It was a hard week. I really wanted to hug my congregants. Having returned from Sabbatical, it was natural that people wanted to give me a hug. Hugging, and appropriate touch, is one of my love languages. [https://www.5lovelanguages.com]
I did a funeral last week and was unable to hug the bereaved family. I felt like a heel. They tried to hug me, but, I avoided it, claiming Coronavirus fear and the CDC recommendation. Instead, I gave them an elbow bump which felt empty and cold. As much as I wanted to hug them – I just couldn’t.
Truth is: I am afraid of getting this virus.
I am a virus magnet. Back in 2009, I got H1N1 swine flu. (Ironic for a Rabbi, eh?) Despite the annual flu shot, which I get every year, I still get the flu. I am just lucky that way. So, I have no doubt this virus is not going to skip me.
Scared too the point that fear was paralyzing me and robbing me of my life:
- I stopped going to the gym.
- I avoided hugging someone in my own family because of their prior exposure to 3 people who had contact with the virus.
- Supposedly in Japan, a dog contracting the virus so I stopped kissing my dog.
But was I living? No
So, I reclaimed my life. To be proactive, I went to Costco. To fit in with the others, I bought a huge bag of toilet paper and a large bag of rice just in case I get quarantined. So now I have something to eat. Or, in case my iPhone falls in water, I have a way to dry it out. I also impulsively bought some very expensive moisturizer, figuring, if I died from this virus, at least I’d leave a good looking corpse.
And then I felt better.
I accepted that between the hundreds of people I interact with on a daily basis, the fact that I am a virus magnet and the fact that I can’t stop random people from hugging me – I will probably get this at some point. But I can trust that no matter what happens, something good and positive will come out of this experience. It always does. Sometimes it takes time to see the good that comes. For today, I have to have faith and trust.