What's helping me today
When I was a kid, I went to the top of the Citicorp building in New York City while it was still under construction. I wanted to know what it was like on the inside since I'd never seen a structure before with a slant. I pressed the top floor button and as it neared its destination, the elevator started to shake. As the doors opened, I witnessed an array of steel columns, wires hanging from the ceiling and... no floor. I was looking directly at the space below. I slammed my hand onto the button marked 'lobby' and prayed I'd make it down in one piece. When I arrived, I was never so happy to be back on solid ground.
Last week I felt like the floor had been pulled out from under my feet. The country is in utter disarray and there is no clear path moving forward. I have a choice: I can continue to linger and talk endlessly about the moments we're watching on tv and living through with friends and family, or I can do something about it: Pray.
I'm not especially religious so as soon as I write this my mind says, "What is that going to solve? Why do it?" The answer is simple; I can. The police officer and the other four people who perished didn’t deserve to die, no matter what side of the law they were on or their individual beliefs. The 375,000+ people who have died from Covid-19 didn't deserve to die either so right now, prayer is all I've got. A prayer for death to slow down. A prayer for a peaceful transition of power in nine days. Will it help? I don't know but it can't hurt. To blindly wish people harm just because they don’t think the way I do is the definition of missing the mark. I don’t want to be that person today.
Prayer grounds me. It gets me out of my ego. I can focus on someone else's wellbeing and refrain from worrying constantly about my own. I don't even have to necessarily know the person. I can send loving thoughts to someone who may be in pain, or alone, or just sad. Love is the catalyst, it releases the fear and anxiety. It gives me the foundation to continue moving through this bewildering world. This way I'm free to concentrate on other things like work, relationships, and how to be of service to others.
One day, when I can safely return to New York, I'm going to take a ride to the top floor of the renamed Citigroup Center. First though, I think I'll say a silent prayer for all the people in the building and wish them well as I push the elevator button going up.