Can we really be expected to get the 'welcome mat' out for the coronavirus?
Mindfulness and meditation teachers advise that we try to embrace the difficulties in our lives.
A favourite phrase used in many online guided meditations by the likes of Tara Brach and Jon Kabat Zinn is to 'get the welcome mat out' for whatever life has to throw at us.
It is extremely hard to get the welcome mat out for the Coronavirus.
Even if it is possible to see some benefits to the current state of chaos – a renewed sense of time, a recalibration of who we value in society, some short-term relief for the natural world – it is hard to accept the devastation this disease is wreaking on so many lives.
And yet when we resist life, it tends to deepen our unhappiness.
Sitting with our difficulties presents opportunities to learn to accept aspects of our lives that are beyond our control, and to accept aspects of ourselves that we dislike or push away.
Meditation teaches us to accept the feelings we hate to feel; the fear, the anger, the sadness.
Learning to acknowledge our feelings, rather than pushing them away, can help us to grow and to adapt to change.
Embracing difficulties, whatever form they take, can help us to learn more about ourselves and to feel more whole.