Hi Nancy, How great to hear from you again. And yes, sad and hard to to be sharing this world where we are not at home, especially now that it is in such tribulation. And yet...there is a god-space within which we live that is both inside our body and all around us. It's more of a peace of mind than a piece of space, I would say. I think we tend to forget about it at times like this. This ego mind which we entertain all too frequently is always asking the question "what does this mean?" and then answering itself with some dreadful and fearful idea. Following that thought is not usually helpful, for it leads us to experience feelings of anger, depression, terror etc. Maybe there is a different question that will lead us to a better experience.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Examining my mind I find that it has answered the question, "What does this mean" in the past with such thoughts as "This means there is something wrong with me." This means nobody loves me. This means God is punishing us. This means we are being cleansed." etc. etc. I am reminded of some of the early lessons in the Workbook: We live in a meaningless world and the only meaning it has is the meaning we give it (a paraphrase).
So how can we proceed in a different direction? What guidance is available to us beside this ego mind? The Course, of course, is full of the answer to these questions. One that works for me is this: "I must have decided wrongly for I am not at peace. I made this decision myself and so I can decide otherwise. I choose to decide otherwise by asking the Holy Spirit to decide for God for me." (Found at the end of Chapter 5 of the Text. Probably not an exact quote but the gist of it.) When I remember this and when I get quiet enough and sincere enough to listen for the answer, peace always comes.
This peace seems to be always there, just waiting for us to turn toward it, just ready to be the answer we seek and need. There is a fundamental sense that all is well awaiting our willingness to see things differently. Instead of asking "What does this mean?" and then answering it so quickly that we are unaware we have even done so, we can simply ask "Dear Father, what do You say?" or" What is the Truth here?" Or "Holy Spirit, please decide for me." or how about this: "I have no question. I forgot what to decide. At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now. And so I hope I have been wrong. I want another way to look at this. Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking?" (From the Rules for Decision, Chapter 30 of the Text)
Nancy, Thank you for asking these questions: "What is going on?...do you have thoughts to share?" I had no idea how to respond so I just started writing and this is what came for me. Now if I were to ask you, as another long time student of the Course, these same questions, what would be YOUR response?
Gratefully and lovingly, C.