Spirituality in a Pandemic

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spiritualityGrowing up, I was religious. I went to church weekly and regularly participated in Sunday School, youth groups, choir, and church activities. In fact, my closest childhood friends to this day are from my childhood church.

I loved the experience that I had. I would say prayers every morning before going to school or before a big exam. I felt that the belief in the power of a higher being helped me feel calmer and more in control. 

As I grew in my 20s, my faith and spirituality changed, and sometimes it waivered. I particularly felt that way when my older brother passed away from complications with Leukemia. I felt abandoned and numb while I experienced the five stages of grief. But the church community that I had from my childhood was right there with me, supporting me and never turning their back. 

Looking back from that tragic experience, I see that I came back a believer again. When I finally reached the acceptance phase of death, probably shortly afterward, I could see that I was content that my brother was no longer suffering and that I no longer had to witness his pain. (Please consider becoming a bone marrow donor as there are a tremendous amount of people in need, and all it takes is a swab inside your mouth for your to register).

During this time of grief, I also met my now-husband and father to my children and felt like a sign from God or perhaps my brother looking out for me as he always had while on earth. Like me, my husband grew up going to church regularly, but his experience was vastly different from mine, and he often did not feel connected.

I knew that I wanted to raise my kids in a similar setting to the one I had. I knew I wanted my daughter and any future children to be exposed to having faith in a higher being. Maybe they too would turn to this, especially in times of loneliness and despair or when the world felt out of control. 

During pre-covid, we were looking for a church to join. We found one, but unfortunately, we stopped going due to not feeling entirely safe in an indoor setting. That is not to say that I have stopped praying or listening to their events. In fact, I feel like the pandemic has brought me more in touch again with my religion and spirituality in a way that helps me feel grounded. 

Maybe it is because I feel like someone is looking out for me and that I will be okay. There is so much going on in the world right now that when you sit and listen to the news outlets, you can feel a little lost and overwhelmed. I feel like when I turn to my spirituality, I am less anxious. My faith is what helps me feel back in control.

What has helped you get through these last few months?  

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Bena is a a wife and mom to a little girl born in July 2017 and another little girl born in April 2021. Her and her husband, both born and raised in Long Island, randomly ended up living in New Rochelle, Westchester when they fell in love with the downtown area, which had the best of two worlds, walking distance to parks, coffee shops, great restaurants and a short drive away from great hikes and nature. Since then they have moved a hop, skip and away to Pelham, which is an adorable little town. Mostly, Bena is just trying to figure out how to do this mom thing, while also working a full-time job. After a few years of the juggling act, she feels a little more confident, but everyday there are new challenges, especially when #2 arrived. When she is not momming, she is usually lawyering, working out, cooking, running errands or somewhere out exploring nature and the world (pre-covid, of course)!