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Impact

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

I don’t know how this is affecting you, specifically. I don’t know if you are sick, or someone you love is sick. I don’t know if you are alone or hunkered in with your family; and if you are hunkered in with your family, I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a mighty struggle. I don’t know if your job is secure or if your bills are getting paid. I don’t know if you’re watching hours and hours of news coverage or if you’re taking up knitting. I don’t know if you have an addiction that has suddenly become difficult to manage, or if your exercise lately consists of walking to and from the refrigerator. I don’t know if the ground you are standing on feels stable. I don’t know if you are feeling empowered to change your life or if you are consumed by the unimaginable depths of the current unknown. I don’t know if you’re scared. I don’t know if you are talking to someone. I don’t know if you need help. I don’t know if you are finding comfort in nature or if you are unable to even feel the fresh air on your face. I don’t know if your grocery store has the essentials you need or if you are even able to get them, and I don’t know if candy has become an essential. I don’t know if the sun is shining where you are, or if the birds are singing. I don’t know if this just looks like an awesome Tuesday with a comfortable couch and hours of Tiger King ahead of you or if this day will find you at the front lines of a make-shift hospital bed.  I don’t know how much you are worrying about those you love but can’t be with, or how much those you can’t be with are reminding you how much you love.

I don’t know the impact this is having on you.

I just know that it is impacting you. And it’s impacting me.  And it’s impacting all of us.

And I know that this is our collective truth: After this, whatever “after” even means, we will be different. For better and for worse. And that’s about the beginning and the end of everything I know.

I love this poem called “Angels” by Mary Oliver. It reminds me that there is ever so much more to this life than I ever will know. And that’s okay.   

“You might see an angel anytime
and anywhere. Of course you have
to open your eyes to a kind of 
second level, but it’s not really
hard. The whole business of 
what’s reality and what isn’t has
never been solved and probably
never will be. So I don’t care to
be too definite about anything. 
I have a lot of edges called Perhaps
and almost nothing you can call
Certainty. For myself, but not 
for other people. That’s a place
you just can’t get into, not 
entirely anyway, other people’s 
heads. 

I’ll just leave you with this. 
I don’t care how many angels can 
dance on the head of a pin. It’s
enough to know that for some people
they exist, and that they dance.” 

So my wish for you today is that you find comfort in the “perhaps” and dance with the angels you discover here on earth.

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Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.