful stories get our attention and that’s good for business, but bad for our emotional and physical health. Starting today, I am reducing the fearful media that want to grab my attention.
- Listen to a few experts I trust.
There are many people who have said a lot about the coronavirus and what we should do to protect ourselves. I can get overwhelmed by conflicting ideas. Here are two people who exemplify the help I need as I continue my practice of focusing on love rather than fear. The first is a widely recognized doctor I have known for years. His name is David Katz, MD, MPH, is a specialist in preventive medicine and a globally recognized authority in lifestyle medicine. To date, he has published over 200 academic articles and textbook chapters, as well as 18 books, including Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Good.
More importantly, he’s one of the few people who can provide science-based, sensible, and practical information about the coronavirus. He regularly offers a “Covid Reality Check” on his YouTube channel. You can watch the entire series here, including his latest offering, Reality Check # 20, What Next.
A colleague of Dr. Katz and a man I respect and trust is Michal T. Osterholm, Ph.D., MPH, an internationally recognized epidemiologist and infectious disease expert. In his book Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, he says:
“As epidemiologists, we have two goals. The first is to prevent. When that is not possible, the second is to minimize disease and extended disabilities. ”
Dr. Osterholm heads the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resource Center at the Center for Research and Policy on Infectious Diseases (CIDRAP). When I want to hear from an expert who offers calm, caring facts and advice, that’s where I get my information from. He was recently appointed to the Covid-19 Task Force of President-Elect Joe Biden. Dr. Osterholm says we can’t wait for a new administration to take over in January. Find out why he believes we need action now.
If you would like to join me on this adventure of a lifetime to protect us by practicing love please leave me a message. Please share with others who you think may be interested. You can read my regular articles on my blog.
Was this helpful?
Sign up to receive my weekly article every Sunday.
You are in. Please check your email.