Talk about the unknown right now…  

School is canceled. Graduation is canceled.  You’re uncertain if you’ve been exposed to the virus, or not?  You’re on chemo and not sure if you should take your next treatment because of Corona.  You’re sIck, with something else. Or in the hospital on oxygen, dependent on it, because you do have Corona.  The game, the race, the show, the season you’ve been training for has been canceled; the trip of a lifetime is canceled; the next paycheck is canceled. 

Show me an individual that isn’t having to endure uncertainty and fear right now, that three weeks ago was unimaginable.  Or someone that wasn’t already enduring challenge, before Corona came along, layering even more calamity into their life.

We are all in the same boat, the one that feels like it is up a smelly creek without a paddle.  We all have that in common.
What will differ is how we choose to respond.

What we do from here is our decision.  Do we panic, or do we persevere? Do we endure the unknown with grace and courage, or complaining and cowardice.  I’ve been thinking a lot about endurance lately. 

My meditation teacher talks about having a practice so when everything in your life is out of control, we have the ability to endure, and keep our sanity. 

We grieve little deaths throughout our life, where we must let things, or people, or plans for the future go.  Meditation is good practice for this. Sitting through the discomfort of feeling  like you are going to jump out of your skin, but staying with it, gets us used to being uncomfortable.  We practice patience, and endurance as we sit. 

To endure means to be in it and stay in it, with the implications that there is difficulty and discomfort  involved. There is an underlying resignation there. A letting go. As well as a faith, that we can withstand any circumstance. 

“I endured hardship all the way….My legacy is that I stayed on course, from the beginning to the end, because I believed in something inside of me.”

~ Tina Turner

We don’t practice endurance as much as we used to, because we don’t have to.  There are so many ways to avoid or replace discomfort. Can’t take the weather- get a cheap flight and escape to an all inclusive island resort. There’s asparagus in August and apples in April.  The seasons of our lives- our moods, our jobs, our relationships, even our aging bodies can easily be replaced. Technology denies a whole generation the opportunity of enduring boredom. 

Most of the faith traditions have practices, affirmations and rituals which provide hope and encourage perseverance, as well as disciplines to create connection to something bigger than ourselves.  Sitting in silence helps foster this too.   Jesus said, “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) The Dalai Lama XIV shares, “There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” 

These are times to endure.  Knowing, in good faith, that good will come of this. Believing this just takes a little practice.  Sit with this.

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. “

~ Mary Oliver, “The Uses of Sorrow”

Here’s a great 10 minute guided meditation to listen to, by Sarah Blondin: https://insighttimer.com/sarahblondin/guided-meditations/when-we-must-endure

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Thomas S Dickelman

    So timely, Elinor. Thank you & be well…

  2. Katie Ford

    The timing of this is perfect. I thought that after our communication last night. Endurance. …that sure is what we need right now. Thanks Elinor. Xo

  3. Tracy Robb Segal

    Beautiful, endurance is a timely lesson for us all. Will practice today, thank you. Be well!

  4. beth

    Yes! Hope. Always Hope. xo

  5. Kelly McCabe

    So perfect for today. This moment. ❤️ Thank you 🙏🏻

  6. Lele

    This was a great way to start my day… Thank you and continue to heal!

  7. Rosemary

    Thank you Elinor. Perfect way to start my day. May you continue to heal. I am incorporating a lot of your suggestions into my daily routine. The breathing, the meditation and the inspiration to try to not get lost in the fear. Hope and faith are so very important. Resilience.

  8. KelliM

    E, thank you and I’m so grateful for your words each day. Sending love and prayers to all ❤️

  9. Darrell Bloom

    This experience (and there will be many more) has reminded me that each of us needs to take responsibility for our spiritual life. Individuals and institutions might provide insight and wisdom, but we need to construct personal faith that is embedded in our own experience. I can endure when my spiritual life is solidly based in love. I will fear, when I let my ego take control, and think that I can do it all on my own.
    Thanks, Eleanor for another thoughtful post.

  10. Teddi Koch

    Thank you, Darrell, for your beautiful and insightful reply. Thank you, Eleanor, for your meaningful post about endurance.

  11. Kim

    Beautiful post. Looking forward to meditating today. May God give you the strength and Endurance to heal! XOXO

  12. Johnna Deering

    Thank you! My favorite Mary Oliver quote!! Be well

  13. peggy

    Loved this. Thank you

  14. jen dies

    Thanks for this Elinore. It reminds me to pick myself up from my boot straps from the inside out. Marching on and sending out prayers of love and calming peace for everyone.

  15. Cat

    ❤️ Sarah Blondin – thanks for sharing this piece

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