In process theology, we stop viewing the world with a binary lens. Rather than life being dreadful or wonderful, evil or good, or the world existing in only binaries of male/female, or right or wrong, we look instead through the lens of BOTH/AND as opposed to EITHER/OR.
Today, we hold so much. We are overflowing with BOTH/AND.
Pandemic brings us BOTH unexpected joy AND suffering beyond measure. We have BOTH dolphins jumping in the canals of Venice in clear waters, AND less smog in Los Angeles than has existed in 50 years.
Pandemic conditions BOTH allow us time to call friends AND long to hug them in person.
We are BOTH fearful of what is to come AND counting all our blessings.
We are BOTH confronted with too much idle time AND finding time for cleaning, gardening AND yoga.
This pandemic brings BOTH sleepless nights AND Tupperware cupboards that are finally organized.
We are BOTH wildly grateful for our nurses, occupational therapists, doctors and respiratory therapists, AND we are frightful for their wellbeing and safety.
We are experiencing BOTH cabin fever AND trepidation to leave home.
We are BOTH grateful for the slowing down of our lives AND honoring the people working twice as many hours trying to serve us.
We BOTH mourn all the occasions we are missing: the graduations, the birthdays and the family dinners, AND relish the gift that is life in a body.
We BOTH experience negative emotions AND heal ourselves by naming and expressing these fearful thoughts.
Those of us with children are BOTH trying to make their online homework experience both educational and positive, AND hoping we have doled out just the right amount of screen time to keep them quiet while we are on Zoom calls.
We might be BOTH grateful for this time at home AND miss our loved ones terribly.
If we are alone, time might be BOTH a joy AND a burden.
During this time of so much grief, may we find our new rhythms of the day.
May we be kind to our souls, when productivity is not possible BOTH when we feel stuck in fear AND cannot move. May we call a friend when thoughts of drinking too much alcohol, consuming more ice cream, AND “Oh, is that a bag of chips I forgot about?” diminish our will power.
May we sanitize our credit card rather than using it to buy that really cool thing advertised on Facebook this morning. Why are the ads so much more interesting these days? May we honor this grief, this massive loss AND BOTH love ourselves AND be gentle with our souls.
May we hold all the real feelings AND express them in journals, diaries AND in our hobbies. May our spiritual practices bloom. May we reach out to our community. May we feel a love that is greater than us, holding us all.
For this time where we are holding both more than we can stand and more than we ever imagined, I pray. Amen