Finding Care for Self

Finding Care for Self Right Now
by: Nita Lapinski

Many friends and clients ask me what I see with what’s happening in our world. I’m reluctant to talk about how I feel, as we are in a tender time and easily hurt or angered. Covid-19, racial disparity, gender issues, politics, religion, our collective consciousness, and how we express these have become contentious and, in many cases, shatter delicate relationships.

The eruption and spread of Covid-19 was not a surprise to me, because in my reality, everything is connected. Everything. Tragically, people are dying alone, separated and isolated from those they love.

Covid-19 is remarkably contagious, dangerous, wide-spread, and requires us to separate. It is a physical manifestation of our fear, anger, vulnerability, and fatigue, which is what we experience with the virus. This kind of fearful global thought has been gaining momentum for about a decade.

Over the years, we have become more polarized and less accepting of each other’s differences and surer of who is right and who is wrong. Middle ground no longer exists. We are intolerant of difference of opinion on any topic, whether it be racial inequality, politics, religion, or basic rights. Nowadays, you must be on one side or another. We each believe our view is the right one. If others don’t agree with or believe in what we do, we label them stupid, short-sighted, and ignorant.

I believe the universe is always reflecting belief and collective consciousness back to us.

I don’t have a magic answer or deep wisdom that might save us. There is only myself and a choice each day of who I will be. I do my best to practice humility, not to judge the choice of another as right or wrong, or good or bad, and instead ask, “What can I give? How can I support?” I will not label you as a good person or bad based on your choice to wear a mask or drink and drive or if you lose your temper or vote for someone I wouldn’t. There is no need to make you wrong so I can be right. Because of this, there is an absence of fear, anxiety or dread in my life. Gone is sadness or disgust with the growth of others; rather, I am happy with myself. I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am and I speak it daily.

My best advice is don’t waste time trying to figure out what happened or who is responsible. Be gentle with yourselves and each other. Don’t judge yourself and you will judge others less. Respond with love and understanding. Help others and lift them up without discrimination. As we shift who we are, what and how we think, we let go of fearful anxiety and blame. As we practice acceptance of ourselves, we open to love. This is how we change the world.

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Love Gracefully

Romance is said to be wasted on youth.
Truthfully, romance or love is never wasted on anyone. It’s a positive force that teaches us more about ourselves and others. No one is too old to learn about love or enjoy it.

“We are most alive when we’re in love.”
John Updike

Romance and love are topics that poets have written about throughout history to define, celebrate and grieve. Not one word or writing can capture what someone feels exactly or completely.

“At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.”

It is a unique experience to each individual and it is boundless as it is ageless in scope and potential.

“Romance is a state of mind. It is a way of looking at your partner, life and even the world in such a manner that allows you to savor whatever is good in your life. Romance is nothing more than savoring your partner and the gifts of your intimate relationship. From that place of savoring, from that place of gratefulness, you give back. You slow down and nurture your partner. You slow down and get in touch with what makes your partner’s heart sing.” (1)

As we age, our concept of love and romance changes and evolves. That does not mean it diminishes in value or its powerful impact on our lives.

“The heart has no wrinkles.”

At 17, we are attracted to very different things than at 30, 40 or 60. Physical attraction is important at any age but as we get older we can balance that attraction out with other important aspects of a nurturing and loving relationship.

“When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.”
Victor Hugo

We become more patient and accepting of little things and focus more on the big picture. Romance is laughing everyday and a smile shared over something silly. It is the overwhelming desire to be near that person not because you have to but can’t imagine not.

Love is unselfish and as you go through life, parenting, and experiences – you realize it’s not all about you. It’s about learning to love someone more than yourself without losing your identity. You are motivated to build a better life and aspire to greater achievements together because that one special person supports you.

It’s not about fancy things or status, it’s about the connection you have and enjoy. All of these key elements are just one perspective of love and romance, as it is so very different for each person.

“Love is authentic and full of grace.”

I recall an elderly man showing me his wedding pictures from fifty years ago. I commented on how beautiful his wife was in the picture. He became indignant and said “ you have met my wife – she is even more beautiful now.” His love and romantic view confirmed to me that love is ageless.

“Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.”
Dorothy Canfield Fisher