I wrote this for myself and then shared it with a few friends and got some good reviews. As with similar pre-existing medical conditions, those with pre-existing mental conditions are vulnerable to the effects of today’s locked-down restrictions and gloomy news. 

As a veteran, I know how sensitive vets and others with PTSD, for example, might be affected by the uncertainty swirling around us. I meet regularly with other Vietnam veterans for meditation and it has helped me tremendously.

One question, one answer

Where are you now?

How can you find yourself if you don’t know where you are?

Where are you now?

Are you in the same place as you were a month ago? Are you changed?

If you feel different, are you different? So many questions!

You are the same, deep down inside, in your core. What has happened to make you different?

Confusion swirled around you, the not knowing. The hearing but not understanding. The fear foisted upon you. Why should that change who you are?

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In the sweep of life, all these things have happened, or they will. They only change you if you let them.

Close your eyes. Go inward. Breathe. One, two, three, exhale. Do it again. And again. Find yourself in there, inside. Escape the noise and the tumult. You are safe in there.

Do you let the fear of others define you? Were you prudent last month? Then you are prudent now.

You still care about other people, don’t you? That hasn’t changed. You haven’t changed.

Deep down, inside, you haven’t changed. Know that. Find your inner strength, your character. Find what makes you, you. Dwell on it. Breathe. Exhale.

Exhale your doubts and any fear that has gotten through.

Open your eyes. The circumstances around you look different. What’s new about that? Change is the sweep of life. It happens slowly, or sometimes quickly. So?

Where are you now?

You are the center. You are the eternal spirit. You will live forever. That’s where you will find yourself as you fulfill your destiny, in love, for yourself and for others.

Let all the rest melt away. When it does, there you are.

You are at peace.

G. Wayne Smith lives in Lafayette.