If I were a pendulum, I’d declare this week as one wild ride on the COVID-19 arc.
At one end, we had New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeting detailed how-to instructions for sending law enforcement officers pictures and locations of people disobeying social distancing orders.
At the other end, protesters disdainful of stay-at-home orders in at least 17 states — from the full range of political positions — were taking to the streets to air their lock-down grievances.
In the middle we puzzled over mandates to wear face masks in states where face masks are outlawed.
My brain says we’ve got the constitutional right to assembly. My heart says what’s it hurt to wear a mask (briefly lowered to show my face to the wary bank teller) and keep my distance from others who are concerned about the health of themselves or their loved ones?
I waffle back and forth. As an introvert, it’s easy for me to board the “yay, stay!” train.
As a libertarian small business owner, I’m like “hey, let me do my job and keep people employed!”
Luckily, community member Tracy Sandoval asked for my take on Lesson 76 from A Course in Miracles: I am under no laws but God’s.
On each daily lesson in my well-worn hardcover copy, in the upper corner, I’ve penciled in the corresponding date of the year. Lesson 76 falls on March 16. The same date President Donald Trump first announced national social distancing guidelines. Making it the perfect lesson to help shepherd us through our social distancing and stay at home experiences.
Lesson 76 talks about how we’re not subject to all the laws out there (the ones that are legislated as well as the ones we put on ourselves). It pokes fun at the beliefs we have that little strips of paper and metal disks are needed to make sure we have food. Or that a pill or something injected in our veins will restore or maintain our health. That germs have power over us. That our good comes from our hard work and the paycheck that rewards us for our efforts. And that the lack of anything can do us harm.
This lesson invites us to flay open our beliefs that something “out there” can protect us or harm us. It reminds us that we’re not a body, and therefore nothing can truly be lost. It all circles right back to the introduction of Course:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
I know someone who has a habit of saying “they should pass a law for that” while at the same time flouting laws that aren’t personally beneficial. Sure, it would be easy to use I am under no laws but God’s as an anarchist rallying cry. But that’s not what this lesson is about. As it says later in the lesson:
There are no laws except the laws of God.
What’s God’s law?
Lesson 76 teaches us how to strip away all the things we think keep us safe, all the things we think bring us order, all the social constructs we adhere to from day to day. Everything that is unlike love. To recognize it doesn’t matter what is legal or illegal.
All that matters is getting back to the basics of Loving each other. I can think of no better guide for our journey than Carol Howe’s amazing analysis of this lesson on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iw-RWT965QQ
All that’s mine to do is to remember the Truth, and then ask myself: what’s the most loving thing I can do in this situation?
What’s the most loving thing you can do today and what scares you about doing it?
Read “The Danger of Not Listening to Each Other” If you’re eager to understand other people’s fears in a positive context.